Feed your news demon

Although FeedDemon remains one of the best desktop RSS and Atom feed catchers, this latest version contains many changes, some of them controversial.

Although FeedDemon remains one of the best desktop RSS and Atom feed catchers, its latest version contains many changes, some of them controversial.

FeedDemon has dumped its proprietary online synchronization site, newsgator.com, in favor of syncing with Google Reader. New users won't notice, but older users are likely to lose many unread feeds since Google can't import feeds with more than 10 unread items. Once synced, unread items can number more than 10 items again. There's also a new, persistent ad placed in the lower left corner of the interface that goes away when you buy a $10 license. FeedDemon's performance could be a lot better--its RAM usage was hefty and 3GB of RAM didn't prevent occasional program hang-ups.

Not all is woe with the new FeedDemon, though. Twitter feed reading has been baked in, with automatic hyperlinking and short URL expansion and if you use Twitter as a live newstream, FeedDemon's Twitter linksharing should appeal to you. Tagging, tag clouds, and item sharing get massive overhaul in FeedDemon 3, with all three features added to the item view and a tag cloud added to the Subscriptions Home view. The interface will look similar to FeedDemon 2.7, but there are many little tweaks to improve its usability. Flags have been renamed Stars for Google Reader consistency, for example, while the Home page features videos, pictures, and content from your feeds. One smart improvement over Google Reader is that you can view your starred feeds in the folders they came from, instead of in a single "starred items" folder.

We'd like to see performance addressed in future versions, but overall FeedDemon remains a favorite option for desktop feed management.

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