RealNetworks' program that collects news and newsfeeds will be a strong contender in the RSS aggregator arena, but only after the bugs are ironed out. The toolbar interface can be docked to any side of your desktop or as a browser toolbar. Most of your options and feed lists are located at the RealTime Web site via your chosen browser. As you surf the Internet, RealTime detects feeds and offers the ability to add selected feeds to your list. The toolbar is also configurable to scroll or fade-in headlines from a selected category (such as Top Stories, News, or Sports). A quick glance lets you determine if a particular news item is worth exploring.
We like the toolbar interface and find the automatic feed detector to be a welcome feature. The Web-based interface at the RealTime site is also easy to understand and well designed. Unfortunately, we ran into several problems while trying to use RealTime's features. Often the program wouldn't detect feeds we knew to exist, including those at CNET Download.com. Other times, when we would attempt to add an existing feed, RealTime would tell us we already had the feed in our list when a subsequent check proved that was not the case. Overall, we think the RealTime combination of desktop toolbar and Web-based interface will eventually be an excellent way to receive and organize your newsfeeds. However, until the bugs are fixed it is difficult to recommend it over other newsreaders.
RealTime is a free desktop toolbar, news reader and screensaver that brings up-to-the-minute personalized information and images to the desktop. The program integrates with Web browsers to give users one-click access to their favorite stocks, weather, news, and blogs directly from their desktop. The screensaver rotates through favorite headlines along with their accompanying photos or images. When a user visits a favorite Web site, the RealTime toolbar automatically displays which feeds are available from that Web site.