I started using Bloglines a few weeks ago. With the doom of my hard drive and the ensuing several week hiatus from my news aggregator, I decided to check it out and see if it was worth while. I have been very surprised by how well the free service works. I have not yet re-installed RSS Bandit onto the new hard drive, and I don’t think I will.
I think that has as much to do with the current poor state of aggregators. RSS Bandit was my favorite by far, but it was still bloated, buggy, and often chose to devour all three billion hyper-threaded cycles my CPU could offer up for seemingly no purpose. SharpReader is better, but it lacks a lot of near-critical features. Thunderbird purports to support RSS, but the still green feature lacks almost any usability. Worse, there is no way to import my OPML feed list, and re-entering them using the clunky dialogs was out of the question.
So then there is Bloglines. It’s fast and accurate. It doesn’t have any bloat. There is a notifier program that sits in my system tray, and although it is a little rough around the edges, it uses only 244K of memory and never eats my CPU. I admit that I dislike the feed tree, but it’s as good as you’re going to get on the web.
I would really prefer a desktop aggregator interface - I think we figured out that web pages don’t make very good desktop applications like this sometime in 1999, but in this case, I’m going to make an exception. For now.