NetNewsWire Lite

Version: 4.0 || Release Date: 2011-11-28 || License: Freeware Developer: NewsGator | App Owner: kzeni

The free version of one of the best RSS readers out there.

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2 Opinions

NetNewsWire is the smartest OS X reader client. It blows Vienna away with a highly customizable interface, including fonts and a deep-as-you-want folder structure. Built in Cocoa, the response is lightning fast and intuitive. The worst part of NNW is the Unsubscribe function; inevitably, everybody needs to drop a few feeds now and then but NNW pops up each time with a "Are you sure?" dialogue, to which the answer is inevitably Yes, so count on this to interrupt your flow. Blogging is also a chore, requires a separate download called MarsEdit--a product which isn't free and isn't nearly as compelling as the NNW client. I use NNW exclusively and recommend upgrading to the full version, but several web based readers are attractive options, among them Google Reader, NetVibes, and Bloglines--in that order.

Google Reader has a quick ajax interface, decent hotkey assignments, and it supports video feeds. Google Reader's sharing and blogging features are fast and easy to use, but not very customizable. The tree structure of leaves much to be desired but their philosophy of tagging, while not as intuitive, is a system design many prefer.

NetVibes is the most keyboard friendly newsreader and its ajax interface maximizes form and function w.r.t. screen real estate. It delivers on windows-style folder structure, modules (a la Google's Personalized Homepage) and the coup de grace has to be its multi-row tabs. The downsides to NetVibes: audio/video feeds don't work and there are no sharing/blogging features whatsoever.

Bloglines is a fast setup for sharing, but its interface becomes slow the more feeds you subscribe to. One feels a certain connectedness in Bloglines due to remarkable "what's popular" features. Sharing is easy, but I found blogging to be a chore (tip: Use Firefox Performancing for all the web based readers).

IMO, this is way better than Vienna.