One of the more interesting aspects of the internet age, the age of the information superhighway, is the number of news sources available. From information superhighway to misinformation superhighway, the choices for news are greater than ever.
Back in the day we’d get our dose of news from the local newspaper, a couple of TV news channels, the radio, a magazine subscription or two, and maybe a daily newspaper from a nearby larger city. How does yesteryear compare to today?
Today we have access to many tens of thousands of news sources from all over the world. Almost every TV station, radio station, magazine, and daily newspaper also place their content on their websites, so detailed news, information, and entertainment is available instantly. Plus, there are tens of thousands of news aggregators that are only on the web. News is everywhere and a click away.
Or, rather, a hundred clicks away. To find news from sources we want and trust requires plenty of clicking and browser bookmark management. There’s a better way and it’s an old and free technology called RSS. To gather information from hundreds of sources and bring it to your Mac is easy with the free Vienna newsreader app. Think of a spreadsheet browser bookmark list of news, information, and entertainment sites meets browser window.
All Vienna does is take a website’s RSS subscription feed and bring it to you. That means you can subscribe to hundreds and hundreds of websites, click on one you want to read in Vienna’s simple sidebar, view the headlines and summary, and click to view the whole article without opening up a bookmark or clicking from site to site. The websites come to you.
No more worrying about bookmarks. Almost every website has an RSS feed (typically RSS or Atom or both). Vienna stores the feeds and automatically checks each website for updated articles. You can organize website feeds in smart folders. Vienna usually finds the RSS Atom link automatically.
While Vienna is not as visually attractive as commercial RSS readers, the interface is simple, contains multiple layouts for easier reading, uses browser tabs, and features a full search option. Preferences are straightforward and won’t cause you grief. Use Vienna right out of the box and get into configurations only after you’re comfortable with the interface.
If you’ve used an RSS reader then you already know the value and efficiency. If you’ve never used an RSS reader but rely on lots of clicking to find news, and have an extensive bookmark list, there is no easier way to find and read the latest news than an RSS reader and Vienna is free but loaded with little extras. There’s just not much to not like and it’s highly recommended. There are many RSS readers for the Mac; none that are free have more features than Vienna so the value is obvious.