One of my biggest problems following blogs and websites, even though I have a favorite feed reader, is that I forget to check the feed reader altogether. For me at least, the “out of sight out of mind” principle rings true. Am I alone here?
That is why I decided to try out a new desktop feed reader. This time it is a desktop application and, as it turns out, it is open source. The reason I think it may be the answer to my problem is that the feeds are displayed directly on my desktop.
It is called Feedling. Join me as we take a first time look at a little known feed reader and perhaps you too will find it useful.
Where To Find Feedling
Being open source, Feedling happens to be hosted on SourceForge.
You can check out the Feedling desktop feed reader and download it from this page. This page will tell you a few things.
- Feedling is a Windows based program. It’s been tested on Windows XP, Vista, and 7.
- It can handle several types of feeds including RSS 1.0, RSS 2.0, RDF and Atom.
- It is licensed under the GNU GPLv3 license.
- Some of the features are listed (which we will be going through in this article). Check out the page for more information, screenshots, and the download.
Installing Feedling is very basic. Just follow the normal program installation prompts. You will then find Feedling listed in your programs menu in the start menu.
Simply open the program to begin the process to read your feeds on your desktop.
Setting Up the Feedling Desktop Feed Reader.
When you open the program, you will find an orange icon in your tray.
Right-click the icon and click “Configuration.” This is where you can add feeds and change the way they look, such as the font size and color.
I didn’t even need to consult instructions to figure Feedling out, it was that easy. Add feeds by clicking the “Add…” button.
As you can see, not only can you insert the feed URL from this window, but you can also modify how it looks. I’d set up the hover color to be different because the reader doesn’t change the courser upon hovering the links. You can even change how often it updates. This is pretty straight forward stuff.
Next, head back to the original configuration page and let’s see what the “Duplicate…” button is all about. Simply highlight one of your feeds (preferably one that you like how it looks on your desktop) and click the button.
As you can see, what is actually being duplicated is how the feed looks and is configured. This saves a lot of time because you don’t have to redo all the settings for each feed you enter if you want them all to look the same. Trust me, I will be making serious use of this feature.
Also at the original configuration window you can edit and delete feeds and even import and export subscriptions from and to another feed reader (XML files).
One other issue I ran into and figured out on my own had to do with the placement of each feed on my desktop. When I first set up more than one feed, they showed on the desktop on top of each other. You can place them anywhere you want to when you are in “Move Mode.” Simply right-click the orange icon and choose “Move Mode” and when you’re done, go back and click it again to leave it.
Read Your Feeds From Your Desktop.
I personally like this because now I don’t have to open or navigate to some reader to find my feeds. They’re all right there on my desktop. As you can see it really isn’t obtrusive and I can still see my wallpaper pretty well.
I’ll be soon adding more feeds and making some larger than others according to importance but you get the general idea. Feedling is pretty simple and minimalistic. I find it solving at least one of my problems (remember “out of sight out of mind”?).
What are your thought about Feedling? Could a simple reader like this help you remember to check your feeds?