Best of both worlds

Published August 5, 2009

I was converted to Google Reader a while ago, after I decided I needed to be able to check my RSS feeds while I was out and about. Until then, I had happily used FeedDemon, which then became Net News Wire when I switched to a Mac. It didn’t take long for me to be convinced that Google reading is the way to go, because:

  1. If you’re on a site, you can click the subscribe to feed button, add to Google and you’re done. Easy.
  2. You can rename feed subscriptions. I don’t think this is an unusual trait for a feed reader, but I have come across many issues with trying to rename feeds, particularly with them being overwritten every time you hit refresh. Google doesn’t seem to have this problem.
  3. My favourite thing about the Google reader is that you can have it only show you the items that are unread, thus eliminating the need to scroll through feeds that aren’t updating very often.
  4. It’s also very handy that you can look back through unread items if you so desire, going back even before you subscribed to the feed in the first place. To my knowledge, it also manages to go back in time further than what is on the feed itself, which blows my mind a little bit.
  5. I am not sure about the whole new sharing thing, but it seems kinda cool. I haven’t used it to any degree, but it looks like a new way of sharing somewhat equivalent to Delicious. Perhaps I’ll take a look soon.

Given these reasons, I am very unlikely to go back to a desktop only version of feed reading. However, I did look for a way to sync my feeds back to a desktop app, because I do feel more comfortable using apps when at home, rather than a browser.

I only found one, that was a little on the clunky side, so I gave up. Now the good people at NewsGator have updated Net News Wire so that a beta version can sync your Google feeds with your desktop feeds.

I did this straight away, and found that it merged everything together and made a complete mess. There were feeds on my NNW that I didn’t want but were now in Google. There were feeds from Google that I had renamed and thus came back down to NNW as a duplicate. It took a good half hour, maybe an hour, to sort the mess out completely. Hopefully, it will be worth it. I will report back.

I have already noticed it isn’t ideal to have to scroll through all the feeds on the desktop app, instead of only seeing what is unread. I will give it some more time though.

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