As you might know from previous posts; I use and adore FeedDemon. It is a top RSS and podcast aggregator. It works well and has some great features to make keeping track of my feeds a breeze. Plus I like the fact that it is all in one spot and I don’t have to go sailing all round the web to check if a page has been updated.
Having said that, I recently updated to the latest version which is 2.0. The most significant change in this version is not a feature as you might assume; rather it is the fact that FeedDemon was “acquired” by NewsGator. This meant that with the latest version your feeds are synchronized with NewsGator. NewsGator is an online RSS reader. So theoretically this can keep you synchronised in FeedDemon on multiple computers. Great idea if that’s your thing. It isn’t mine by the way. So I selected to only synchronise with NewsGator on start-up, that means that feeds that have been updated are only checked.
However, I thought this was all very well but had little bearing in the way that I used the program. Until last night. I went to use FeedDemon and I found that I got an error message to the effect that FeedDemon couldn’t connect to NewsGator and to check my login id and try again, which I did. Nope; same error message, and the result was that it said that it couldn’t access feeds but not to worry I could view my feeds online. So I try to log onto NewsGator on the web and I get this message:
NewsGator Online is currently down for maintenance. We expect to be back online shortly.
So I guess I can’t really read my feeds online!
Today on the NewsGator news archive I see this message:
As you may have noticed, NewsGator Online experienced an unexpected outage early Tuesday morning. The problem has been corrected, and as of approximately 10:30am MST, all systems are operational.
Many feeds have not been updated since late last night; they will refresh over the next couple of hours, and then everything will be back to normal.
Our apologies for any inconvenience this has caused.
I appreciate the explanation, it does not however address FeedDemon’s reliance on the service.
The only conclusions that I can make from these events are that with NewsGator taking over FeedDemon they have integrated NewsGator Online to the point that FeedDemon only reads or downloads feeds as long as the NewsGator server is online! That in turn makes FeedDemon that used to be a stand alone program not a stand alone since it’s takeover by NewsGator. It also means that it’s functionality is governed by another service. Before the NewsGator takeover FeedDemon was an excellent stand alone reader which worked regardless of other synchronisations or server service.
In my opinion if this is the case then it has severely crippled a once excellent RSS reader. While these “extra” features have added some seriously powerful tools, the fact that they affect the stand alone capability of FeedDemon is a serious problem that should be addressed. Or in some people’s opinion a very cleaver marketing tool. It enables the company to have complete control over it’s product, when and how it is used.
I do not mind the fact that the synchronisation has been added as a feature. But I do think that FeedDemon needs to be able to be used as an independent program, should the user want it. I will be interested to see what this may mean for the future of FeedDemon, and what others are saying about this issue. I must say that this is the first time that the NewsGator server has been down and up until this point the server has never failed.
Again, I see a program trying to be everything rather than specialise at being excellent in one function.
Nick Bradbury says Blog Away on 18.104.22.168 BetaApril 29, 2006 — The Rooster
Had a few responses from the last Blog entry and it would seem that for some reason or another wires were crossed and I
If Nick says it is OK to blog about it then it is. So I am very happy about that. Thanks Nick for reading the blog and I hope that I can review this up and coming release with fairness and we can get some issues ironed out.
So in brief I have installed 22.214.171.124. I am happy to say that it installed fine and without any problems. One of the great things was that all my feeds were already subscribed, which meant that I did not have to import my OPML file to set it it up. That is one feature of synchronization that is excellent. Updating feeds seems to be a little quicker but I don’t know if that is because of the build or just coincidence. At the moment I am only using the basic features to ensure stability and see if there are any problems.
One thing I have found out is that anyone that is getting text that show up like this:
Lowers Temp. by 30Ã‚Â° Fahrenheit in just three minutes.
It is not an error in FeedDemon. It is the fact that you are using the Firefox hack to use Firefox in the browser window. I am not sure who wrote the hack but if it was Nick Bradbury I hope it gets fixed, It is stated that this feature is not supported in any version. If however it was the trusty open source community then we need to get some guru to fix it. The alternative of using Internet Explorer for me is not an option, I can put up with a few screwy characters.
My podcasts seem to be working fine and downloading without any problems.
When I know that everything is working fine I will start to “test” some of the things that should have been fixed in this version. I am planing to block access with the firewall. I am also planning to update all the feeds and pull the network cable and see how it handles that. I think it would be interesting to see how it handles a connection being unavailable from start-up. Just as important will be how it re-synchronizes with the NewsGator Server upon reconnect.
So thats for allowing up to blog about this and stay tuned for updates.