Caster

By Metaforge Free to try Editors' Rating

Editors' Review

Download.com Staff Feb 27, 2009

Caster's drab interface might be forgiven if it were capable of picking up news from more than one of its listed online sources, but the app failed that basic test.

You'll access the program through a system-tray icon. Left-click to bring up a small pane with scroll buttons to move back and forth between your selected news sources. By default, Voice of America is the only one listed, and headlines are displayed. You can click one to go to the full story on the source's site. Right-click to bring up Preferences, and you can select other news sources from a fairly big list that includes top sites such as CNN, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times. The process is very manual and doesn't seem logical. You have to select the genre from a pull-down menu, but only one is available, and you can't organize the entries or create other genres. However, every single news source lists the author as Metaforge and has the same message for Description telling you that no description is available. You can't add other news sources, your only option is to remove entries from Caster's list. Either we hit a particularly slow news day or there's something wrong with the program. Every news source except Voice of America gave us the same message that no new headlines were available. A quick check on the actual sites indicated the problem was definitely with Caster.

Our testers also experienced some issues when trying to refresh the program that caused it to shut down without warning. There are a host of free news readers in this category and they easily beat out this outdated and faulty app. You're limited to only three news sources during trial, but it won't be this restriction that puts Caster out of the running. Save your money and pass on Caster.

Full Specifications

What's new in version 1.0.8

General

Release November 7, 2008
Date Added April 7, 2006
Version 1.0.8

Operating Systems

Operating Systems Windows 2000, Windows 98, Windows Me, Windows, Windows XP, Windows NT
Additional Requirements Windows 98/Me/NT/2000/XP

Popularity

Total Downloads 2,027
Downloads Last Week 0
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Developer's Description

Caster is an exciting new application that brings headline news and information from your favorite Internet news sources directly to your desktop, and provides fast links to the stories that interest you most. You no longer have to surf numerous sites and search for the news you're interested in - Caster finds this information for you. When headline news occurs, Caster will inform you visibly and audibly. Version 1.0.8 may include unspecified updates, enhancements, or bug fixes.