Coming Soon: FeedDemon 4.0 (Lite and Pro)

FeedDemon 4.0 has been in testing for several months now, and if all goes well the final release will be here soon.  This is a major new version with some big additions, including a new "My Stream" feature which provides a great way to keep up with frequently-updating status feeds such as those from Twitter and Facebook.  You'll also find new newspaper views, support for Twitter's new authentication system (OAuth), and a host of smaller changes that customers have long requested.

New features aside, FeedDemon 4.0 is also significantly faster than previous versions, and synchronization with Google Reader is more efficient than ever.  Plus, the interface has been streamlined and simplified to make it easier to use.  Long story short, this is by far the best FeedDemon yet.  If you don't want to wait for the final release, you can download a pre-release (beta) version here.

This new version also returns to FeedDemon's roots as a paid application.  The final release of FeedDemon 4.0 will come in two flavors – Pro and Lite – which offer different feature sets.  FeedDemon Pro will offer the full feature set and will require purchasing a serial number (price TDB).  If you purchased a serial number for FeedDemon 3.0, there will be a nice discount when upgrading to the new Pro version.  A free ad-supported Lite version with a reduced feature set will also be available.

This isn't 100% cast in stone yet, but the Pro level features at this point are:

I am, of course, very interested to hear the reaction to this change.  I know that nobody likes to pay for software, but continuing to make FeedDemon completely free just isn't practical.  Developing and supporting FeedDemon takes a lot of time, and I hope you agree that it's worth paying for (or, if not, that you'll be happy with the free Lite version).

Introducing FeedDemon 3.1

I'm very pleased to announce the availability of FeedDemon 3.1.  Despite the minor version change, this is a significant release – there are some major new features which I think you're going to love.

If you're in a hurry and don't want to read the rest of this post, you can check out the release notes for details on what's new, or you can skip all that and simply download FeedDemon 3.1 right now.

Still with me?  Good!  I'd like to introduce you to some of the new features…

FeedDemon 3.1 Gets Social

My favorite new feature is "Shared by People I Follow."  If you're following people in Google Reader, their shared items now appear in FeedDemon, and as I mentioned in my previous post, these shared items are included when finding and suggesting popular items.  I've found this to be a great way to uncover interesting articles in feeds I'm not subscribed to.

When an article has been shared by someone, their profile photo appears next to it so you can easily identify who shared it.  To view posts shared by a specific person, just click their photo.

If you're not following anyone, FeedDemon makes it really easy to find people to follow – just enter a few keywords:

…and FeedDemon shows a list of people with matching profiles:


Click "Preview" to view a newspaper containing recently shared items from that person, or just click "Follow" to follow them right away.  If you get tired of someone, select "Show People I Follow" and click "Unfollow" to stop following them.

Filtering Content

In the past you were forced to see every article from every feed you're subscribed to, but now you can use FeedDemon 3.1's "Content Filters" to hide the stuff you don't care about.  Just create a content filter, assign it to whichever feeds you like, and articles in those feeds matching the filter will be marked read as soon as they arrive so you don't see them.

Content filters can be used to either include or exclude articles based on your keywords – and if you subscribe to a feed which has several different authors, you can use a content filter to show or hide articles from specific authors.

I personally use this feature to deal with all the high-traffic tech feeds I'm subscribed to which rarely talk about things I care about.  Now instead of seeing every single article, I have a content filter which automatically hides stuff that doesn't interest me.

Translate Item

I'm subscribed to a lot of search feeds that tell me when someone blogs or tweets about FeedDemon, which really helps me stay in touch with how people feel about my work.  Quite often I'll see something written in a different language, so I have to translate it in order to figure out what it says – a time-consuming process, especially when there are several items that need translating.

FeedDemon 3.1 solves this with the addition of the "translate" icon which now appears beneath each item.  Simply click this icon and FeedDemon will translate the item into your language.


And Lots of Small Stuff

So that's a look at the major new features, but as with every release, there are tons of small improvements, changes and fixes in FeedDemon 3.1, all of which are covered in the release notes.

