There’s a New Feed Reader in Town

I’ve been in the market for a new feed reader for a while now. A feed reader is software that can display the posts from a Web site or Web log. The Web site or Web log publishes its posts (usually the most recent) to a file using a special format called RSS. A feed reader subscribes to the RSS file and displays its contents. I prefer readers that display feeds in an Inbox, similar to e-mail.

I started out using Outlook 2007. Too buggy. Then I switched to NewzCrawler, which has some neat features. But I’m not convinced I want to pay $25 for them and besides, I really want something integrated with my existing software. I started using IE 7 last week, and I’ve been quite pleased to have feeds, favorites, and tabbed browsing all in a single interface. Enter Google Reader, the newest entry to feed reading and I find myself tempted.

Google Reader’s interface is similar to Gmail, which I’ve been using for the past year or so. I definitely liked Gmail better than Yahoo! Mail beta, but I ultimately switched to Outlook 2007 from Gmail. In the end, I didn’t like reading e-mail in a Web browser. For starters, I wanted my e-mails on my local hard drive. Secondly, I don’t like having all the noise of a Web browser framing my e-mails.

I’m currently reading feeds using a browser. IE 7’s organizing capabilities aren’t as strong as Google Readers, although I wish Google Reader had a way to do folders. The feature that really stands out for me is the ability to share feed posts on a public Web page. (Check it out.)

I’m going to give Google Reader a whirl and see if I like it better than IE 7. If so, it could be too bad for IE7. I actually stopped using FireFox for about a week.