Thursday, January 04, 2007

Fanning the Flames of Your RSS Addiction

Kent and I each bought a MacHeist bundle, which was a Good Thing and brought me lots of new apps to explore. I let Kent choose my Pangea game since he'd be the one playing it, but yesterday I dug into NewsFire, the shareware RSS reader that was part of the bundle.

I've been using NetNewsWire Lite, which was doing a pretty good job of meeting my needs. I didn't expect this one to be very different, but since it wasn't free, I expected it to have a few more bells and whistles. I decided to give it a whirl.

What a whirl! What it does best is keep your unread feeds at the top of the list so you don't waste time scrolling through them. To do this, as soon as you finish reading one feed, it drops down the list and the next unread feed slides into first place. At first all this motion is a bit disconcerting, but that feeling soon gives way to appreciation for how efficient this is.

Another thing it does well is grouping. I was able to easily organize my feeds into groups, and now as I add new feeds, I get a nice drop down menu that lets me select which group to add them to.

It has good keyboard shortcuts to make your feed reading efficient. Many of its behaviors can be configured from the preference pane. The more I use it, the more I find the software becomes invisible because it is doing its job well.

The MacHeist deal is over, but you can buy Newsfire at the NewsFire website.