RSS Bandit is probably one of the most well-known desktop feed readers available, and it just got a nice overhaul. The new RSS Bandit 1.5 has all sorts of cool new stuff, but the thing I found most interesting with it is the comment watching feature. With it you’re able to read all of the comments currently available on a site right there in RSS Bandit.
In order for it to work the feed will need to be setup with providing the number of comments, which ours currently doesn’t do, but once that is done the readers of your site will surely reap the benefits. In the screenshot above you can see what the comment tracking looks like, and if you come across a post that you want to monitor for new comments all you have to do is right-click and select “Watch Comments”. Every time a new comment is made you’ll be notified…can’t get much easier than that!
Here is a list of other features that you’ll find in this release, along with links that explains each of them in a little more detail:
- Comment Watching
- Items marked as read when viewed in the Newspaper
- Date-based grouping in the list view
- Options for opening tabs in the background
- Enclosures treated as attachments
- Certain user defined enclosures treated as podcasts including adding to playlists in iTunes and Windows media player
- Remembering application state on restart – This will work similar to the Session Saver extension in Firefox in that open tabs and the tree view state will be remembered on restart
- Revamping the search feature – We’ve moved the implementation of feed search to Lucene.Net from our custom feed search implementation which should make searches faster and provide richer search options.
- Support for Atom Threading Extensions
- Easily configurable keyboard shortcuts – Just right-click when hovering over the toolbar menu and choose “Customize”.
I tried out RSS Bandit and it is one of the best feed readers that I have used. The only thing that holds me back from using it as my own feed reader is that there is no easy way to switch from feed to feed. I need a shortcut that will take me from one unread feed to another, and the only option that it currently has is a shortcut to go from one unread item to another. Some of my feeds I subscribe to will have 10 to 20 new posts each time I view them, and I don’t want to go from item to item in order to get to the next feed. I could always just click on the next feed with my mouse, but that could get tedious with more than 200 feeds to go through.
RSS Bandit is an open source feed reader so it won’t cost you a penny, which is something that attracts a lot of users. So play with it a little, see if you like it, and the worst thing that could happen is you would uninstall it.