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Recently, I found a way to be up to date with news, using an RSS Aggregator. Say, you need to know about Beijing Olympics and what its main attractions are. Instead of your going through tons of unsorted data until you find what you need, an RSS Aggregator brings the “headlines” at your doorstep (or should I say Desk-stop?) – in this case, say who won the latest gold! Once you subscribe to an RSS feed, an aggregator checks for new content at intervals you specify, retrieves the update and provides a consolidated view of the content in a single browser display or desktop application. Aggregators with pod-casting capabilities can even automatically download media files, such as MP3 recordings! Amazing, isn’t it? As you will have probably guessed by now, it saves a tremendous amount of your time. Or conversely, you can read many more feeds in the same amount of time, which just wouldn’t be feasible otherwise. Additionally, you avoid those ads too.

You are spoilt for choice, when it comes to what aggregator you want to use. It depends on your own needs – You might prefer an aggregator that shows news items as a news ticker on your desktop or a full-fledged application to read RSS feeds in. I will help you out with a list of some: -

Web Based – The web browser Mozilla Firefox comes with built-in auto discovery for news feeds, a one-click-subscription icon for feeds and a mechanism called Live Bookmarks that lets you access feed items as bookmarks. Using extensions, the Open Source browser can also suite more advanced needs. Opera and Apple Safari have their own lists too. Some reader applications on the web are hosted on remote servers. Popular ones include the Google Reader, My Yahoo! or Bloglines. Google Reader even allows you to view items offline.

Desktop Software – There’s a lot of software across platforms and operating systems which are Free! Windows users have a choice of Newzie, FeedTray, QM Nooze, NewsPiper and many more. Some even read out the items aloud. Linux and Mac users have Liferea, SnowNews, Raggle and a whole lot of others to choose from.

Windows based phones and the Blackberry’s are coming with RSS Aggre(sive)gators!

“…. Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career, a family… Choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players… Choose good health…” – Trainspotting.

You might just add an RSS Aggregator to it!


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