As a writer for Nerd Approved, I follow around 200 news feeds a day to stay on top of the latest information. Naturally, I need I robust RSS reader to handle the job – and while web based services like Bloglines and Google Reader have been just fine in this respect, I have been actively searching for a desktop solution.
The other day I came across the Vienna open source RSS / Atom Reader for Mac OSX, and so far I have been pleased with what I’ve seen.
- Subscribe to Atom/RSS news feeds and podcasts.
- Simple and intuitive user interface.
- Built-in tabbed browser.
- Smart folders for organising related feed articles.
- Custom article display styles.
- Three separate reading layouts.
- Blogging integration.
- Filter the displayed articles.
- Manual reordering of the subscription list.
- Full AppleScript support.
- Localised into several languages.
Pros: Vienna is highly customizable, the interface is clean and easy to use, the layout allows you to browse through tons of articles extremely fast, the integration with blogging software like Ecto, MarsEdit, and Xjournal is a fantastic touch, refreshes can be scheduled, initiated manually, or activated on an individual feed to feed basis, and the unread article count in the dock is definitely useful.
Cons: Built in browser is based on the Safari web engine – which is fine because I like Safari, but it lacks much of its functionality. Not being able to open new tabs, use bookmarks or auto-discover feeds is problematic, which is why I have my preferences set to open external links in my default Firefox browser.
All in all, Vienna is the best freeware RSS reader that I have tried thus far. The folks at Vienna seem to be committed to putting out the best product possible, so I have no doubt that any shortcomings will be corrected in no time. However, if you are a Mac user and don’t mind spending a little cash for a top of the line RSS reader, I highly recommend Newsfire for $18.99.