How do you keep up with the latest news? And how do you weed out what you don’t care for? Do you scan the newspaper, visit different websites, or do you watch TV news? Isn’t that difficult and time consuming?
A more convenient way is to bring all sources you care for together in one place. That could be a website or a RSS reader. In this article, I introduce four excellent and free desktop news ticker applications that will stream custom news right to your desktop.
If you just want quality news from a reliable source and cannot be bothered to set up your own feeds, you’ll be very pleased with the BBC’s Desktop Ticker. It’s easy to set up and you can choose news topics from a long list of news and sport feeds. Upon its first launch, it will guide you through every step of setting it up properly.
The ticker has two options. You can either view the latest news headlines in a ticker at the bottom or top of your desktop. Or you can receive hourly updates.
The hourly update contains a list of headlines in the menu on the left and a summary of the selected headline in the window to the right. You can snooze the hourly updates for up to two hours.
From the system tray icon, you can open the Content Options window. This is where you make your selection of categories and customize the ticker. For example, you can change the scrolling speed under Ticker Settings in the bottom right.
Overall, this is a simple and convenient free desktop news ticker that is quick and easy to set up. The big drawback of this client is that you cannot add custom feeds.
Like BBC’s tool, CNN Desktop News launches with a step-by-step guide to discover all options and features. While the design is refreshingly different, both clients offer almost identical features.
Alerts can be received via a separate alert window (displayed below) or a desktop ticker or both. Through the system tray icon you can access further ticker options. For example, news can scroll horizontally or vertically.
The crucial difference compared to the BBC Desktop Ticker is the option to add custom RSS feeds and personalize CNN’s Desktop News.
Taken together, CNN’s Desktop News client offers many useful options and features, while still being extremely easy to set up.
For those of you who use Adobe Air, Snackr might be an interesting app.
After completing the installation process you can import an OPML feed list, add feeds manually, or kick it off with a sample feed set. Once you’re done setting up, Snackr will horizontally scroll your feeds’ headlines at the bottom of your desktop. When you click on a headline, the scrolling stops and a window with a summary pops up. You can click on “View Post” to read the entire story online.
Menu options from left to right: add a feed, access the Options window, collapse the feed, quit Snackr.
Snackr was previously reviewed by T.J. in his article Snackr – Fancy Feed Reader.
Are you a social media addict? NewsBliss streams YouTube videos, Twitter updates, podcasts, and of course news to your desktop. You can manually add feeds, import from OPML, select feeds from NewsBliss and CNET preset feeds, set up tags and users for scanning YouTube and Flickr, and enter keywords for Google News & Video and eBay.
Click on a headline to view a story summary and click on the summary’s headline to read the entire article in your browser.
You can also set up RSS feeds, including news in the Google Desktop (Aibek: Google Desktop – Loaded Search Tool for Your PC and More) Sidebar or in KlipFolio (Tina: Klip The We to Your Desktop with Klip Folio).
How do you preferably consume news?