RSS or Real Simple Syndication, is an increasingly popular way to follow news on the Internet. By subscribing to an XML or RSS link, a user can receive all the latest information from multiple sources in one page. Online RSS readers like Google Reader, Bloglines or Rojo are now very popular among users yet you can also use an external RSS reader like Feeddemon to keep up with the flow of information.
Feeddemon is easy to install and although it will ask you for a Newsgator account, you can still launch it even if you don’t have one. The program can import all of your previous subscriptions or it can suggest new feeds to you in all sorts of categories like business, sports or entertainment.
Once launched, the program automatically downloads the latest posts. Feeds are saved in different categories so that you know where to find them. You can also use the search function to find a post containing a particular word. Thanks to the custom news watch, you can get Feeddemon to find news according to certain keywords. This is extremely useful if you’re doing a research paper or investigating a particular topic.
The program window includes a browser window, so you won’t need to open up your internet browser to read your feeds. Feeddemon also supports tabs, allowing you to keep a good deal of posts open for future reading. If you want to save posts, you can flag them, save them as favourites or create a newsbin to store similar articles.
Apart from letting you customize the age limit of new posts and the amount that appears daily, you can use the Clean Up Wizard to get rid of older or unread posts. This is extremely useful as, with so much information being handled, it’s easy to clutter up your newsreader with irrelevant posts.
Feeddemon handles podcasts just like any other RSS feed, however, to play them, either you’ll have to open up the MP3 file in a browser window or download it and play it with the MP3 player of your choice. It would have been more user-friendly if Feeddemon had included an embedded media player to play podcasts.
If you’re on the move, you can still check your feeds stored in Feeddemon online through your Newsgator account. If you don’t have one, take a few seconds to sign up as it’ll also let you use other Newsgator tools like Feedstation.
Apart from this full range of features, the real update in version 2.1 is that Feeddemon has finally integrated the social networking aspect. You can now configure your default blog publisher and send interesting posts to your blog or to delicious and Digg.
We enjoyed using Feeddemon and were excited by all the freedom it gave users in managing their RSS feeds. The profusion of options in the interface can confuse first time users and we’ve suffered occasional lags when updating feeds, yet that’s quite common with any RSS reader. Feeddemon is a top choice external RSS reader which any news junkie will quickly get addicted to. If you’re not so hooked on feeds, it might be too much to handle though.