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rss feed readerIt’s a shame that Google Reader is being retired soon Google Reader's End Is Nigh: Prepare With These Alternative RSS Readers Google Reader's End Is Nigh: Prepare With These Alternative RSS Readers Google Reader is dead. By July the Internet's premier RSS service is shutting down forever, leaving users to find a replacement on their own. If you're looking for an equivalent to Google these are just... Read More , but it’s also a good time to realize that there are (and always have been) some incredibly viable alternatives to the service. I’d be lying if I said that I thought Google Reader was not the best web-based RSS feed reader available, but there are throngs of standalone RSS applications out there for your desktop or laptop.

If you’re being forced to look for a new solution to reading your RSS feeds, consider one of these! Dependency on the browser is something that really irks me about certain web-based services, and I’m pretty surprised that Google Reader itself never offered a desktop version of their RSS reader. With that in consideration, I’d like to show you one of my favorite RSS feed readers that runs separate from the browser.


Before even downloading QuiteRSS, there are several notable perks that should definitely be taken into consideration:

  • It’s run on Qt.
  • It’s cross-platform compatible.
  • It’s completely open source.

rss feed reader

On top of that, it’s got one of the most clean and elegant interfaces I’ve seen on an RSS reader. QuiteRSS is packed with quality features that you’d expect and require from a reader, but let’s set up a feed first and run through the motions just to show you easy working with this application really is.

Adding the MakeUseOf RSS feed is as simple as copying the feed’s URL and clicking Add. It will automatically be pasted within the field.


best rss reader

From here, all recent items will be displayed.

best rss reader

Now is a good time to note the Update Feed and Update All options in the toolbar. Although you are getting the freshest set of news when you first load a feed, these two buttons will respectively refresh a single RSS feed or refresh every RSS feed that you’ve run through QuiteRSS.

To the right of these options is a button to toggle the loading of images. If you’d prefer just news without pictures, clicking this button will do just that. Clicking it again will re-enable the loading of images in your feeds.

Clicking on a link in one of the RSS feed entries will load the URL within QuiteRSS’s Webkit browser. It is very smooth and I’ve had very few issues with rendering.

In the row above the entries, you’ll see icons that allow you to mark items as read, mark an entire feed as read, star or tag an item, share an item to Facebook, Evernote, and other services, filter news by status (unread, starred), and delete items.

best rss reader

Beneath the View menu, you’re able to select between various different application themes. These range from default “system” types to a few colors: green, orange, purple, pink, and gray. Above is an example of the System2 style. The difference is very subtle, but customization is important.

QuiteRSS’s options are extremely deep.

standalone rss reader

An application like an RSS reader is the type you want to keep active and open most of the time. That being said, it’s great that QuiteRSS works well with the Windows system tray 3 Applications To Add System Data & Indicators To Your System Tray [Windows] 3 Applications To Add System Data & Indicators To Your System Tray [Windows] The system tray is a pretty big deal in Windows. I love having an application that allows itself to dock there rather than just sit in my taskbar, because that gets cluttered quickly. There are... Read More . You’re able to customize how often it’s put in the tray and what your tray icon appears like. It’s convenient to be able to just peek into your tray and see the unread count for your feeds.

standalone rss reader

While QuiteRSS does offer a very quality built-in browser, make note that you’re completely able to use any external browser with the application.

Gmail has taught me how incredibly important labels can be, and if you’re a real RSS freak you know that organizing your feeds is a chore worth completing. You’re able to set up any amount of additional labels, use a custom icon, and change the text or background color of the row for entries belonging to a particular label.

rss feed reader

Last to mention, but certainly not least, is an incredibly extensive list of keyboard shortcuts Master These Universal Keyboard Shortcuts For Text Editing Master These Universal Keyboard Shortcuts For Text Editing After months of practicing, you have finally boosted your typing speed above that of a snail. You have finally got the hang of not looking at the keyboard for each character. You are no longer... Read More that QuiteRSS makes available to the user. Several defaults are set, but you can set a shortcut for anything. Marking feeds as read, starring items, setting labels, zooming, importing and exporting feeds, and opening an item in your external browser are just some of the things you can assign to a hotkey.

