Google Reader

Reader is the new RSS aggregator from Google. And I am rather sorry to say that it is rubbish.

It uses a lot of the java technology that works so well on Gmail, and alright on the personalised home page. But Reader just seems unfinished to me – no make that barely even started. Fair enough, it is in beta, but it is genuinely more-or-less unusable.

It does allow you to import an OPML file of your subscriptions with another aggregator, so I did this with my large collections of feeds from FeedDemon. This process took a long time, which I guess is fair enough. But the problem is that it doesn’t keep the categories, so you just end up with this mind-numbingly long list of feeds to browse through.

edit: it does in fact retain the categories, but not in the default ‘Reader’ screen.

The browsing through itself is absurd, as from my brief play last night, you have to scroll through your feeds in a tiny little window using little buttons that give a lovely smooth scrolling effect but which take forever to actually get anywhere.

I think this tool needs a lot of work before it even comes close to services like BlogLines.

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