After the news of Google Reader demise broke out, I, like many others, started looking for an alternative. There are many RSS readers out there, both free and commercial, but none of them is quite like Google Reader. So, I thought, I’d share my adventures in hopes of more suggestions.
First of all, here are the things that I am looking for in an RSS reader:
- Web based. This is a requirement for me. I want to be able to access my subscriptions from any computer connected to the World Wide Web.
- OPML import and/or Google Reader synchronization. I have around 300 feeds in the Google Reader currently. I am not going to resubscribe to each one by one and reorganized them again. Ideally, I want to have a Google Reader sync, which will mark the read items, etc. In the worst case scenario, at least the OMPL import, so I can batch add all the feeds.
- Rich content support. I want to see embed images and videos in the feed items. I want the text to have style.
- Mobile app. This is not a requirement per se, but a much wanted option. I read a lot of RSS on the go.
- Free. Again, not a requirement, but a much wanted option.
Here is a list of the ones I tried:
- The Old Reader. It looks like the old Google Reader, but it suffers now from all the spike of new accounts. I’m trying to import my OPML, but I’m 30,000+ down in the queue. The number keeps going up and down for the last two days, so I’m not sure when I’ll be able to actually use the service.
- Tiny Tiny RSS. I’ve installed it on my server and it does work somewhat well. But the styling is very weak, and the experience is quite different from the Google Reader. It will take me forever to get used to it, and while doing so, I’ll be constantly thinking of patching it up. Removed, for now.
- BazQux Reader. I have reviewed this service a while ago. It only got better with time. In fact, this is the closest experience to Google Reader with a few extra bonuses, like item comments. The service is not free, but not too pricey – choose between $9, $19, and $29 per year. As far as the migration from Google Reader goes, this is the fastest service – two clicks, and you are already reading your feeds. The only downside I see is mobile experience. I couldn’t find the app for Android, and the website is not suited for smaller screens.
- Feedly. The best styling of all I’ve tried. Nice mobile app. But requires a browser extension on the desktop. Also, the experience is a bit different from the Google Reader, so needs some getting used to.
So, as you can see, I am yet to decide. There are also quite a few alternatives that I haven’t tried yet. From the ones I’ve tried though, the two most likely candidates are Feedly and BazQux Reader. Feedly looks beautiful and works well on the mobile. BazQux Reader provides the best experience on the desktop.
Which ones have you tried and what’s your most likely alternative? Have you made up your mind yet?