The QuiteRSS RSS feed reader offers nothing breathtaking or new to the world of standalone RSS readers, but it is executed properly. It is a reader worth checking out if powerful features and a quiet, clean design are high on your list of requirements.  Do you know of a better standalone reader or want to let me know what you think of QuiteRSS? Drop us a comment below.

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  1. suneo nobi
    April 15, 2013 at 10:28 am

    Does it support importing feeds from google reader?

  2. Lisa Santika Onggrid
    March 27, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    I like the interface. Maybe it's time to use RSS reader,eh?
    I just want one thing answered: can I comment on an article with RSS reader or should I open the webpage to do so? (which would be highly inconvenient since I like to comment on blogs and sites I follow)

  3. zach
    March 27, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    i think the best reader is RSS owl

  4. misho
    March 27, 2013 at 2:39 am

    Does anybody know whether any of the suggested Google Reader replacements has these features:

    "Mark all above/below as read"? I am having it as a Greasemonkey script and I am using it all the time...

  5. Chris Marcoe
    March 26, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    The article said: Try one of these. But, its only QuietRSS? Hmm... I've never used RSS. Maybe its time to start.

  6. Paul G
    March 26, 2013 at 2:44 pm
  7. Scott M
    March 26, 2013 at 10:52 am

    I'm checking out Feedly right now.I'll give this a go next.

  8. Darren Charles
    March 26, 2013 at 8:25 am

    I use an app called Snackr.
    It loads in a sidebar where it scrolls showing you the feeds you have subscribed to.

    • Scott M
      March 26, 2013 at 10:53 am

      Sounds interesting.I'll have a look.

  9. Richard F
    March 26, 2013 at 7:49 am

    Took a quick look . . seems nice. But I didn't see any way to synch across multiple computers or use with IOS/Android. Maybe could get by without mobile device synch, but no synch across any computers is deal breaker for me.

  10. Tomas
    March 26, 2013 at 7:33 am

    Thank you very much!
    Its a great tool eventually it replaces opera as my primary feed reader!

  11. James Johnston
    March 26, 2013 at 5:32 am

    I've been a big fan of Google reader since its release and have been trying out replacements such as feedly and few others and I haven't been all that happy.

    As for desktop readers, I am not a big fan and tried several others out in the past, but this one looks like its worth a try.

  12. Harshit Jain
    March 26, 2013 at 4:55 am

    I am using Pulse from Pokki and it is really great.

  13. bpcan
    March 26, 2013 at 4:45 am

    I have used Feed Demon for years and really like it. Like so many others i depended on Google Reader to keep my feeds synced between machines. I guess I now have to give up the sync feature, but I am now looking for a possible replacement since the Feed Demon's development has ended.
    I have looked at GreatNews, but did not quite like it. I am now getting familiar with QuiteRSS and so far I like what I see.

  14. Bilal Ahmed
    March 26, 2013 at 3:53 am

    i like web based rss reader then desktop

  15. Jeremy Garnett
    March 26, 2013 at 3:18 am

    I'll check this out after I've finished using FeedBooster to sort & tag my feeds

  16. Glenn
    March 26, 2013 at 3:06 am

    Don't forget to review Thunderbird as an RSS reader--you'll see many/most of the same features. ;)

    • Tomas
      March 26, 2013 at 7:34 am

      Same features ok BUT!
      It is absolutly overloaded !!! It doesnt make fun to work with it :(

      • Tomas
        March 26, 2013 at 7:36 am

        Quite rss supports embeded videos without problems.
        In thunderbird it doesnt work i dot know if it gives an addon for this.

        • Glenn
          March 26, 2013 at 11:18 pm

          Depends on what plugins you have. Personally, I prefer to use VLC for video & audio "attachments". Of course, one can add any extensions one wants to.

      • Glenn
        March 26, 2013 at 11:24 pm

        I have no problems using it; it hardly seems "bloated" given the multi-Gigabytes of memory that my and, I presume, most machines have these days. I'm able to customize it very much to look and work the way I want it to (so, yes, I toss in some extensions which take up still more memory ;) ). I especially like the vertical view, and the feeds certainly don't need all of the columns that are useful for email messages. But, you know, to each his own. I'm just saying that one should look at both (and other readers, too) before deciding which one to use for one's own purposes.