Here are some quick thoughts on various news RSS news aggregators I’ve used or looked at in the past few months. This is in no way an exhaustive, feature by feature, detailed review; it’s just a quick overview of my experiences.*
Feedreader: nice, but consumed massive amounts of system resources and currently seems to have been abandoned. Free.
Amphetadesk: besides the name, which I could never recommend in the corporate environment, it turns out that I just never used it much. The good news is that it is cross-platform. Of the RSS tools I’ve tried, only it and newsmonster work on platforms other than a windows PC. Free.
Newsgator: integrated w/outlook, but not compelling enough to have purchased after the trial version ran out. 29$
Newsmonster: nice idea, being browser based, but didn’t work for me. I only tried an early beta; perhaps newer versions work better. Works on most platforms that support a modern browser. Free and up to 39.95$
Newzcrawler: so far, I really like this program. Will I buy it? ask me in 2 weeks. Meanwhile, I edited the binary to change the RED reminder message to a less offensive color 🙂 24.95$
Overall, I like newzcrawler more than the other news aggregators. In addition to its support for RSS feeds, it also works as a credible usenet client and, using either the IE or gecko(mozilla) rendering engine, a passable web browser.
One of my concerns about using an aggregator is that I like visiting folk’s blogs. The variety of designs complement the actual words of the blog. The plain text, rendered in a soul-less, consistently bland format as viewed using a newsreader is really not the same thing. With newzreader it appears I can easily view the actual page, not just the summary, either using the built-in browser or in my browser of choice.
*I haven’t used any of these tools enough to comment in detail about what should be one of their most valuable features: the ability to track updates to sites and to inform me, using a variety of configurable techniques, of sites that have been recently updated. Actually, I would say the native client programs have a slight advantage here as they can interact more completely with the user’s system than can the browser.