Bryan Kam has reviewed a couple of free RSS aggregators for Windows. Below are excerpts of his reviews including his final choice  

I began with the aptly-named and small FeedReader 2.5. While it has all the basic features covered, it lacks a lot of things I like...Score: 3/10. Fast but featureless.

Next I tried Sharpreader This is a pretty good one, which features different sorting, various update times, alerts, inherited properties, can import/export OPML...It would take 40+ MB RAM on my desktop computer, and sometimes would take 100% cycles for no reason...Score: 5/10. Full of features, but slow as hell!

Another one I tried a while back was Syndirella 0.9b. While I was not a big fan of the Windows 3.1-esque interface, it does have a rudimentary scraper... This is great for sites that don't offer feeds. Other than that, though, this reader is pretty lacking, not even having categories which are a necessity in my opinion. Score: 5/10. Nice scraper, the rest kinda sucks.

Currently I'm using Abilon 2.0, which has many of the features I like...The interface is divided into three vertical columns: the far left is the list of feeds, the middle is the items in the selected feed, the right is the detail for the selected item. I find this very weird. Score: 7/10. It's got the goods, it's small, but it's not fun to use.

Okay, another brief RSS reader review. This one is called RSS Bandit and I've discarded Abilon in favor of it...Feature-wise it's pretty standard. The little slide-up alerts, which many of these readers have, is actually reliably click-able in this program...Another good feature is its "Locate RSS" feeds which attempts to find a feed for whatever websites or keywords you enter.8/10. Decent, but lacks that extra something.

It's good to read first hand accounts of what people like or dislike about RSS Bandit especially when compared to other RSS aggregators. I tend to agree with Bryan that RSS Bandit currently leads the pack amongst the major free RSS aggregators for Windows. The next release will aim at being competitive with commercial aggregators such as FeedDemon and NewzCrawler.

This should be a fun summer.  


Monday, May 31, 2004 8:17:25 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)

I do like RSS Bandit, but I have one question; when I load RSS Bandit it states that it is updating feeds. But which feeds is it updating? I know it isn't all of the feeds as when it has finished, if I manually update all the feeds (right click on MY Feeds)there are more unread items.

Alex Kazovic
Monday, May 31, 2004 8:38:41 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
When RSS Bandit starts up, it loads the RSS feeds cached on disk and downloads any that have never been cached before.
Monday, May 31, 2004 8:56:51 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
By the way, if you want to have feeds downloaded on startup you can configure this by going to the Tools menu, selecting the Options dialog and then going to the General tab and checking "Force download feeds on startup".
Tuesday, June 1, 2004 12:11:08 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Wow, thanks for reading. Good work on the aggregator, I'm currently using it. Beats the competition, as I said in my review.
Tuesday, June 1, 2004 12:01:49 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Dare, Thanks for both comments. I'll change my options.

Keep up the good work. Thanks (Alex Kazovic)
Tuesday, June 1, 2004 3:02:54 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
When I look at comments of a topic in RSSBandit the date is displayed correctly using my local settings (European format dd/mm/yyy).

When I entered a comment through RSSBandit, and then look at the comment in RSSBandit the date is displayed as mm/dd/yyyy.

The feed is your feed on "Review of Free RSS Readers for Windows" (Alex Kazovic)
Tuesday, June 1, 2004 11:52:38 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
I have to say I really like RSS Bandit myself. I used to use SharpReader exclusively, but now I've switched over to the Bandit. I really like the remote synchronization system, although I wish it was more automatic. I don't like having to remember to publish it each time I leave work or whenever I start up the reader.

Keep up the great work though, so far this is one awesome program, and I'm sure it will just continue to get better. I'd like to see support for the 4th and 5th mouse buttons in the program, as well as the ability to customize the toolbars with more options (like Mark all as read!). Thanks again though, I'm glad to see it's getting good reviews.
Wednesday, June 2, 2004 12:20:43 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
For now, comments show that RSSBandit rules, though it was not in the review. :)
Wednesday, June 2, 2004 12:21:15 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Mine was more of stress testing than regular testing - trying to work out the situation with a thousand fees (I tend to work offline a lot), but still liked RSS Bandit better ( ). Although in the comments Luke Hutteman agreed with some remarks and promised to work on that in the future.
Thursday, June 3, 2004 8:21:34 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Dare: Does your server go down every night? I ask this because I often refresh my feeds at 6:00 am UK time and the server is always down. (Alex Kazovic)
Friday, June 4, 2004 2:33:11 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
You stated:

The next release will aim at being competitive with commercial aggregators such as FeedDemon and NewzCrawler.

What's going to make the next release so much better?

Friday, June 4, 2004 4:41:48 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
I certainly do appreciate your tireless efforts with RSS Bandit.

I like(d) RSS Bandit a lot, but it had too many quirks (IMO) to use--many of which I reported on the support forum. This isn't meant to be a rant against the product; it's simply been my experience with it.

After many hours with RSS Bandit (as well as many, many other aggregators), I've settled on Newzcrawler. It isn't perfect, either; however, I've found it to be the easiest and most intuitive aggregator to use. It works very well for me.

I look forward to giving RSS Bandit another try when you release the next major version. ;^)
Friday, June 25, 2004 5:19:24 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
I realize that I'm asking for somewhat unusual, but what I miss a lot is Palm-version of RSS Bandit. Even simple sync and read offline is OK.
Alexandr Koloskov
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