More thoughts on FeedLounge vs Gregarius

Some time in the last 2 days, the cron job I use to update my Gregarius feeds started failing. I noticed the problem fairly quickly. I haven’t had any time to fix the problem, so I’ve been calling the script manually two or three times a day. That’s not a huge inconvenience, but if a worse problem happened and I didn’t have time to fix it, I’d be out of luck.

Feeds are important to me, so it might seem that the unsupported nature of Gregarius would put me in the FeedLounge camp right away. But I’m still torn. They both have pros and cons.

Gregarius is an app that you install on a server of your choice. You maintain that installation. Gregarius is also open source with a fairly active community behind it. If someone else doesn’t create the feature you are looking for, you can do it yourself.

FeedLounge is a service. The feature set is controlled by a individuals selected by a company. On the plus side they also maintain the installation and the database, probably making data loss a non-issue.

What do I want in an aggregator?

  • Responsive UI when I’m in a desktop browser. (FeedLounge wins)
  • No maintenance issues. (FeedLounge wins)
  • A way to read my feeds on my Palm TX pda and my Razr phone. (Gregarius wins)
  • Customizability – the ability to create plugins and use plugins built by the community. (Gregarius wins)

Of course, item level read/unread status synchronization would make the choice easy – I’d use both.  Dave points out that reading lists will solve the problem of making sure all your aggregators are accessing the same feeds.  Definitely true, but I would much prefer the synch to happen at the item read/unread status granularity.

NewsGator has browser based and mobile options, so that’s a possibility, but I don’t recall their online UI being as fast as FeedLounge and they aren’t as customizable as Gregarius.

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