In a recent comment to one of my blog post Daniele Muscetta lists some of the reasons he no longer uses RSS Bandit as much as he used to...

I have been using it less and less this past year:
- at the beginning because of the troubles having it run on Vista,
- then because I really like the possibility to have my feeds everywhere instead than on one PC (I use multiple computers)
- and finally because with a web based aggregator I can immediately SHARE and MARK what I read and make it available again for other people to see. This one is a killer feature of the various google reader or bloglines... letting people make their own link blog republishing stuff they read and like. Of course I am not complaining... to do such a thing you would need an infrastructure - as opposed to just releasing a program that runs on the PC...

I agree that the ability to access your feeds from anywhere is a great advantage of Web-based feed readers. On the other hand, I haven't found a Web-based feed reader that has all of the features I've come to take for granted in RSS Bandit especially when you consider some of the extra features like downloading podcasts and being able to access newsgroups. I've always wanted to be able to provide the best of both worlds to our users which is why a few years, I added support for the NewsGator API with the intent of enabling our users get to no longer have to choose between a desktop feed reader and a Web-based one, and can use whichever they want whenever they want (i.e. the Outlook and Outlook Web Access model).

However my implementation was incomplete and I incorrectly blamed the API when in truth I didn't do a great job in understanding how the API should be used. Yesterday, I revisited the problem and fixed a number of brain dead misuses of the API in our implementation (e.g. ReplaceSubscriptions isn't a shortcut that can be used in place of multiple calls to AddSubscription and DeleteSbscription) . Now the feature works like a charm and I've created two screen casts showing  how you can get the world's best RSS reading experience for FREE, today.

RSS Bandit & NewsGator (part 1)

RSS Bandit & NewsGator (part 2)

To learn more about using this feature, you can also read the RSS Bandit documentation on using NewsGator and RSS Bandit to synchronize your feeds across multiple computers.

Monday, September 17, 2007 8:32:23 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
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Monday, September 17, 2007 9:25:09 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Awesome, I am downloading the latest build right now...
Monday, September 17, 2007 9:46:52 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
A very good sollution to have RSS bandit taken with you everywhere would be to convert it to a portable application that could be run form a USB key. One of the interesting things about the portible applications is that it leaves no traces (in theory) on the computer you have run on and stores the data on the USB key.
Monday, September 17, 2007 10:38:11 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Olaf: this is yet possible. See my post at
and online docs at
Monday, September 17, 2007 5:14:28 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Glad to see you got things worked out with our API... hey, all your RSS Bandit users may also be interested in getting content onto their mobile devices. We have an application for Java devices, an application for Windows Mobile, and a Web interface for the iPhone (

This a great way to augment RSS Bandit while on the go!
Monday, September 17, 2007 5:37:49 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Cool! I haven't tried it yet, but from looking at the doc page, I have one suggestion. It looks like you're using a location name of "NewsGator Web Edition" - that will work, but will end up disabling an important feature. Ideally, you should choose a unique location name (for example, FeedDemon defaults to a combination of "FeedDemon" and the NetBIOS name of the machine it's running on), and pass that back and forth to the API. By doing so, you'll enable folks to choose _which_ feeds they want to read in RSS Bandit, the same way they choose which feeds they read on their mobile device and elsewhere.
Monday, September 17, 2007 6:08:30 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
That's great. I use NetNewsWire at home and switched to FeedDemon (I used to be an avid RSS Bandit user) at work because of their integration with NewsGator. But not everyone has money. I'll definitely recommend you guys to everyone who asks me about RSS and stuff. :)

Keep up the good work!
Monday, September 17, 2007 6:17:54 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Hey Now Dare Obasanjo,
I like your post, I found your blog from a link on Coding Horror. I've started using google reader & agree w/ you it doesn't have all the features I'd like. For now I find myself marking feeds read multiple times. Thanks for the info.
Monday, September 17, 2007 7:56:30 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Appreciate this new feature. I just uploaded into an old NewsGator account which I had stripped of all feeds, and the folder structure I have defined in RSSBandit was not replicated. Instead, all feeds were dumped in the root of the "My Feeds" folder. Is this the expected behavior? If I download from NewsGator on another machine, will that machine maintain the folder structure, as the FTP sync solution does?
Monday, September 17, 2007 8:06:09 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
I just realized that the folder structure is not sent on upload. I'll make a quick change and refresh the installer when I get home tonight.

