Four months ago, we asked you if you liked your apps in the cloud or on the desktop. The votes were pretty evenly split between the cloud, the desktop, and no preference. One type of app that I’ve grown to appreciate more on the desktop than in the cloud is an RSS reader that syncs with Google Reader. Why? Speed and elegance. On the Mac and iOS, I’ve grown to love Reeder, which I’ve counted among my 10 essential Mac apps, and among 10 killer content consumption apps on the iPad. But what about Windows?
After much searching, and trying out other apps like Espresso Reader and RSS Bandit, I settled on FeedDemon Lite as the app that I’d use to sync with Google Reader. FeedDemon Lite works just how you’d anticpate an RSS reader to work. Your feed categories are in a left column, and can be expanded to show each subscription in that category. The main column, on the right, shows headlines and summaries for each feed within a category or subscription (depending on what you’ve selected in the left column). Clicking within the summary will expand the item to show the full post. Clicking again will collapse it. The images below show these two views.
FeedDemon lets you tag items, and also set up keywords to watch. When those keywords appear in a feed, FeedDemon will let you know. You can also subscribe to feeds directly from within FeedDemon.
FeedDemon gives you a variety of additional basic options, such as the ability to enable or disable thumbnails, and ability to choose whether to open external links within the app or in your external browser. You can also customize the appearance of the app with a few different themes, and by changing article colors and font sizes.
At the end of the day, FeedDemon is a functional, but not particularly attractive RSS reader. If you’ve used Reeder on either the iPad or a Mac, you might be put off by the appearance. Once you start using it, though, you’ll find that it gets the job done.
If you want to take a step up, you can get FeedDemon Pro for $19.95, which removes the ads from FeedDemon Lite, and comes with some additional features that weren’t enticing to me.
How do you consume your RSS feeds? Let us know in the comments.