RSS Wrangling on the 770

opml.gifI was looking around the other day for some good gui blog posting apps for windows. But I was also looking for some good RSS readers for Windows… I ended up looking at RSS Bandit and the OPML editor from Dave Winer. The OPML editor is a bit of a trial, as I don’t see how you actually use it to add and read RSS, but the Bandit works well enough. I found a great page that lists at least a hundred RSS readers for Windows, so I’m posting that URL here.
After playing with a few of these to try and manage a RSS feed list for my new Nokia 700 (which comes with a RSS newsreader) I’ve found that these vary wildly in features and capabilities… but here are three that I ended up using. All these support importing and export OPML, which is a must if you are jumping between them.

  • Sharpreader – #1 Google hit for “windows rss” – this is a speedy and nice basic aggregator. The best feature is has is the auto parse field- the URL field at the top can be use to just paste in the URL for any website, and it will rip the page up and auto-discover the feeds… then you simply click the Subscribe button. A huge time saver. What drove me nuts is that you can’t move the subscriptions once you have them, for instance if you want to put them in a sub-folder.
  • RSS Bandit – a really nice free aggy. This seems to output the cleanest OPML, that is why I used it.
  • NewzCrawler – a fully featured reader/crawler ($20) that I used only because it has a superb organizing UI, and the interface is rock solid. It does a lot that I don’t need. However, it was useful for organizing all the feeds that I grabbed.

I ended up using Sharpreader to build my raw list of feeds, just by copying and pasting my bookmarks from Firefox into its ripper. Then I exported the list and edited it with NewzCrawler. Then I exported it yet again and imported it into RSSBandit just to normalize the RSS (or so I thought). The final output was destined for my Nokia 770, but there were still issues with the OPML… see my next post for what I ended up doing.

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