I'm a google reader orphan

Since the shutdown of Reader, I still haven’t found a good way to keep track of my feeds.

I’ve used Feedly for a while, but I’m a little turned off by things “in the cloud” at the moment, plus I don’t want to make the same mistake I’ve made with Reader, and be at the mercy of one site, with no possibility of exporting my data.

I’d rather save on my drives everything I read ; I used Reader as a backup for my corner of the web, searching in it to find where I’d heard of a particular topic.

So… I found RSSowl, which is okay I suppose, even if it requires Java. I was able to import the list of feeds I’m subscribed to, but I’m missing a lot of news items, since most feeds contain just the x latest items, for obvious reasons.

Is there a way to import older items in RSSOwl ? Is there another tool more suited to my needs, which are:

  • save all the things forever (maybe even with the images)
  • searchable
  • (optional) can share on popular social networks, can save on services like instapaper

What do you guys use ? Have you stopped using RSS altogether, as a friend of mine did* ?

* He told me that, since I read a lot, and share the things I like, I’m his new feed aggregator :slight_smile:

1 Like

I use Akregator. It supports archiving (including ‘keep everything/unlimited duration’), has search, can be configured to fetch either full article or RSS snippet on read, and does support ‘share’ (at least on identi.ca and twitter, I don’t use that so haven’t bothered to look for plugins/extensions for other services. Obviously cut/paste of the URL is always an option in a pinch).

As for past feed items, I think that you may be out of luck. Most RSS-autogenerator widgets only provide the last X items, and either ‘age out’ at some defined period, or delete oldest first at some defined number of articles. No amount of poking at the feed reader is going to get it to fetch articles that simply aren’t defined in the RSS/Atom file anymore. (One trick, if you really care about a given feed, is to run the feed URL through the Internet Archive Wayback Machine, that will give you at least snapshots of certain parts of the past; but it is a bit of a pain).

The fact that Akregator is a KDE application, and thus mostly for Linux/BSD, with Windows and OSX much less mature, if they’ve gotten them up and running at all, may be a problem for you, depends.


True, I was thinking I could edit the stored files of my aggregator, and add them there, from my google reader backup.

I’m afraid that I don’t know exactly what is stored in a Google reader backup, so I don’t know whether it includes the full text of all past articles, the full history of all feeds; but not the articles themselves, or just a list of feed URLs, and I don’t know exactly what Akregator can do with one. Akregator definitely has an ‘import’ feature(and an ‘export’ one); but the devil is often in the details with such things. (It seems a hopeful sign that ‘OPML’ is mentioned in a few articles about Google Reader exports, and is also Akregator’s native import/export format; but there’s compatible and there’s “compatible”)

If you have a Google Reader backup with enough contents to be a meaningful test(doesn’t need to be your ‘real’ one; but obviously has to have some stuff in it) that you wouldn’t mind me seeing, I’d be happy to give it a shot and tell you what it does and doesn’t do; but your specific migration trajectory is not one I’ve faced personally, so I can’t comment in detail, I’m afraid.

It’s a zip, containing a few JSON files, one for “starred” items, one for “shared”, etc. I’ll look into Akregator, maybe I can hack something over a weekend to copy the items from one format to another.

Someone made a “Google Reader backup viewer” in Python, I’ll start there.

I’m your lost brother!

I as well sorely missed Reader and then tried fast.ly.

They screwed me when I discovered after the fact that there was a 1K item limit.

Then, I found go read: https://www.goread.io/

A clone of Reader that is also open source! Can’t get better!

I’m running a private instance of it on App Engine so I can bump up the 1K limit. And take my own backups.

I’m using The Old Reader, which works pretty well for me.

I tried the Old Reader, but it had problems updating the feeds in a timely manner. At one point, BoingBoing had not updated for more than a day, but I could see that more than 50 things had been posted to the website. I have switched to Netvibes, but I still do not like it as much as I liked Google Reader. I have not tried Feedly or Digg Reader because I do not want to use my Google account as a log-in.

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