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Scott Dorman Microsoft MVP, Software Architect, Developer, Author

I've just found a new blog reader that promises to completely change the way you read blogs. The biggest difference between FeedGhost and other blog readers is that it works on a subscription basis. What this means is that when you subscribe to a blog, the state is kept synchronized across all machines that you have FeedGhost installed.

The price of the subscription is $20 per year, which gives you access to any FeedGhost products or upgrades as they become available, use of the synchronization service (essentially the FeedGhost product) on unlimited computers, and technical support through email or web forums. You get a free 7 day trial to test the product and see if you like it. If 7 days isn't long enough, you can register for free with FeedGhost and you get an additional 30 days. After the evaluation period, a lot of functionality becomes disabled but I think you will make the decision to purchase a subscription before the trial runs out. If you decide to change your mind after subscribing to FeedGhost, you get a 30 day money back guarantee for a full refund.

FeedGhost has been designed to provide a very modern look, similar to what you see on Vista, and provides a couple of different color schemes to choose from. It incorporates a "ribbon concept" for the navigation and menu, but it doesn't follow the standard Microsoft Ribbon specification, so it does take a little bit of adjusting.

FeedGhost Screenshot

FeedGhost also supports tabbed browsing, similar to Internet Explorer 7 and Mozilla Firefox. It can also automatically scan websites for new feeds. You can subscribe by entering a web address, dragging from your browser, or right-clicking in Internet Explorer or Firefox.

In addition, FeedGhost provides an excellent tagging feature that lets you tag articles for reading later with user-defined categories. All feeds are automatically indexed to provide fast searching capabilities, including searching deleted or archived articles.

Going beyond normal blog readers, FeedGhost also provides good feed management tools, providing support for listing broken sites and forgotten blogs. These "problem subscriptions" are broken down by blogs that failed to update, and blogs that have not had any activity in a while.

The way you read your blogs is customizable as well. You can choose to read them using an Outlook-style list, which is my preference, or a "river-of-news" style. You even get undo/redo features in case you accidentally delete a post or mark it as read.

FeedGhost supports RSS, RDF, and Atom formats. It also supports OPML for importing and exporting your list of subscribed feeds. You can also share articles with others through email or your own "link-blog".

Overall, this is an excellent product from a very young company. They have paid a lot of attention to detail in order to provide a very good user experience for what is ordinarily an "every-day" activity.

Download the latest version today. FeedGhost requires Windows XP or Windows Vista, at least 128 MB of RAM, 50 MB of free disk space and the .NET Framework 2.0 or later.



Posted on Saturday, April 21, 2007 2:03 PM General | Back to top

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