Feed Reading on the Mac

Can Open Source Win?

The two feed readers that I’ve tested are NetNewsWire (full version trial and lite version free beta) and Vienna (free and open source). Not to mention Flock which has a very good feed aggrigation and subcription tool built-in. (open source and free).

Here is a quick review of the apps.


NNW is a very good feed reader. However, I feel like there isn’t that much of a difference between the lite (free) and pro versions. For the $29.95 you pay for the full version, I wouldn’t really miss podcast and itunes integration, and a few other extra features that you get with the pro one.

Therefore I much prefer the lite version, obviously because its free and has some good features. The whole things feels very stable. It looks nice too.


Vienna is a free open source project. It looks and feels very similar to NetNewsWire, but has a different, brushed metal (safari style) look.

I like the way you can drag feeds from your browser into the left sidebar to subscribe to it with ease. Its really a matter of personal preferance between NNW Lite and Vienna but out of these two I prefer NetNewsWire. It has the more proffessional feel to it which I like.


Flock browser has the feed reading ability of both of the above apps. However, since it’s a browser, you get the added bonus of having all your feed reading activities, browsing, photo uploading and blogging in one place, rather than being spread over multiple apps.


It depends on how you like to work. If you prefer to keep your things seperate then get Firefox, NetNewsWire and use the wordpress web based admin area and Flickr’s site.

If you like to control everything you do online (or pretty much everything) from one app, then use Flock.

I like NetNewsWire and Vienna but I think right now Flock suits my way of doing things the best. Only get a paid feed reading software if you really require the podcast downloading and search features that it offers (among a few other things). I don’t. You can drag podcast feeds straight into iTunes anyway so why add them to a normal feed reader.