I’m looking for a new RSS feed reader that offers good support for video, audio and photos. This post will discuss what I’ve found in that search. It’s not pretty so far. The content available in the market is moving much faster than the tools to consume it. SplashCast will play a roll in this situation, but for now I’m just looking for an RSS reader that will help me do my job efficiently at an online media company. Perhaps you are too.
The following is a discussion of the problem, then a description of the criteria I used to review 10 leading RSS readers on the market, a paragraph about each product and a chart comparing features. Features are honestly open to some interpretation and I may have missed some important vendors, but I think this should be useful for both readers and myself.
It is inefficient, unpleasant and feels behind the times to have to launch another application like a browser or iTunes to play media files delivered to my feed reader. Online syndicated media is an exploding market; as methods of communication go, it’s one of the fastest growing, most compelling and potentially most commercially viable new developments that has emerged in some time. An estimated 30 million people (5% of broadband users) watch at least one video online each day. There are currently an estimated 4.2 billion total video streams per month arround the web. In order to effectively engage with this media, many of us are going to need RSS readers that are equipped for the task.
Right now none of the leading RSS readers for Mac or Windows let users capture, preview, play, tag and share items within the application itself and in the order that they arrive in your aggregator. In other words, I cannot find any feed reader on the market today that combines rich media support, integration with 3rd party tagging and sharing services and a “river of news” view. That’s a problem.
Tools Available Today
The following are short descriptions of the 10 leading commercial RSS readers and a comparison of their features. Who’s the winner? No one is a clear winner by the criteria I’ve chosen.
Summary of Recommendations
As a Mac user, I’m going to spend more time with NewsFire on my desktop. If I was a Windows user and wanted to consume video inline and needed a river of news view – I would cry. If rich media is more important to you then go with Google Reader. If a river of news is more important then go with FeedDemon.
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