alltop

RSS readers can be terrific; I use FeedDemon and NetNewsWire, both of which recently became free. (Yeah, after I bought them.) But sometimes it’s just too much to wade through RSS, especially after you get back from vacation. Alltop, a site headline aggregator, recently added CDM to its music page, and I’ve started using it as a quick way of glancing over topics like “Music” without cluttering my RSS reader more. Oh, yeah, and it’s nice to see CDM next to KEXP. Alltop is the product of Guy Kawasaki; he’s been a hero of mine since he introduced evangelism to Apple (you know where that led), and he’s still doing great stuff with business and marketing. So, thanks, Guy!

That brings me to my question, though: what’s your preferred method for keeping up with blogs and forums and mailing lists without eating up all your time for music making? (We do see CDM readers on different platforms, including someone who just spent 12 minutes reading on BeOS. Also featured: Wii, PSP, Atari, UNIX, Symbian smartphone…)

Anything we could do to help you keep up with feeds more easily — not only ours, but other sites, as well?

  • http://www.kentsandvik.com Kent Sandvik

    Bloglines.

  • dead_red_eyes

    I use NewsFire for most RSS stuff … but not all the time.

  • Mikey Stanley Michae

    Your question assumes we spend all of our waking hours reading blogs and not making music. For me it's the other way around.. thank God..

  • Mikey

    Crud, guess I wonked that one. I meant to say I make more music than I do read blogs thank God. I hate computers. Hate them. I used to love them. But I hate them now. I want the 70's and 80's back. Life was so simple and fun then. Computers have ruined everything. Yuck. I'm going to start recording to analog tape again. Sounds way better than a hard drive to me ears

  • http://www.sighup.ca Steve

    Google reader

  • Jeff Laity

    Google reader for me, with a "next" bookmark in my web toolbar.

  • Barry Wood

    I just use the RSS feature in Safari. I rely on people like Peter to comb the net for me and distill the information that I'm interested in. Between CDM, Music Thing, and Mac Music News I get all the music gear news I need.

  • interim_descriptor

    I've been hooked on Google Reader for the last 6 months.

    Reader is pretty much my mobile phone's killer app, and makes waiting in any sort of line not a pain at all, but rather a chance catch up on my news.

    All I ask of any of my RSS feeds is to keep a reasonable signal-to-noise ratio, especially if they have lots of posts-per-day.

    That, and I hate it when only the first part of an update is pushed through RSS, and I have to click through to read the rest of it. Certain blogs do this, and they make me strongly consider deleting them.

    Lastly, when writers/sites post stories that link to a variety of other writers/sites that they find interesting, that's an excellent way to find new RSS feeds to subscribe to.

    I *just* subscribed to your feed about a week ago, and so far I like what you've posted. Thanks for that.

  • wishniak

    yeah – its tough. sometimes you just gotta "mark all as read."

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    @Mikey: I hear you.

    I typically manage to compartmentalize my RSS reading so it doesn't infringe on anything else, like music. Email's actually tougher, because it's such a huge bucket for me and I often can't ignore it.

  • http://kimlajoie.com Kim

    Netvibes!

    Seems there's no Netvibes love around the Internet…

    -Kim.

  • http://una-love.com/muna Michael Una

    I use the Brief firefox extension.

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    @Michael: Brief looks very nice.

    @Kim: Netvibes was once the #1 RSS reader for CDM, but I think Google Reader kinda ate it. It's still up there on our stats. But then, this thread is already interesting as it tells us stuff our stats don't.

    Oh, yeah, and I know a lot of people read directly on the site, which of course we love and what we designed for. :)

  • http://seanfitzgerald.wordpress.com/ Sean FitzGerald

    I use Google Reader.

    Stay focussed and high quality and you will remain in there… and I agree with interim_descriptor – thanks for letting the full post through… makes things a lot easier.

  • Adrian

    I have a gadget on my google homepage that displays the rss. Easiest way for me to keep up, and as a bonus allows me to check up on feeds anywhere I can log into google.

  • http://www.marcoraaphorst.nl/ Marco Raaphorst

    using Google Reader (great when you're using your mobile phone as well – no redundancy)

  • http://homemadenoize.com kubton

    I use igoogle home page. Nice to have rss, email, search boxes, weather, calendar, etc all on one page right when you open browser.

  • http://rekkerd.org ronnie

    Another vote for the Google Reader. Easy to use and works great on mobile phone indeed.

  • Kyran

    I'm using akregator as part of the kontact PIM suite in KDE.

    Maybe I should add the rss to my igoogle homepage as well, for quick reference when I'm at someone else's pc.

    Oh and I love the fact that you can read entire posts of cdm in the rss!

  • Rozling

    Another Greader user here. I have a firefox keyword bookmark setup (as with all common links I don't wanna have to think about to reach), so I just hit the address bar and type greader to call it up. I've been frustrated with it a few times but keep coming back, mainly for the Gmail address book integration for emailing items – probably for the look too, though.

