RSS Readers: The half-final result

After about 40minutes of telephone support with Apple Care I finally made a decision what RSS reader I want to buy. For those of you who haven’t read any of my previous posts about this topic or simply simply are too lazy to do so ;) here a short listing of all my alternatives:

  • NewsFire: Shareware (16EUR), a very simple and fast interface, small problems with exporting and importing feeds that I can live with, the best sidebar I’ve ever seen.
  • NetNewsWire: Shareware (25USD), offers everything you’d normally want and need and more. Also very fast.
  • ViennaRSS: OpenSource (free), features you’d expect. It’s more or less like a Liferea for MacOSX… Maferea :P

And I’ve chosen NewsFire for a few simple reasons:

  • It is extremely fast and feels even faster than NetNewsFire
  • The sidebar gives me the best overview of what’s really new
  • Unlike NNN it let’s the user know that there are new posts by letting the dock icon jump. NNN only updates the unread-item-number in the dock.
  • Spotlight integration

But is all this really worth 16EUR compared to simply using ViennaRSS and living with it’s few (but for me important) shortcomings? I think so. But first: What are my problems with ViennaRSS that made me looking for alternatives:

  • It has often small performance breakdowns where jumping from one post to another takes up to 3 seconds, which is too slow for me.
  • The sidebar is only there to show what feeds you’ve subscribed to and now put them in any real relationship, so it’s easy to simply overlook a new post if you’re not using the “New items” folder which is IMO not as comportable as seeing the whole thing in the sidebar.
  • The AppleScript exporting is at least for me broken

At least the last item can’t really be solved with NewsFire so I’ll probably try some other approaches in the next week or so, but all the other problems don’t exist in NewsFire and NNN. So why don’t I spend a little bit more money and get NNN? Sometimes I want things to be small and simple and this is where NewsFire comes in. It gets the job done without offering anything that I wouldn’t use anyway. For example NewsFire has Podcast support and lets you download enclosures automatically. NNN offers this too but also makes the distinction between podcasts and other content enclosed in a post. I would never really need this so I can absolutely live with NewsFire’s support for enclosures.

But my main reason for getting NewsFire is its sidebar which can be configured to sort the feeds in it on the fly by the latest unread items contained, which simply makes it much easier for me to see what’s new.

Well, I’m quite sure that I will also find with NewsFire enough details that annoy me, … but wouldn’t the world be boring if there were only perfect programs out there? ;)

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