E L S U A ~ A KM Blog Thinking Outside The Inbox by Luis Suarez

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Vienna – The K.I.S.S. Approach to RSS / Atom Feed Reading for the Mac

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One of the things that I have been very conscious about this time around over the last few weeks, while I am putting things together to make my MacBook Pro my default work machine vs. the Windows notebook, is to actually apply the K.I.S.S. principle. Something that perhaps I should have done a long while ago, but that I didn’t. This time though I am learning my lessons and throughout the entire process I am keeping up with that minimalist flavour to get the most out of the Mac without having to clutter it right away.

And when I put myself to the test I knew that things were not going to be easy in certain areas. One of those being using a competent RSS / Atom feed reader client, one of the various essential tools that I couldn’t live without nowadays. On my Windows machine, and over the course of the last few years, I have probably tried out for a number of weeks / months several RSS / Atom feed clients. Most of the times running concurrently to test them out and see which one would make the winner.

For the last few months, this winner has been, still is, Omea Pro. To me, it is one of the best feed readers for offline reading available out there! No doubt! I would recommend it any time to anyone who may want to get things going. Still do. However, on the Mac things are different.

To start with, there is no Omea Pro for the Mac, so I had to dig in quite a bit and try out a number of different feed reader clients that I have been getting through recommendations, performing several searches or just by bumping into their Web sites and decided to try them, just in case. That is how I got to try out endo, NetNewsWire, Shrook, Google Reader, NewsFire, BlogBridge, etc. etc. The list goes on and on and on.

Overall, most of those readers do a pretty decent job. However, none of them cut it for me for one reason or another. Surprisingly for something so relatively simple as basic functionality. Perhaps at some point in time I will detail why each of those feed readers fails to meet my needs at the moment. And this is where Vienna comes into place, because after having played around with for a few days I can share with you all that it has now become my default RSS / Atom feed reader for the Mac.

You may be wondering why, right? Well, because apart from being freeware, which we all know is an attractive option for us all on its own, it also applies the K.I.S.S. principle very nicely: subscribe to the feed, get the subscriptions / articles, read them, flag those you want to keep and delete the others. Believe or not, this is where most of the other feed readers I have tried failed to come up front with what I would call some key basic functionality: delete what you don’t need and keep what you just need.

It may be pretty simple, but you would be amazed as to how many of those readers would not allow you to delete items you are not interested in. You would expect that the tools would allow you to keep things clean and tidy, but alas, it is not going to happen with most of them. On the other hand, Vienna does this job beautifully with just a single key stroke, which for filtering and quickly scanning through feeds is just … ideal!

So much so that I have been using it for the last week or so and it has become one of those tools I cannot live without in my Mac. Just brilliant, how can such a piece of simple software can get the job done without the hassle, the clutter, or complicated features that most of us are not going to make use of. Yes, I knew I was right when I decided to go minimalist on the Mac, and so far the software I have put together to be as productive as ever, if not more, has been working out like a charm. Vienna has got all you ever wanted to have in an RSS / Atom feed reader client and before you pay some $$$ for some piece of software I can certainly recommend you give it a try. I bet you will stop your search there. Just like I did. For good.

Vienna, simplicity at its best on the Mac!

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  1. I’d encourage you to look again at Google Reader. You can effectively do the same thing AND share them through the Google shared items feature AND you can share on Facebook with the FB Google Shared Items app which then means you can see what your friends are sharing and their friends as well. I think something like 5K people are on that app.

  2. For the Windows platform, I had written up the reasons that I switched to Feedreader after using RSS Bandit for 6 months.
    Six months earlier, when I was revisiting my RSS reader choices, RSS Owl was one of the final contenders. Of all of the choices, RSS Owl is cross-platform, so anyone who switches between Mac, Windows and Linux platforms may appreciate a reader that works on all of them. I see that they’re working on version 2 and are at milestone 6, which suggests that they’ll soon have an updated version that may be worth reviewing.

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