Trying out Snarfer

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rev2.org Daily Rundown #4: 30th Janury 2005

main_logo1.gifI recently noticed in my FeedBurner stats about fifty new readers from something called ‘Snarfer‘. Regarding the stats, a quick word, I think it must be a fault because I never get that many new readers just within a day. Anyhow, I checked it out, since it’s free, downloaded and installed it.

Snarfer is an RSS/ATOM news aggregator, just like FeedDemon, SharpReader, etc. And when I say just like, I mean just like. It shares the same interface and style of news reading (the opposite of River of News), but I’ll tell you something, if I were given the choice between Snarfer, FeedDemon and SharpReader, based on plain news-aggregation (and not advanced features such as podcasting), I would chose Snarfer.

This is because it’s damn fast. You really have to try it out yourself to see how fast things load and work. There’s zero lag, and having used all these aggregators on optimal hardware (512MB ram, AMD Athlon64 3200+, Win Xp), here’s how I would compare Snarfer’s speed to the others:

  • 1/4th of FeedDemon
  • 1/6th of Onfolio
  • 1/8th of Sharp/FeedReader
  • 1/2 of NewsGator

The sad thing about Snarfer, though, is that apart from its speed, it really hasn’t got much to offer. No extra features, no preferences/options (no preferences/options!), bad styling in post-preview (Times New Roman?) and no fancy UI. I guess this lives up to their promise of a “simple” news aggregator and if you’re like me things like these don’t matter much to you anyway. You just want to read news and read it fast. Snarfer does that. You don’t care about fancy UI, podcasting capabilities (I use FireAnt for that anyway) or preferences. Ok, you do care about preferences but apart from that Snarfer does what you’d expect it to.

After saying all this, I feel weird saying that I’m not going to exactly switch to Snarfer, as I have my mind pretty much settled with NewsGator and Bloglines, but if those two died, I’d look no further than Snarfer.


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