We actually now use a similar location scheme to that FeedDemon uses. I need to update our code to actually show that to the user.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007 3:50:58 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
I've just refreshed the installer and now if you upload it should remember the folder structure. I suggest you grab the new installer (file name should be, delete all your feeds from NewsGator online and then run the upload again.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007 4:09:55 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Great! The refresh fixed my folders issue (man, what a pain it is to delete all of your feeds from NewsGator online). Question, though - does the sync with NewsGator not support the "read" status as the FTP sync does? All of the feeds I synced to NewsGator show completely unread. Just trying to understand the scope of support before I commit to this new option...
Tuesday, September 18, 2007 4:57:15 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
The first upload to NewsGator doesn't set read status to save bandwidth. Secondly, even after you perform a later upload which sets the read status, it is likely that not everything will be marked as read in NewsGator since it will likely have posts that you didn't see in RSS Bandit because you were offline.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007 8:04:36 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Ok, cool. So let me just lay something out here that I'd be interested in your reaction to. When I see the term "synchronize", I expect that RSS Bandit's complete data state will be mirrored from one client to another. I think what RSS Bandit does is more of a merge, however. This isn't a bad thing, it is just a point that I think should be clarified.

My expectation is that when I instruct RSS Bandit to 'upload feeds':
- the list of posts that are visible in a feed would be uploaded
- the state of each of those posts would be uploaded
- the per-feed setting relating to update frequency, remove items older than, alert windows, etc would be uploaded

And later, when I instruct another client to 'download feeds':
- the local client's list of posts in a feed for those messages that were included in the upload would reflect the uploaded content's state
- for posts that have been downloaded locally since the upload occurred, the local 'read' state would apply
- for posts that were not part of the original upload because they are older than the uploaded content, the local 'read' status would apply, however they would probably be removed because:
- all local feeds would be updated with the per-feed settings provided in the upload

Often, when I do an upload / download, the state of some of the posts don't make sense to me. I think that's because RSS Bandit might try to accommodate local changes to read status for posts that were part of the upload, but that have been read locally since the original upload.

A good example of this is the NewsGator service. I synced once to get the full list uploaded, then marked all items read in NewsGator online. I then synced again, expecting that the list of unread posts in all folders would mirror what appeared in the client that had just uploaded.

Instead, I can't really make heads or tails of what state I'm looking at in NewsGator online. Some feeds that have a number of unread posts locally appear to be fully read online. Other situations represent the exact inverse of this issue. Some feeds have partial mirroring (different number of unread items).

Again, not trying to be overly critical here - I just want to understand how my definition of sync is out of sync with RSS Bandit's. I know it's open source, and I'm willing to pitch in if we have the same goals.

Thanks, Dare!
Thursday, September 20, 2007 1:56:52 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
I find it confusing to use both RSSBandit and NewsGator because they are 2 different programs with different features, look and feel. I always stick to RSSBandit.

The way I do it is more predictable and secure: I store all my RSSBandit data on an USB flash memory, and I always carry it around with me. Wherever I go (home, work, on the go), I have RSSBandit installed on all computers, and my feed data stored on the USB flash memory.
The only setting I did was to to hack the config.ini file to force RSSBandit to fetch the data on the USB flash memory (I wish this could be an integrated feature inside RSS Bandit and that it did not require manually editing config files).

This way, I do not need to synchronise anything, I always have the latest up-to-date data on a remote storage with me.
Thursday, October 4, 2007 8:29:01 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Wouldn't it be convenient to add a correspoding button to a toolbar that would start uploading/downloading the feed list? Also, would it be possible to automate synchronization by sending the read status of the feeds as well as their tree if required, say, once per hour, at program startup/exit or on some other event?
Comments are closed.