Another attempt at perfect RSS aggregator – rss2email

My quest for perfect RSS aggregator continues.

I have been using Akregator for a few days now and I like it – it’s a nice, clean program which does what it is supposed to. More functionality is promised in the upcoming releases. The problem with it, is that it doesn’t fit the way I read RSS. I have installed it on my notebook, but it can be switched off for longer periods of time than I want my aggregator to stay offline. For example, some of my Flickr and Delicious feeds update very often and some content falls off the edge in less than 10 hours.

The new idea (it’s not a new idea at all, it’s just new for my testing) that I am trying to adopt now is using email client as RSS reader.

I installed rss2email on my home server and gave it a bunch of RSS feeds’ URLs to monitor. For each new item available in any of these feeds, it sends me an email message. I have configured appropriate filtering to different folders and so far it looks good.

Using email client for reading RSS gives the best of both worlds – updates are available as quickly as possible, but they can be read at any time at all, even without being online (assuming I am at home or downloaded all my mail to the machine I’m working from).

I’ll play around with this approach and will let you know on how it works for me.

5 thoughts on “Another attempt at perfect RSS aggregator – rss2email”

  1. I would like to invite you to check out It’s an RSS
    filtering and notification application that I wrote over a year ago.
    For each RSS feed I can specify keywords (by using Boolean logic) that I am interested in and the program will ping the feed every so often and, if it finds that the new RSS post contains my search keywords, it will
    send me a notification via email or SMS or IM. I would appreciate if you checked out and let me know what you think.


  2. Hi Eduard,

    Thanks for the invitation. I looked around and here’s what I think.

    The idea is good. The implementation is strange though. People are (by now) accustomed to RSS aggregators. There is a great variety of tools with numerous plugins and features. Why taking his away from them and limiting them to SMS and IM?

    I think a better way of implementing zaptxt idea is by a kind of “smart RSS proxy”. This way I’d give zaptxt a URL of RSS feed that I am interested in, and a list of keywords that I am interested in from that feed. And what I’ll get back, will be another RSS feed, which will contain only the matching items.

    Transparent, easy to use, and easy to understand. And the best thing, the user interface stays the same – an RSS aggregator of user’s choice.

    Once again, thank you for the invitation. Hopefully, it was usefuly for you.

  3. Leonid,

    Thank you for your feedback about ZapTXT. One thing that’s different about ZapTXT is that it’s not an aggregator, it’s a filtering engine. The whole idea is to filter out what you don’t want and only get what you want, something that aggregators don’t do.

    As for allowing the filtered results to be available as RSS, I’ve actually just finished that feature (it’s not in production yet, though).

    Thanks again for taking your time to share your ideas.


  4. Hi Eduard,

    As for allowing the filtered results to be available as RSS, I’ve actually just finished that feature (it’s not in production yet, though).

    There is a lot of potential for service like this. Add an easy to use API and it should bloom! :)

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