Software

Review: FeedDemon 4.1 RSS newsreader for Windows

A quality RSS feed reader is essential for easy to read and follow formatting. Matthew Nawrocki reviews FeedDemon on those criteria.

RSS feeds are a great way to catch the latest news in whatever topic you desire, including a wide variety of topics like sports, politics, technology, and entertainment. A quality feed reader is essential to present the content in an easy to read and follow format.

Today, out of the countless feed readers that exist for Windows, I decided to give FeedDemon by NewsGator Technologies a spin. FeedDemon is considered to be one of the best feed readers for Windows that is still actively developed and maintained by the author.

  • Title: FeedDemon 4.1
  • Company: NewsGator Technologies
  • Product URL: http://feeddemon.com
  • Supported OS: Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8
  • Price: Free for Lite version / $19.95 for Pro version
  • Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5
  • Bottom Line: If you need a central hub to fulfill all of your RSS feed needs, NewsDemon is a nice modern feed reader that will suit the job nicely.

FeedDemon

After the software is installed, you are given a choice of letting FeedDemon import common RSS feeds for you automatically or letting you start with a clean slate with nothing loaded. Personally, I went ahead and had FeedDemon add the default feeds so that I could have all my bases covered out of the box.

In the main window, the aesthetic is nice and clean, making it easy to find what you are looking for. To add new feeds, you simply click the "Subscribe" button and add the appropriate URL. FeedDemon takes care of the rest by populating the feeds list and synchronizing new content.

One particularly interesting feature of FeedDemon is the Watch mode. What you can do is specify a set of keywords in a list and, whenever a particular feed brings in material that registers with any of your custom keywords, FeedDemon will collect matching content and save it for your perusal. If you want to get more precise results, you can limit watches within the context of titles or descriptions as well as character case matching.

If your inbox of feeds has an unread count that becomes grossly overwhelming, FeedDemon's Panic button allows you to automatically mark any older unread messages as already read, thus keeping the freshest information at the front.

Finally, if anything new comes in and you have the application window hidden away or minimized, helpful mini-notifications pop up right above the Windows system tray, notifying you of new content that just arrived, complete with titles and excerpts from content descriptions.

FeedDemon Lite is free for the asking and it is ad supported by means of a small dynamic ad in the bottom-left corner of the main window that refreshes periodically. For more adventurous and hardcore RSS users, FeedDemon Pro is offered for the reasonable price of $19.95 and this version provides extras, such as prefetching, content filters, UI customizations called "Newspaper Styles" and secure feeds, which allows for subscribing to authenticated feeds located via Twitter OAuth or a corporate Intranet.

If you own a previous version of FeedDemon that goes back one version number, you can elect to purchase an upgrade license of the Pro version, which would run you about half as much at $9.95. All minor updates within a major version are free for Pro customers as well.

Bottom line

At the end of the day, both FeedDemon Lite and Pro are excellent tools for retrieving and reading RSS delivered content. The Lite version is great for basic usage that doesn't use excessive nag-ware that would bog the experience down and the Pro version delivers some nifty extras that are worth considering for the price of admission; if you are a true RSS junkie that is.

Also read:

About

An avid technology writer and an IT guru, Matthew is here to help bring the best in software, hardware and the web to the collective consciousness of TechRepublic's readership. In addition to writing for TechRepublic, Matthew currently works as a Cus...

3 comments
hometoy
hometoy

I have too much already in my Google Reader to switch to anything "local". I don't need those feeds offline and if I have to wait for everything to download instead of only pulling up the description when I open it, it would make it take longer and longer. Now if a feed reader is able to synchronize with Google Reader, so if I read it locally then Google Reader marks it as read, and vice-verse. That I may be willing to try out.

francois.lachance
francois.lachance

Given the freely available RSS readers in smart phones or the web based Google Reader, I don't see why anyone would bother using something like FeedDemon (never mind actually paying $20 for it). Surely, you could have picked a more useful software to review...

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

Do you still get your news via RSS feeds? What is your tool of choice? Has Twitter and other social media sites made RSS feeds nearly obsolete?