Tuesday, January 4, 2005

Playing with Newsgator

After being a big fan of Sharpreader (for reasons noted here), I’ve gone in search of a new aggregator to read my RSS feeds. Sharpreader’s performance had degraded recently, causing my computer to slow down while it processed my list of subscriptions. I tried contacting the author, but as Jack noted recently, development for Sharpreader seems to have slowed down precipitously.

Since I made the switch to Outlook late last year, I decided to give Newsgator another look. So far this morning, I’m really impressed. I liked that I could set up an account with Newsgator Online Services in advance of installing Newsgator Outlook Edition, then simply sync up Outlook to have all of my subscriptions. (Thankfully, Sharpreader can export its subscriptions in OPML so Newsgator was able to easily import them.)

The plugin for Movable Type is great (I’m actually writing this post in Outlook, the plugin handles the back-end process of adding it to the blog), though I’d like it to have a way of grabbing the list of categories from Movable Type rather than handing off a category entered in the “categories” box of the Outlook item (the former would ensure consistency, the latter invites typographical errors). It’s a minor issue though — in all, I’m set up and reading my subscriptions again in less than a half hour of configuration time.

What’s cool about all of this is that I can view my subscriptions in Outlook when I’m at my desk, or from a browser by simply going to Newsgator Online, which is similar in approach to Bloglines. Newsgator also offers premium editions — for mobile (PDA, phone), e-mail (any POP3-compliant mail client can be a news aggregator) and Media Center (I’m sticking with my TiVo setup at home, but I can see how this would be cool, especially for feeds that use enclosures to deliver media). In all, very, very slick.

1 comment:

  1. Yep, I've moved back to Newsgator as well. For those that read a lot of blogs, the biggest drawback is that NG doesn't understand the concept of folders within an OPML file. And I really like the threading that SharpReader does (did).

    If you need a different WYSIWYG interface to MT, I have been using BlogJet, though it isn't perfect either. I also looked at MovablePoster, which is less pretty. Both of these grab categories from your blog.