MasterNewMedia
Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi
 


Tuesday, October 5, 2004

RSS & Atom Newsreader And More - Omea Reader 1.0

The speed at which various web-based information management tools are converging is breathtaking. On an almost daily basis it seems, new composite tools are launched which combine and integrate the best features of any number of other recently launched products to help you to better manage your searching, discovery, organization and delivery of web-based content.

This makes it very difficult to make any decision as to which particular tool to go with. Rather like wanting to buy a new camera, or a PC - you're always asking yourself the question - "if I wait a couple more days, could I get double the features for half the price?"

Yesterday, JetBrains announced the launch of Omea Reader 1.0:

"Omea Reader is an easy to use, all-in-one RSS/ATOM feed reader, newsgroup reader, and web bookmark manager. But what really makes it unique is the level of information organization and management features including lightning-fast searches, flexible filing, contextual access, and extensibility."

Omea Reader bills itself as a "Personal Reading Environment", which aims to allow you to dispense with all those separate, individual applications you might use to manage your RSS/Atom newsfeeds and newsgroups and to organize your stored webpages and bookmarks. This is a very simplistic description. Omea Reader's features and functionality are, it would seem, highly sophisticated.

Currently JetBrains are offering Omea Reader as a free download (3.2MB). If you haven't as yet installed it, you'll also need to download and install Microsoft's .NET Framework version 1.1 (24MB).

Key Features and Functionality:

SEARCH
Omea Reader is also partly a search engine which indexes and cross-links content you've downloaded onto your computer. There are Simple and Advanced options. The results of any search can be saved as a 'View', which you can click to access all the resources found by your search.

NEWSREADER
Full support for all versions of RSS (from 0.91 to 2.0) and ATOM 0.3. Automatic discovery of feeds. Just enter the address of the host Web site and the feed will be located automatically. You can easily import your feeds from other newsreaders thanks to support for OPML.

Feeds can be organized in a hierarchy of groups (folders). Individual feed entries can be filed in custom Categories and be annotated and flagged.

Automatic tracking of references between weblog posts.

ORGANIZING
Categories (folders) can be used to file resources in ways that are meaningful to you. A Category can contain resources of any type: e-mails, files, documents, instant messages, news articles, etc. and you can file anything in more than one Category.

Bookmarks - You can import all the bookmarks from your web-browser (all versions of Internet Explorer and Mozilla, including Firebird and Firefox).

The tree of bookmarks in Omea is synchronized with that of your web-browser. Synchronization is performed in both directions: when you make changes in Omea, they're reflected in the browser tree of bookmarks and vice versa.

Bookmarks can be organized in folders, or categorized, or annotated. You can also set Omea to check automatically for updates to specific webpages and it will notify you once it detects any.

Clippings enable you to select a piece of text from an e-mail, local file or document, a Web page, etc. and to save it as a separate object, which can then be filed within a category and then searched for, annotated, attached to Tasks, etc.

A Workspace is essentially an individual view of selected information resources that you define. This restricts the information displayed to only those resources that relate to a particular context that is meaningful to you.

Custom links allow you to link related resources to each other and create any number of relationship types between resources. The Resource Clipboard provides an easy way to create custom links by drag and drop, even if the resources to be linked are located in different views and tabs of the program.

Omea Reader would appear, at least on the surface, to be a sophisticated tool that aims to integrate a number of essential processes in web-based research. However, although the user interface is clean and sharp and the functions relatively intuitive, it will take some time to get to grips with fully. Definitely worth a test drive.



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posted by on Tuesday, October 5 2004, updated on Tuesday, February 21 2006

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