Blaze Through RSS Feeds With FeedDemon

We all love to read our favorite blogs from all over the Internet everyday, sometimes multiple times a day. However remembering which sites you visit can be a hassle. So many people bookmark them in a web browser; nothing is wrong with that, but the best way is to subscribe to RSS feeds with a feed reader.

FeedDemon is an RSS feed reader that can pull in all of your RSS feeds and update them at specific intervals. FeedDemon also has a few great features that we will explore as well. So without further or due, lets review FeedDemon!

Getting Started

Getting Started with FeedDemon all depends on how you will be using this app. To use FeedDemon as a standalone RSS reader, all you need to do is breeze through installation and then you are good to go. However if you want to sync with Google Reader, you will need to enable that sync.

Google Reader Setup

Google Reader Setup

To setup with Google Reader, you will need to make sure you have logged into your Google account on the web and enabled this service. Once enabled, you can go back to the app and type in your credentials.

Google Reader Login

Google Reader Login

Besides pulling in feeds from your Google Reader account, you can also pull feeds from Bloglines, RSS Bandit, an OPML file, and Windows Feed list. If you like your apps to come with defaults, you are in luck! FeedDemon can populate your feed list with default feeds that may or may not appeal to you.

Features

When it comes to RSS feed reading apps, features are really the last thing you look for. All you basically need is the ability to read and star your articles, anything else is not really necessary. FeedDemon keeps close to this philosophy with no huge, glitzy features that may muck with the functionality of the application. However the features it does contain really compliment the overall functionality of the application.

While we touched on it during the Getting Started section, Google Reader synchronization is so essential to the function of the app that it is worth diving into a little more detail. When you use Google Reader to store all of your feeds, you can move across multiple devices. Thus using Google Reader adds an extra layer or functionality and adds the ability to go from platform to platform.

Also present in FeedDemon is the ability to star your Google Reader articles for later consumption. Once you are finished with your items, you can mark them as read and they will sync right over, instantly!

Star Rating in FeedDemon

Star Rating in FeedDemon

After looking through hundreds of feeds, sometimes you may want to go back and read over some past items. FeedDemon offers a solution and it is called tagging. Tagging allows you to enter keywords on any item and later on you can search to retrieve those articles.

FeedDemon includes a tag editor that allows you to add and delete tags. Once the tags are added, you can easily add them to other articles and content. They also provide suggested tags to get you started. If you utilize multimedia, FeedDemon allows you to import podcasts of both the audio and video varieties.

FeedDemon Edit Tags

FeedDemon Edit Tags

Look & Feel

FeedDemon is not necessarily a stunner, if you know what I mean. It does the job but lacks the interface and design refinement I would hope for. At times, the interface can be sort of jam packed and confusing. FeedDemon contain a basic two-pane layout. On the left your feeds and the right is your main content.

FeedDemon Interface

FeedDemon Interface

It is important to keep in mind that the free version contains ads that will be displayed in the bottom left.

FeedDemon Ads

FeedDemon Ads

FeedDemon also handles notifications in such a way that further clutters the interface. It descends down on top of what was more buttons. This could be fixed with a more discrete notification system.

FeedDemon Notification

FeedDemon Notification

FeedDemon has many little buttons and hidden functions that are quite literally scattered about the app and makes finding them a great mystery. Trying to hunt for features can be fun for some but for others, it is incredibly frustrating. FeedDemon would be greatly enhanced with the introduction of a simpler and more user-friendly interface.

Performance

Reading RSS feeds is something most people do as a way to quickly catch up on the news of the day. So, speed is very important so that you can get in and get out of the app quickly while still getting everything you need. During my testing I found FeedDemon to bit a bit clunky; although maybe the design had something to do with this feeling. Using the app felt slow and clumsy. When pulling in many feeds, you could feel the app just start to drag along. This sort of resistance to the heavenly splendor of smoothness really brings a crushing blow to FeedDemon.

Final Words

FeedDemon is a promising app, which in my experience, has been plagued with quite a few problems. FeedDemon has severe user interface problems that hinders the usability of the app. FeedDemon is quite laggy and slow compared to what is should be. RSS reader apps are to be light and fast, FeedDemon is the opposite. FeedDemon also suffers from the many overbearing hidden buttons, annoying notifications, and varying arrays of menus and options. In the end, FeedDemon would get a 6 out of 10 from me. The app needs to be refined and combed over again.

Do you agree? What is your favorite RSS reader? Do you prefer design or speed? Sound off in the comments below, we love to hear from you!


Summary

FeedDemon is the most popular RSS reader for Windows, with an easy-to-use interface that makes it a snap to stay informed with the latest news and information.

6