So, now that I have a laptop I think I’d like to have a desktop application for reading RSS feeds. Upon a Google search and questioning my husband and reading comments about readers, I think the good (and free) options are Vienna, NetNewsWire Lite and Shrook. For anyone interested, there’s also an interesting looking OS X Google Reader sync called GROSX (it’s not strictly a desktop app its more like a notification system).
Shrook seems to have good integration into OS X. It also has online syncronisation with shrook.com. From the screenshots it looks like it has a nice clean interface. It also doesn’t seem to have any features that stand out from the other readers, except that I’ve read about more people using the other ones.
Vienna looks really good. It seems to have everything you want and some things you didn’t know you wanted – like built in tabbed browsing (for when you’re connected to the net), I found that quite handy in Akregator (under KDE-linux) for commenting on blogs. It also has “Full AppleScript support” (I don’t really know what that is but it sounds good), as well as blogging integration (I don’t know if I’d use this, it’s never worked properly in my feed readers), and the nice layout things such as folders, rendering accents and foreign characters properly, and different window views.
NetNewsWire Lite is highly appealing because it has NewsGator syncronisation. I already have a NewsGator account, which I don’t use because I use Google Reader. If I don’t want to take my laptop with me somewhere and find myself wanting to read some news or blogs on another computer it would be very handy. As far as I can see that’s the only thing that NNW Lite has that Vienna doesn’t. It also doesn’t have embedded tabbed browser, searching, flagged items, AppleScript and Automator support. To get those things, and more, you need to purchase NetNewsWire (the non-lite version).
I think writing this might have made my decision for me. I think I’ll go with Vienna and leave my subscriptions in Google Reader (still an excellent online reader) if I want to read them on other computers. That still has the problem of things being marked as unread when you’ve read them in another program but perhaps I won’t be using other computers for reading. Otherwise I can try NNW Lite, or heaven forbid pay for some software.