    Recently, I've been trying to use it 'more smarter' & have found there's a few things you can do which you may or may not know about: Viewing feeds in List view makes greader faster (according to Lifehacker). Pressing 'u' hides the folder bar. Pressing 'g' then 'u' calls up a dialog containing your feed names, & if you type the first couple of letters of a name it narrows the list down to a couple. Use the arrow keys to select & hit enter to be taken to the feed without ever having to use the mouse (so really there's no need to have the folder bar there. Press F11 to go fullscreen & you can really enjoy reading those longer posts.

    The Search function is crazy powerful too – though it's unfortunate you can't setup 'live' greader search rss feeds, & needs a function for disabling highlighting. Do a search for something & enter List View, great way to pull together everything you have on a topic.

    For offline/dialup reading RSS Bandit looks great, it's a standalone (windows) app which I sort of stumbled upon by accident – not even sure where I got it – but it does have feed folders, tabs, podcast/file downloading capabilities (if this were scriptable to automatically download .flvs this would be a dream), tracks comments that you make on blogs from the Bandit, & (a big one) opens webpages within the reader so you can read it the way it was intended, if desired.

    http://www.rssbandit.org

    Anyone else subscribe to the CDM comments feed? It can be entertaining to pop in every once in a while, though I need a better way to sort comments in order of date/story. Another offline aggregator I used to use (forget which one) used to automatically drag in comments for posts too, in a collapsable tree beneath the post which was pretty cool.

  • Rozling

    Oh yeah, and type '?' in Greader to get a few more of those keyboard shortcuts.

  • http://toilville.com peter

    another greader post. Its great for obsessively reading when stuck on a bus in some tunnel.

  • http://www.peteroome.com Pete

    Google Reader. I can access all of my RSS feeds anywhere on any computer its brilliant. Very easy to use and it's great for sharing interesting posts with guys at work and friends.

    …although do find my music making time is reduced as i am trying to stay uptodate with whats going on etc. Hmmm i cant think off hand of anyways to prevent this though, short of cutting back on my reading, but im sure you guys wouldnt be please to hear that :-D

  • http://www.bassnode.com bassnode

    Netvibes

  • http://andrew.hicox.com plurgid

    The latest version of Apple Mail does RSS, that works pretty great for me.

    Now, if I could apply message routing rules to RSS items, then I could do some neat stuff, maybe in the next version.

  • http://www.thumbuki.com/ Jacob Joaquin

    I just started using readers a few months back. Started with bloglines, but have since switched to google reader.

  • Brad

    @Mikey

    -I'm with you! I absolute hate having to rely on a computer for anything these days. I've gone back to vinyl for my music, I'd probably use a reel to reel to play movies if I could, and I'm starting to buy actual real, physically there, instruments that will require zero updates to operate with whatever else I have. I miss the good ol' days!

    -b

  • http://www.myspace.com/pax lost

    Firefox's Live bookmarks for me. I may change soon though, as I'd like i access my feeds from other computers too. Maybe something for my iGoogle.

  • tusi

    NetNewsWire here. But with all the votes going to google, seems i should give g-reader a second chance (even though i think the ui is ugly).

  • max

    Netvibes. Can become cluttered with lots of feeds, but it's relatively easy to organize the feeds by theme – and I like the look.

  • Doug Rouxel

    I use th RSS feeds at the top of firefox, as well as a run down of a number of blogs being my screen saver (a butchered version of the news Quartz composer plug in) I've often wondered what advantage a reader would give me, but have never bothered to look into them.

  • Mikey

    I hear there is growing demand for vinyl believe it or not. I believe we will see a technical revolution at some point. Retro is in. I think many people are growing averse to computing because–in excess– it is ruining the quality of life in the world. Ask yourself: how were you spending your time before computers came along? I was playing my piano and singing (recording it with a MT120 Yammy 4 track tape deck), bbq'g a lot, playing basketball, and doing a lot of cycling. My quality of life plummeted when computers came along. I am sick of them. I love the quip about not having to upgrade a REAL instrument! Haha. SO true. My Martin guitar never needs an update.

  • TheCragon

    i don't use a reader. i browse the site directly with linux/firefox or nokia 6630/opera mini.

  • http://www.myspace.com/arm3l82 aRm3l.

    Netvibes !

  • Mike

    I use the SAGE FireFox plug-in.

  • goodtimes

    Unless, I missed something, I"m really surprized, no one mentioned iGoogle. Where GoogleReader looks like email for blogs, iGoogle allows diff tabs for different readers. I figure if I can't fit all my blogs on my igoogle, then I must have too damn many. I gotta work ya know.

  • http://www.ilankatin.com ilan katin

    Bloglines. Looked good when started using it and it still does. Web based. If I am on another computer I can still access my feeds. Feeeeeeds. Feeeeeeeeedz.

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    Yes, the surprise answer to the question how do you want to read CDM?

    … on a vinyl LP.

    That'd be an interesting take on podcasting. Not saying I wouldn't enjoy it. I need a cutter… :)

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    Oh, and I'll defend computers and quality of life, though you may need an Atari ST to bring things back into balance. (I'm only half joking.)