For my feed reading needs, I've been using Feed Reader at first. Pretty straightforward and very light software. On the other hand, nothing too customisable and very few options.
My search for something else was restricted by a few technological choices or necessities due to the software configuration of my PC at work : no Java or .NET required, installs without Admin rights needed, light on memory, runs smooth on an outdated machine, etc…
So, for a few weeks I've been running Feed Demon, with the feeling that it was almost exactly what I wanted. Good stuff, but "almost" perfect. I was rather satisfied with it, yet always with something like "hmm I'd rather like this feature to do this instead of that.. well overall that's pretty good software anyway" on my mind.
At that time, I couldn't install Curio Studio's GreatNews. This was probably related to my being an unfortunate Windows NT4 — doh — user, but now that the IT folks suddenly decided to start filling the gap between our company and technology that is just 6 years old (read : I'm now on Windows 2000, wow) I've been able to try this software. And I love it.
GreatNews, despite a somehow silly name that will probably keep it from any decent search engine ranking, is what I've been waiting for. Small executable with no funky install (I usually hate software that come all packed into a single setup.exe so you can't see what's inside before you actually install it), OPML import / export feature that works with Bloglines or local files, and a really good usability of all features like tagging an item or the "Blog this" feature. In particular I like the way GreatNews is using simple .css files to manage display styles, rather than powerful yet too much complicated .xslt documents for Feed Demon. I've been using it for 3 days now, and so far I really love it.
A few things I'd like to see improved or changed. Yes, there are still a few :)
- less empty wasted space in the "tree" panel on left hand
- A "discover feed" feature : paste blog url, let the software find its feed (Feed Demon does this, that's cool)
- The ability to change location of temporary / cache directory
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