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Last post Author Topic: Lightweight alternatives to FeedDemon  (Read 13555 times)

nosh

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Lightweight alternatives to FeedDemon
« on: March 26, 2007, 01:42:21 AM »
I've been using FeedDemon and though I love the functionality it provides it's a complete resource hog. I'm subscribed to around 50 feeds.  FeedDemon, though almost perfect, does a lot more that I want it to.

I'm interested in trying out other standalone RSS readers (not web-based ones or Firefox plugins)

The only things that matters are:
 - It should have a well designed user interface (ie. not too much of a pain to navigate)
 - It should be relatively light on resources coz I have my feed reader running all the time.







Darwin

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Re: Lightweight alternatives to FeedDemon
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2007, 07:58:11 AM »
I use FeedDemon as well, though I don't have it running all the time. I monitor 18 feeds with it and just fired it up. While it was checking the feeds CPU usage varied from 0-4%, RAM utiltization peaked at 41,760 K before settling at 30,640 K and VM is steady at 22,556 K. Footprint has never seemed a problem to me and these figures don't alarm me. However, as noted, I don't have it running all the time. I *think* Zaine started a thread here long ago about an open source feed reader that he, and a lot of other people, loved... Right, off to find it!
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Darwin

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Re: Lightweight alternatives to FeedDemon
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2007, 08:09:57 AM »
Wow! I usually have a hard time finding what I want via the search feature (I always have such a vague idea of the term or name that I'm after) but "RSS" yielded what I was after as the second hit:

GreatNews

and then a bunch of others, two of which seem semi-relevant:

ALertBear (sounds like it's more hungry than FeedDemon, though...

People also discussed Omea Reader in the fall - there are both free and Pro versions available. There seem to be some resource issues with it as well, though, and it's NOT a streamlined, mean RSS reading machine but a VERY full featured app.

Hope something here bears fruit!

"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin
« Last Edit: March 26, 2007, 08:19:49 AM by Darwin »

nosh

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Re: Lightweight alternatives to FeedDemon
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2007, 02:18:58 PM »
Thanks! I said FeedDemon is a bit of a hog coz I recently installed Process Tamer and it 'tames' FeedDemon pretty often. I did monitor FeedDemon in Process Viewer & my findings were similar to yours. I'm kinda attached to it and skeptical if I'll like another reader enough to have it swap places with FD but I'm going to try out all the reccos nonetheless.

Nighted

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Re: Lightweight alternatives to FeedDemon
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2007, 03:45:17 PM »
RSSOwl

Feed Reader

Feed Reader has a cool layout the lets you view all news from one catagory on one page with all graphics...pretty cool. It also has a portable install option.

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tinyvillager

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Re: Lightweight alternatives to FeedDemon
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2007, 04:04:10 PM »
RSSMate
http://angusj.com/rssmate/

Pretty good if your only using say 20 or 30 feeds.


Review  :)
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nosh

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Re: Lightweight alternatives to FeedDemon
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2007, 11:30:03 AM »
Tried out quite a few programs here and GreatNews seems to be head and shoulders above the rest. I've noticed a dramatic increase in speed over FeedDemon (I'm subbed to the same feeds in both) - & it optionally synchs with Bloglines (which I prefer to NewsGator).

One would expect a program that's so quick to be simplistic in its functionality, but it's not! It has just the right array of features, IMO. The only thing I miss is the Expando viewing style provided by FeedDemon and I've requested for the same on their official forum.

All in all a very well crafted software, I urge anyone with more than a handful of feeds to give it a try.

Thanks to everyone who replied.

Darwin

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Re: Lightweight alternatives to FeedDemon
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2007, 12:10:36 PM »
All right, Nosh, stop twisting my arm! I'm off to download it, too...  :P
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Darwin

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Re: Lightweight alternatives to FeedDemon
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2007, 12:56:32 PM »
Hmmm.... Interesting. Absolutely no arguments from me: this is a very impressive application. However, I don't sense any real difference in performance in comparison to FeedDemon.

I exported my FeedDemon feeds and cleaned out the default stuff that GreatNews ships with and then imported my feeds. Shut both FeedDemon and GreatNews down and then started 'em back up again. This is what I see in Task Manager immediately after they have finished loading, and while they are updating feeds:

TM shot of Great News and FeedDemon.pngLightweight alternatives to FeedDemon

So, the numbers suggest that GreatNews is somewhat lighter on resources (most significantly VM), but the seat of the pants test (in my case) has them neck in neck. I suspect that this all has to do with the small number of feeds that I follow (18)... I guess I'll just have to play around with it for a day or two and see how I feel then.