Download FeedDemon 3.1

PS: If you have any questions about the new version, rather than post a comment here, I recommend asking in the FeedDemon Support Group instead.

Perfect Attention (With a Little Help from My Friends)

Back in the summer of 2007, I wrote this post about how aggregators should be able to find articles that interest you by paying attention to what people like you are reading.  It's a very simple idea – after all, if 10 people you know all like the same article, then there's a pretty good chance you'll like it, too.  But as is often the case, the simplest ideas often take the longest to implement.

Using an aggregator like FeedDemon ensures that you'll see stuff that interests you because you usually only subscribe to feeds you find interesting.  But there are tons of feeds you don't know about that may interest you, so there's a good chance you're missing a lot of articles you'd enjoy.

The traditional approach to solving this problem has been to show you the stuff that's interesting to everyone (even "mainstream" news sites like CNN show the popularity of each article).  But I personally hate this approach because it shows me so much stuff I don't care about it.  For example, a lot of people may find the latest antics of pop culture icons interesting, but I couldn't care less.

I don't want to see articles about Britney Spears, I don't want to know how many women Tiger Woods slept with, and I don't care if Kanye just made an ass out of himself.  But I do want to know if Google has an interesting new service, or if Microsoft released a new development tool, or if someone declared that RSS is dead (again).  And I also want to know when someone has written a great response to an article that interests me.

So knowing what everyone is paying attention to doesn't interest me, but knowing what people like me are paying attention to is very interesting.  I've tried to tackle this in FeedDemon for quite a while with little to show for it, but when Google Reader added the ability to follow people, I knew it was the "secret sauce" to finally solving this problem.

Long story short: the next build of FeedDemon will include articles from people you follow in Google Reader, and these articles will help fuel the "Popular in My Subscriptions" page which until now has shown only the articles that are popular in feeds you subscribe to.  I've been using a build of FeedDemon with this feature enabled (here's a screenshot), and it has brought me tons of interesting articles that I would otherwise has missed (many of which I've added to my Shared Items feed).

PS: I should add that if you only see stuff that's interesting to people you follow, then there's a risk that you'll end up wearing blinders and miss "general interest" articles that may be relevant to you.  For this reason, FeedDemon also looks at the feeds you're subscribed to and figures out which articles in those feeds have been "liked" the most by everyone (not just people you follow), and it interweaves those articles into the "Popular in My Subscriptions" page.

How To: Add Support for and to FeedDemon’s Short URL Preview

One of my favorite features in FeedDemon is the short URL preview, which displays a balloon tip containing the long URL when you mouse over a short URL, like this:

FeedDemon has built-in support for over two dozen URL shortening services, but new ones seem to appear all the time.  Today, for example, Google announced their shortener, and Facebook recently rolled out their shortener.

Both of these services will be supported in the next FeedDemon 3.x release (coming soon), but if you don't want to wait, it's easy to add support for them right now.  Just look for the file ShortUrl.xml in FeedDemon's \Data subfolder, then open it in your favorite XML editor (I use TopStyle 4).

The domain of each URL shortener is listed in this XML file as a separate <service> entry, so supporting and is as simple as adding two entries to this file:

After you save the changes, the next time you run FeedDemon it will automatically expand short URLs from both and

You can add other URL shorteners the same way, provided that they return the long URL in the location header after doing a HEAD request.  Almost all shorteners do this (including, but some redirect to an HTML page before redirecting to the actual long URL, and some use their own HTML page containing an IFRAME which hosts the long URL.  These services can't be supported.

FeedDemon Recommendations and Faster Synchronization

FeedDemon is now available, and as you can see from the screenshot below, it now offers recommendations.   Powered by Google Reader’s new explore feature, FeedDemon’s recommendations report shows a single view containing feeds and articles recommended for you.  If you’d like more details, Digital Inspiration has a nice overview of how this feature works.

This new build also offers faster and more efficient synchronization, especially when you have a lot of synched tags or are using a slow connection.

If you have any questions or comments about this new release, please stop by the FeedDemon 3.0 Support Forum and we’ll be happy to help out.

