Bloglines review: Bloglines

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3.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good The Bloglines Web-based newsreader runs inside your browser; no software to install; it's free.

The Bad Bloglines lacks a preview pane for viewing Web pages; no support for tagging.

The Bottom Line Bloglines is a fun and free newsreader that runs inside most Web browsers and is sure to please all but the most discriminating news junkies.

Access this free service from the vendor's Web site.

7.7 Overall
  • Installation and interface 9.0
  • Features 8.0
  • Service and support 6.0

Bloglines is one of the best free Web-based RSS newsreaders we've tested. It requires no software installation, so you can access your newsfeeds from any Internet-enabled computer. Bloglines better handles dozens of subscriptions than do the lightweight RSS readers built into Web browsers or login pages such as My Yahoo, but information professionals might prefer NewsGator.

Signing up for Bloglines took us less than 60 seconds in our tests. To start, enter your e-mail address and password at the Bloglines site, then reply to an e-mail confirmation, and you're good to go. Like most newsreaders, Bloglines provides a quick-pick listing of popular feeds for immediate sign-up, including the usual suspects Slashdot, BBC News, and the New York Times, as well as dozens of others. Like Google Reader beta and NewsGator, Bloglines offers a search bar that lets you type in a word to hunt for feeds related to that subject; for instance, our hunt for anteater retrieved 39 blogs.

Bloglines' well-organized interface makes it easy to jump between newsfeeds, your blog, and clippings.

It took us only a few minutes to learn Bloglines' well-organized interface, where its rival Rojo involved more study. We appreciate Bloglines' keyboard shortcuts, and its navigational tabs allow you to jump between your list of newsfeeds (with summaries of recent stories from chosen blogs or news sites) and your own blog, should you wish to host one with Bloglines.

Bloglines supports most content-syndication formats, including the biggies RSS and Atom, and it's available in 10 languages. If you're checking news from a smart phone, the mobile edition of Bloglines can fit on your tiny screen. By installing the Sub With Bloglines button in Internet Explorer, it's simple to subscribe to a blog or news site you stumble across. For instance, if you select the Bloglines button from IE's Favorites menu, the site is automatically added to your feed list.

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