FWIW I am on a 1.4 Ghz Centrino notebook with a gig of RAM and 64 MB shared video memory. I tested Great News 1.0.0.379 alongside FeedDemon 2.1 with Outlook 2003 minimized to the system tray and Maxthon 1.59 minimized to the taskbar.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin
« Last Edit: March 27, 2007, 01:17:55 PM by Darwin »

Ampa

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Re: Lightweight alternatives to FeedDemon
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2007, 04:37:16 PM »
I'm not a huge user of RSS feeds... but the few to which I do subscribe go straight into Opera's inbuilt feed reader.

I don't know what features people need in a feed reader... I just like to know when there is a new post, and to be able to see it! Occasionally I guess that I sort or search but not often. And for that reason having the tool integrated seamlessly with my browser is ideal.

Slightly off topic: I have been a fan of Opera for many years, but recently defected in favour of FireFox - which I loved, and spent a month customising until I had it just the way I wanted it... then out of curiosity went back to look at Opera one afternoon to discover that it did everything my well tuned FF install did (and more) pretty much straight out of the box - plus it is so much quicker, and seems more stable too.

f0dder

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Re: Lightweight alternatives to FeedDemon
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2007, 05:22:39 PM »
Darwin: which column # on your screenshot is the Private Bytes statistic? That's the most important one to monitor, then working set size.
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Darwin

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Re: Lightweight alternatives to FeedDemon
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2007, 06:15:24 PM »
Sorry, f0dder in my haste I neglected to label my screenshot. From left to right the numbers are cpu - % utilized, RAM usage, peak RAM usage, and finally Private Bytes. So, short answer, the number at the far right of the picture...
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Nighted

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Re: Lightweight alternatives to FeedDemon
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2007, 06:59:33 PM »
Just checked out GreatNews. It's only been a couple minutes, but it has some of the great features of RSSOwl with the Java dependencies. Also has the full view style of Feedreader.

Impressed so far.....except for the options tabs...when you click around on them, some of them disappear!!!  :mad:
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« Last Edit: March 27, 2007, 07:06:10 PM by Nighted »

cnewtonne

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Re: Lightweight alternatives to FeedDemon
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2007, 10:32:28 PM »
I've tried almost every one out there. The top 3 where FD, GreatNews, and Awasu. GreatNews was truly the best. Even though it is freeware, but I would've paid to own it.

Nod5

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Re: Lightweight alternatives to FeedDemon
« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2007, 02:22:48 PM »
I also think GreatNews is impressive. One great thing I noticed while testdriving it is that it allows different "expiration dates" for different feeds. That´s great since there are so many types of feeds. Some feeds I treat almost like email and so want to store some items indefinitely. For other feeds, I just want to se the most recent 10 or so items in the flow.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2007, 02:24:32 PM by Nod5 »

nosh

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Re: Lightweight alternatives to FeedDemon
« Reply #15 on: March 29, 2007, 04:13:06 AM »
I did a slightly more thorough resource utilization comparison betw. Feeddemon & Greatnews.
The graphs are over a span of around 10 minutes. I had both apps minimized and they both sat silent for a while, consuming next to nothing. Then I gave them the 'Retrieve all feeds' command from the system tray.

http://img141.imageshack.us/img141/9176/clipboard01ka4.jpg
Lightweight alternatives to FeedDemon

FeedDemon jumped to around 23% CPU usage, then seemed to settle down a little and then surprisingly jumped to over 40% & held it there for several minutes... it's still consuming >40% CPU as I type this. Notice the tiny bump, so easy to miss,  on the GreatNews CPU utilization graph, it peaked to less than 5% and kept it there for the 10 seconds or so that it took it to retrieve the feeds settling back to 0% once it was done.

I don't know exactly what FeedDemon is doing after it retrieves the feeds - looks almost like a bug to me. The RAM consumption really doesn't matter so much but when a single app holds on to nearly 1/2 my CPU power and doesn't let go it's definitely a problem. I've used Process Explorer to run these tests and am using FeedDemon v2.1.0.10

Could somebody please replicate these tests & confirm or disprove these results?

urlwolf

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Re: Lightweight alternatives to FeedDemon
« Reply #16 on: March 29, 2007, 11:04:06 AM »
Slightly off topic: I have been a fan of Opera for many years, but recently defected in favour of FireFox - which I loved, and spent a month customising until I had it just the way I wanted it... then out of curiosity went back to look at Opera one afternoon to discover that it did everything my well tuned FF install did (and more) pretty much straight out of the box - plus it is so much quicker, and seems more stable too.

This is almost exactly my experience too.
I paid for opera v.5 and kept it as my main browser up to version 9, tried FF for a month, hunted for extensions, and then went back to Opera.

Opera is probably THE best application I have ever seen.

The only thing I miss is a del.icio.us taskbar for better del.icio.us integration (using standard bookmarks seems just silly).


