For most of the last year and a half or so I used FeedDemon as my RSS feed reader. I started using it just about the time the product was purchased by NewsGator, so I was part of that transition. One of the key features for me was the ability to sync the read state for articles between multiple computers. But once I started using it on a regular basis, I discovered that the sync system didn’t work as well as I would have expected. Using the NewsGator system, the sync only matched read states for articles that were still in the active feed at the time the sync was performed. For sites that publish many articles per day, that basically meant that you had to keep FeedDemon running 24/7 on all of the machines you wanted to sync, which to me at least kind of defeated part of the purpose of syncing across machines. During some of the earlier days, there were also quite a few outages of the NewsGator service itself, and the way FeedDemon was written caused it to rely completely on the NewsGator service. It did not automatically fall back to checking the feed directly when the NewsGator service was down, which was pretty frustrating.

Anyway, the point of all of this is that I have now been using Google Reader for about 4 months. While I really like the speed and screen layout of FeedDemon (when things are running properly), I’ve adapted to the point where Google Reader is just a useful to me. It’s a little slower than FeedDemon, probably at least partly due to the fundamental differences between a web application and desktop application. The only thing that I really wish Google had was a tag for “save this to read later”. They do have the concept of “shared” and “favorite” articles, and both of those functions are great, but I’d really like them to add a folder for stuff I don’t have time to read right now, but I definitely want to read later. But at that point, I don’t know yet if it is worth sharing or if it really belongs in my favorites or not, so I need a third option.

So overall I am quite happy with Google Reader, and I’ve uninstalled FeedDemon from my machine and cancelled my NewsGator account. Yet another case of free software winning out for me over software that I have to pay for.