Introducing FeedDemon 3.0

It’s been a long time coming, but the final release of FeedDemon 3.0 is finally here.  If you’re using FeedDemon 2.x or a pre-release of FeedDemon 3.0, simply install the final release on top of the previous version.  There’s no need to uninstall first.

As most of you know, the biggest change in the new version is Google Reader synchronization, which replaces the now-defunct NewsGator synchronization that existed in previous releases.  The first time you run FeedDemon 3.0, you’ll be asked whether to convert your NewsGator subscriptions to Google Reader.  The conversion may take a few minutes, but I think you’ll like how much faster synchronization with Google Reader is once the conversion completes.  If you tried an older pre-release of FeedDemon 3.0 and found sync to be slow, then you really should get the final release.  Sync is much faster now.

With Google Reader synchronization comes the addition of some handy new features, most notably tagging and really simple sharing.

FeedDemon 3.0’s tagging goes a step further than you’ve probably seen in similar features, because it suggests tags based on the article’s content and highlights tags you’ve used before if they seem appropriate for the article.  Here’s a screenshot which illustrates this feature in action:

FeedDemon 3.0 makes adding an article to your Google Reader shared items as simple as possible – a single click is all it takes.  Plus, you can drag-and-drop hyperlinks and browser tabs into your shared items, so you can share almost anything you find on the web.  You can also easily add a comment to your shared item.

In addition to Google Reader synchronization, FeedDemon 3.0 greatly improves the way Twitter feeds are handled.  Author names, hashtags and @replies are automatically hyperlinked, and mousing over a short URL shows you where it really goes.  You can also subscribe to password-protected Twitter feeds in FeedDemon, which is something you can’t do in web-based RSS readers.

But my favorite new feature has to be the faster, sleeker, more informative user-interface.  FeedDemon 3.0’s new subscription home shows an overview of your feeds, and highlights popular articles and YouTube videos in the feeds you’re subscribed to. 

And FeedDemon’s popular newspaper view has been simplified, so you can quickly see what you want to read without an overload of toolbuttons getting in the way.

One of the features in FeedDemon 3.0 I’ve seen highlighted in several blog posts (including this really well-done one by Amit Agarwal) is the ability to easily create keyword search feeds, which has actually existed for quite a while.  Just enter a keyword and choose a search engine (Bing, Google, Techmeme, Twitter, YouTube, etc.), and FeedDemon will subscribe you to a feed containing the latest search results for that keyword.


There’s a whole lot more I could talk about (such as FeedDemon 3.0’s new SQLite backend, which makes everything much faster than before), but I figure if you made it this far, you’ve heard enough :)  If you really want to know everything that’s new, check the release notes for a detailed list of changes.  Suffice to say, I consider FeedDemon 3.0 to be the most significant release since the very first version, and I hope you’re as pleased with it as I am.

ANN: FeedDemon Pre-Release

Looks like I’m going for a personal record in the number of pre-releases before the final build, because FeedDemon Pre-Release is now available.

If you’re using an earlier FeedDemon 3.0 pre-release, just stop by the FeedDemon Beta Site to get v3.0.0.39.  As always, if you run into any problems with this build, please let me know by posting in the FeedDemon 3.0 Beta Forum, and be sure to include the build number ( in your subject line.


ANN: FeedDemon Pre-Release

FeedDemon Pre-Release is now available.

If you’re using an earlier FeedDemon 3.0 pre-release, just stop by the FeedDemon Beta Site to get v3.0.0.32.  As always, if you run into any problems with this build, please let me know by posting in the FeedDemon 3.0 Beta Forum, and be sure to include the build number ( in your subject line.

BTW, if you haven’t used a recent build, you may be surprised to discover that you can now purchase a serial number to get rid of the ads.  For the record, we never planned to offer a paid ad-free version – we were blown away when so many people asked for one.  Because of the demand for a paid ad-free version, we’ve partnered with eSellerate to make it possible to purchase a serial number that will turn off the ads.  If you don’t mind the ads, no worries – FeedDemon will remain free (and we won’t make the ads more annoying later on, just to “force” you to pay).  But if you really hate the ads, there’s now a way to turn them off.