Brainstorms and Raves

Notes on Web Design, Development, Standards, Typography, Music, and More

Wed

4

JUN

2003

Upcoming FeedDemon RSS Reader and Organizer

Progress continues with Bradsoft’s upcoming FeedDemon, a Windows desktop RSS reader/organizer. Even in the private alpha version that I’m testing, Nick Bradbury’s trademark of a user-friendly interface and thoughtful features make this RSS reader and organizer one that stands out in a big way.

Bradsoft’s Nick Bradbury describes FeedDemon as “a Windows desktop RSS reader/organizer.” This alpha version doesn’t have a Help file or instructions yet, but I haven’t missed them anyway, as Nick tries to create software that’s easy enough to use even without reading the Help files.

In addition to organizing feeds easily, I can also click and drag a hyperlink to a “News Bin” to save for reference. I’ve created several news bins to organize references for upcoming weblog post topics, and I especially like and appreciate this feature.

But that’s not all. I can also set up dynamic “search channels” with FeedDemon’s integrated Feedster search to match a specific keyword or phrase. I’ve tested quite a few different keywords and phrases so far, and it’s clear that I’ll use that feature a lot, too.

In addition to the search channels, you can also set up “Watches” with keywords to track within your subscribed feeds. For example, I’m watching for CSS-related posts, and FeedDemon has done a good job so far of finding and tracking them for me. You can also watch for posts with your name or weblog, of course... lots of possibilities here. When you minimize FeedDemon, a tray icon will pop up with a bubble to let you know when feeds have updated, and there are optional unobtrusive sounds to alert you when feeds have updated.

The interface has three main windows, just like you see in the screenshots. The windows expand and collapse, and the browser window can be at the bottom of the screen or to one side. Per requests in the FeedDemon newsgroup, the IE6-based browser window has tabbed windows, which is a great feature. Clickable icons easily expand the browser window to visit a site and collapses to its previous window size with the same icon click. The optional “newspaper” view displays a specified number of Listing feeds in a newspaper-like format. The default number is 10 feeds, but you can change that if you wish.

There are plenty more features with FeedDemon, and while some of what I’ve written could change a bit before the final version is released, it’s a feature-rich, easy-to-use RSS reader and organizer. I know many of us have been anxiously awaiting FeedDemon’s release, and it won’t be much longer now. As soon as I know a release date I’ll definitely post it here, and I’m sure information will be posted at Bradsoft.com, too.

Everyone is invited to offer suggestions for FeedDemon via the public FeedDemon.beta newsgroup. I’m testing a private alpha version right now that Nick Bradbury has provided to just a few people, so that isn’t available to the public. Soon, though, a public beta version will be released to existing TopStyle users who wish to be beta testers. Check with the FeedDemon.beta newsgroup to see how things are going, too!

09:44 pm, pdt 4 June, 2003 Comments, Trackbacks ·

Categories: Software, Syndication

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