Newsbliss RSS Reader Brings the Headlines to Your Desktop

NewsBliss ($20, 15-day free trial) adds a scrolling bar across your desktop with a ticker-type display of news, pictures and videos from your choice of sites and RSS feeds. The continuous scroll can be good for staying on top of particular info from a few news sources, but it's not nearly as efficient as full desktop or online news readers when you subscribe to many feeds.

The first time it runs, NewsBliss prompts you to select from a pre-set list of popular RSS feeds. You can also select from YouTube video feeds such as Top Rated or Recently Added, or create your own custom feeds from YouTube, Google News & Video, eBay, or Flickr that match your own search terms. And like most RSS applications, NewsBliss can both import and export feeds to or from an OPML file.

After you choose your subscriptions, new thumbnails and headlines will appear in those feeds scroll from right to left within the program's narrow display, which by default spans across the top of your desktop. You can choose to have everything in one band, or you can create another band with its own list of subscriptions. And just in case you don't already have twelve options for running a quick Web search, you'll find a search box on the right end of the band with Google as the default, and MySpace, Amazon, and other sites as other options.

Click one of the headlines and you'll get a pop-up with a short news summary, along with an advertisement. Clicking again on the pop-up's headline opens the full story in Internet Explorer--even if you have another browser set as your default, which is somewhat annoying. Newsbliss can play a small embedded version of a YouTube or Google video from directly within the pop-up.

For more focused reading, you can click an icon on the left of the bar to get a drop-down list of your subscribed feeds, and then select one of those feeds for a list of all its headlines or posts. For a similar ticker-type news feed display in the Firefox browser, see the RSS Ticker add-on.

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