We review six RSS readers

Conclusions

The feed readers tested here all reliably fulfill their intended task but focus on different target groups. Whereas Liferea, QuiteRSS, and Akregator offer conventional looks and cover the usual functional spectrum without massive resource requirements, FeedReader goes for visual appeal and impresses with its clarity.

As a text-based application, Canto is suitable for systems without an X server and is also extremely efficient with resources. Makagiga's feed reader, on the other hand, cannot deny its origin as a module of a complete workstation environment and therefore also offers additional functions, such as special sorting options or the ability to save individual messages as HTML files.

The differences between the individual readers are also obvious when searching for specific terms: Although all readers allow a headline search function, not all are able to search for tags or in the messages themselves.

Moreover, not all readers archive their messages. Although Canto lacks an option to store sorted content, all other programs offer at least a rudimentary archiving option.

However, the overall picture shows that the spectrum of RSS applications (Table 1) is broad enough to find a suitable application even 20 years after the advent of the first RSS feed readers.

Table 1

RSS Reader Overview

 

Akregator

Canto

FeedReader

Liferea

QuiteRSS

Makagiga

License

GPLv2

GPLv2

GPLv3

GPLv2

GPLv3

AGPLv2

Cross-Platform

No

No

No

Limited

Yes

Yes

Graphical

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Internal Browser

Yes

Limited

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

External Browser Possible

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Ad Blocker

Yes

No

Yes

No

Yes

No

Extensible Filter Lists

No

No

No

No

Yes

No

Storing Messages

No

No

No

No

No

Yes (HTML)

Backup Function

No

No

No

No

Yes

No

Multimedia Content

No

Limited

No

No

Yes

No

Search folders

No

No

No

Yes

No

No

Formats

RSS/RDF/Atom

RSS/RDF/Atom

RSS/RDF/Atom

RSS/RDF/Atom

RSS/RDF/Atom

RSS/RDF/Atom

OPML Import and Export

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Podcast Playback

No

No

No

Yes

No

No

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