BTW, If you haven't experimented with Opera widgets, I'd suggest you to do so. They may replace 2-3 applications that run in your taskbar already. For me it was a clock bar, a 24 hr timer, a weather program, and some other time estimation gadgets. Total RAM saved: ~40 mb. (plus freed space in the taskbar!)

iphigenie

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Re: Lightweight alternatives to FeedDemon
« Reply #17 on: March 29, 2007, 11:20:53 AM »
I must say I use Opera for my feeds. I have about 100 or so...
I keep some feed posts for reference and I find it nice that the global mail search will get feed entries and newsgroup posts too.

Nod5

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Re: Lightweight alternatives to FeedDemon
« Reply #18 on: May 20, 2007, 04:32:05 AM »
I noticed RSSOwl version 2.0 is in development. They have a very informative five part flash demo (made in wink) up at http://boreal.rssowl.org/ . Some really interesting new features have been added (group tagging, smart saved searches as filters and much more). I think RSSOwl will be a really strong competitor to GreatNews in the freeware slot. I'm not sure how it compares with GreatNews resource wise though, since it uses Java.

iphigenie

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Re: Lightweight alternatives to FeedDemon
« Reply #19 on: May 20, 2007, 09:44:18 AM »
opera has starting mixing up my feeds / i.e. the posts from one feed also appear on another.

This is obviously not good(TM)

Darwin

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Re: Lightweight alternatives to FeedDemon
« Reply #20 on: May 20, 2007, 03:47:08 PM »
I'm still with Feeddemon 2 - the resource utilization doesn't seem like a big deal to me when assessed relative to its functionality. As noted above, I tend to open it up, read all of the feeds that have been updated since the last time I had it open, and close it again... I've tried a number of alternatives, including GreatNews, and keep coming back to Feeddemon.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

justice

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Re: Lightweight alternatives to FeedDemon
« Reply #21 on: May 20, 2007, 06:47:32 PM »
The thing is, I don't want to read the same news twice, so a local RSS reader needs to synchronize between home and work. Or I use a web one. However I then start to add al my feeds (at least 30) then notice how much time it costs to catch up, so then I don't bother reading any. It's just impossible.

tranglos

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Re: Lightweight alternatives to FeedDemon
« Reply #22 on: May 27, 2007, 04:30:00 PM »
How about Google Reader?
http://www.google.com/reader/view/

I bought FeedDemon a long time ago, before the author got bought out (again! Remind me never to buy anything by Nick Bradbury, even though he's an awesome coder). I liked it, but it was always sluggish, and the newer releases even more so. I also missed feaures, like easy copying URL to clipboard, or saving images. Obviously these features are directly accessible from any browser, and indeed the browser is the "native" environment for RSS. Once I tried Google Reader, I never looked back.

Google Reader might be a little cumbersome if you had hundreds of feeds, but I'm subscribed to about 30, and for that the interface is very convenient. One nice touch: you can play podcasts directly in the reader, or you can download the source file - Google always supplies a direct link to the file.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2007, 04:31:31 PM by tranglos »

nosh

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Re: Lightweight alternatives to FeedDemon
« Reply #23 on: May 28, 2007, 06:12:04 AM »
Google Reader is an excellent alternative - I have my feeds mirrored there just in case I need to check them when I'm on another PC. However, for someone who has a slow connection (256 kbps) I find an offline app like FeedDemon way more responsive that Google Reader.

The high CPU/memory consumption bug I was facing in FeedDemon is an acknowledged one and can be avoided by disabling HTTP 1.1 in IE (I don't know the technical implications but doing this doesn't seem to have had any noticable effect on my browsing.)

I still maintain that GreatNews is an excellent alternative, it's free, seems to be very efficiently coded and all the controls (collapsible trees, etc) respond quicker than their counterparts in FeedDemon. The only reason I'm still sticking with FeedDemon is their "Expando" view (a feature, sadly lacking in GreatNews) which makes reading much more user friendly. I'm dumping FeedDemon the day GreatNews incorporates this feature but for now it's very much the #1 app.

ak_

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Re: Lightweight alternatives to FeedDemon
« Reply #24 on: May 28, 2007, 08:49:52 AM »
I'm still looking for the perfect rss reader. I thought i had found it with Omea Reader, which is really great but eats way too much memory. I don't really like web-based readers because i like being noticed of new posts, especially new comments on my blog (in this case, i like to have some kind of balloon poping up or something ...). Greatnews is nice but it misses a filter system (ie in Omea Reader, i have a "Unread" filter and a "Unread blogs" filter).

Yesterday i ran into this and i'm thinking about making a AHK script to check new messages and comments on my Google Reader account (with tray notifications etc). Do you think there could be a way to log in and retrieve user ID (cookie) within the script itself ? I think it would be the tricky part.

PS : i know "Google Reader notifier" exists but it won't install on my machine.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2007, 08:53:15 AM by ak_ »