For a very, very long time, since when I started my technical exploits, I was relying on Google Reader for getting updates. From some of our major, vintage news sources—from BBC, CNN, the Atlantic, to Wired, CNET, and a million others. It is indeed a pretty sad thing that Google announced yesterday a spring of cleaning, and out of various things that will go away is Google Reader.
One thing that you urgently need to do before the Reader disappears on July 1 is to take the data out. Take it to a different feed reader and read it there. Alternatively, use your browser’s bookmarking tool to set your favorite publications as bookmarks.
The reason why I am writing this article is to let you know how you can download the Reader data from Google, for the people who have never heard about Google Takeout.
It’s pretty simple and straightforward.
First of all, from the Takeout website, select the service (in this case Google Reader) and then click on Create Archive to get the archive size and details. If the archive is ready immediately, you can download it or you can get it emailed to you, when ready.
Now comes slightly more technical stuff. When you open the downloaded Archive file (using an application like WinZip, WinRAR, or 7Zip), you encounter a number of files with unknown extensions like JSON and XML. Let’s see how you can take this data to another RSS reader application.
If you are solely using Google Reader and don’t know about another RSS applications, then let me tell you about FeedDemon. FeedDemon is one of the most popular RSS readers out there, with a nice clean interface. Download it from here.
After setting up FeedDemon, it will ask you for a feed source. At this time, you can directly synchronize feed from your Google Reader, which is the easiest way to go. Alternatively, you can import the downloaded Google Takeout file and get the feeds aggregated in FeedDemon.
When you import files, FeedDemon is going to ask for something known as OPML files. At this time, simply select the option XML files from the file open window and then select the XML subscriptions file that you have saved.
That’s it. FeedDemon does the rest and updates the latest stories for you to read.
Another really cool feed reader I have tested out is Feedly. It is available for your Apple iPhone, iPad, Android phones, and browsers like Google Chrome and Firefox.
What is cool about Feedly is that you can log into the interface using your Google login, and it will immediately fetch all the feeds automatically from Google Reader. Feedly interface is pleasing enough to keep reading.
It is a hushed talk that RSS is dead. We have been expecting the inevitable for some time, in fact. Even after acquiring popular Feed platform, FeedBurner, Google didn’t take much time developing it.
FeedBurner is somewhat a dead service at this time. Since when Google stopped Adsense for feeds, we have been speculating about the dim future of FeedBurner. Google has now stopped Reader, and gradually those feed buttons will disappear from your favorite web pages. Our Internet is transforming in front of us.