Four Really Good Free Desktop News Ticker Apps

Tina Sieber 26-01-2010

free downloadable news tickerToday, news are reported from all over the globe and there is no shortage of diversity. Entire TV channels have been dedicated to reporting the latest developments. You could probably watch, read, and listen to news all day every day without ever getting the same story twice. Of course that’s not an option, so you filter.


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.

BBC Destkop News Ticker Application

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.


free desktop news ticker

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.

free desktop news ticker

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.


CNN Desktop News

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.

download cnn news ticker

The crucial difference compared to the BBC Desktop Ticker is the option to add custom RSS feeds and personalize CNN’s Desktop News.


download cnn news ticker

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.


free desktop news ticker

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 Snackr - Fancy Feed Reader (Adobe Air) Read More .

NewsBliss RSS News Ticker

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.

free downloadable news ticker

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 KlipFolio.

How do you preferably consume news?

Image credits: jayofboy

Related topics: Adobe Air, BBC, Reading.

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  1. Sinned18
    September 7, 2017 at 2:28 am

    FAKE NEWS !!!

    • Tina Sieber
      September 7, 2017 at 6:17 pm

      What makes you real?

  2. Sinned18
    September 7, 2017 at 2:27 am

    FAKE NEWS !!!

  3. bwanajoni
    January 26, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    Firefox extension RSS Ticker is great. Like Snackr but takes up less room.

    • Anonymous
      August 2, 2015 at 3:58 pm

      That isn't a desktop news feed as you need to have Firefox open.

  4. Kevin Reynolds
    January 26, 2010 at 11:31 am

    Well I don't know. Maybe it's me. I tried both the BBC and CNN apps and neither one worked. In both cases all I got was a big white block of nothing that stayed on top of all other windows and had no function. I had to use task manager to close them. Poop!

    • Tina
      January 26, 2010 at 1:14 pm

      Hi Kevin,
      both tools require Flash. Could that be the issue?

      • Kevin Reynolds
        January 26, 2010 at 3:42 pm

        Thank you for commenting Tina.

        I'm not sure but I don't think so. I just updated my Adobe flash player and played an ".SWF" file in my browser and it worked OK.

        • Tina
          January 27, 2010 at 1:41 am

          I have to admit that I don't have a clue what could be the issue. I'm just guessing...

          Are you running Windows Vista or 7? I texted on XP and system requirements list Windows 2k or XP. So apparently the newer ones aren't supported.

          Do you see the system tray icon and can you access the menus, i.e. content options for the BBC one.

          Both tools also need to access the internet. Do you have a firewall or anything that could block them? But even if, they shouldn't show as big white blocks.

          Unfortunately, the Help doesn't provide a satisfying answer, either. Requirement for Flash 8 is the only hint that would match. But if you recently updated Adobe Flash, you should be running 10 and I can confirm that it works just fine.

        • Kevin Reynolds
          January 28, 2010 at 1:32 pm

          Hi Tina.

          Thank you for your efforts. I appreciate it!

          I've got XP on my Dell Optiplex 320. It's a decent machine.

          I see one of the icons, menus don't work.

          I tried browsing the net for flash games and came across one that only showed me a white box there too. Odd.

          I've got Flash 10 going and Adobe says it's working fine.

          I don't know what's up. Must be some glitch of mine.

          Thanks again Tina.