I was pretty excited this morning to see that FeedDemon 2.5 was finally released. I had been Beta testing it for a month or two, and the improvements it incorporated put it at the top in comparison to other RSS feed readers.

Before I get started on what’s new, I want to point out that this application costs $29.95 to purchase. I bought a license a few months ago, and it has been worth every penny for me. I read hundreds of feeds everyday and skim through thousands of articles…without using FeedDemon that would be quite a chore. If you’re just a casual feed reader then I recommend using Google Reader (online feed reader) or RSS Bandit (free desktop application).

FeedDemon makes it really easy to flip through a large number of feeds in a short period of time, which is the reason I love it so much. I have used other desktop applications made for reading feeds, but they just don’t offer the power that FeedDemon does.

One of my favorite features in FeedDemon, which has been improved in the new release, is the Popular Topics. In a single click you can get a list of the popular topics across all your feeds:

FeedDemon 2.5

This is done by looking for sites that are all linking to the same URL, and obviously the more people that are linking to a single URL the more popular that story probably is. Of course this doesn’t replace going through the feeds “manually,” but it does make it easy to see if anything big happened while you were gone. This is always the first thing I check when I get up in the morning. :)

Here is a list of what’s new in FeedDemon 2.5:

  • Synchronized news bins with shared RSS feeds – share a FeedDemon “news bin” (similar to a link blog) as an RSS feed so that others may subscribe to it. Simply copy a post from any feed into a shared news bin, and everyone subscribed to that news bin’s feed will get a copy of it. You can also drag-and-drop FeedDemon browser tabs – or even hyperlinks from an external browser – into a news bin to share those links.
  • Vastly improved offline support – including the ability to prefetch links and images in all unread items for offline reading.
  • Completely rewritten “Popular Topics” – view the most popular topics in all the feeds you’re subscribed to, alongside the topics that are popular with all NewsGator subscribers.
  • Embedded video support – video objects embedded in feed items can now be securely viewed inside FeedDemon.
  • “Who’s linking here?” – with a single click, find out who in the blogosphere is linking to a specific post in your subscriptions.
  • and much more…

One of the other features that I really like is being able to easily customize the feeds that appear in the desktop alert (a popup window similar to what you receive when someone instant messages you). In just a few clicks you can choose which feeds appear in the alert, instead of having to go through the properties of each feed individually:

FeedDemon Desktop Alert

Many of you probably know that I don’t purchase many applications, and I think there are only a small handful that I ever buy. Normally there are plenty of freeware options available to do what I’m looking for, but nothing matches up to what FeedDemon has to offer. Give it a shot and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

Download the FeedDemon trial or purchase it for $29.95

Note: No, I wasn’t paid to write this review nor was I given the software for free. I really did spend the $30 out of my own pocket for FeedDemon after trying it out.