FeedDemon 4: definitely worth $20

fd4proThe developer of one of the most useful programs I have installed on my computers just issued a major update, which I’ve gladly installed. The program is FeedDemon and version 4 has just been released.

I’ve been using FeedDemon since 2004 – about the time I really discovered the value of RSS – and consider it to be the best RSS application for Windows by far.

I’ve written a great deal in this blog (and in my now-archive blog) about FeedDemon over the past six years. I wrote about the various new versions as they came out and also about NewsGator’s acquisition of developer Nick Bradbury (well, the company that Bradbury headed, certainly) in 20o5 and its integration into NewsGator’s product line.

A lot’s happened in the intervening years including making FD a free application and then, during the version 3 developments, it becoming ad supported with an option to pay to remove the ads. Bradbury parted company with NewsGator in 2009 but he retains rights to develop FeedDemon, and that brings us up to date with the new version 4.

Here’s a summary of six features of FeedDemon:

  • Google Reader Synchronization - Use FeedDemon at home, your office, or anywhere you go and keep your feeds, tags and shared items synched between locations.
  • Sharing – FeedDemon’s simple single-click sharing lets your friends subscribe to your favourite articles.
  • Tagging – Assign your own keywords to items, making it easy to classify and locate articles you’ve previously read.
  • Watches – Tell FeedDemon to let you know when your keywords appear in any feed you’re subscribed to.
  • Search Feeds – Get alerted when your keywords appear in any feed, regardless of whether you’re subscribed to it.
  • Podcasts – Let FeedDemon automatically download audio files and copy them to your iPod or other media device.

See the FAQ for more information.

One big change with version 4 – there are now two version: FeedDemon Lite (free) and FeedDemon Pro ($19.,95 or $9 to upgrade if you already paid for version 3 ad removal). Why? Here’s Bradbury’s explanation:

[...] I had to pay the bills with whatever money FeedDemon generated, and as popular as FeedDemon is, it’s not popular enough to bring in enough cash through ads alone. And very few people were paying just to get rid of the ads (can you blame them?).

For a year I kept FeedDemon free, and I started work on FeedDemon 4.0 in the hopes I could find a way to keep it free yet still pay the bills. But eventually it was clear that the only way to keep FeedDemon (and myself) going was to start charging for it again, and I figured the best way to do that was to come out with a free ad-supported Lite version with fewer features, along with a for-pay Pro version that had all the features and no ads. That way there would still be a free version, which I knew had to exist, while at the same time there would be a way I could charge for a more feature-rich version.

I just bought a license for FeedDemon Pro. I first bought a license way back during version 1.x (when it cost almost $30). I’m more than happy to still pay for a tool that’s evolved and improved hugely over time and one I consider to be extremely useful if not indispensible, as well as support an indie software developer who makes a great product.

And $20 (about £12.65 or €12.15 at the moment) is amazing value for a tool that lets you do so much. If you haven’t tried it, why not give it a go?

About Neville Hobson

Entrepreneurial business communicator with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Co-host of the weekly business podcast For Immediate Release: The Hobson and Holtz Report. Also an occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Follow me on Twitter and Google+.