19 Mar 2013

Hooray! I don't need Google Reader - rss2email works better for me anyhow

Like a lot of folks, I was kind of annoyed to hear Google Reader was shutting down. Not sad though.

I had a quick look around and found rss2email, a command line rss to email handler which you can run via cron.

To install on an Ubuntu or similar machine where it's already in the packages list:

sudo apt-get install rss2email

You've then got a command, r2e which you configure with your email address, some preferences and a list of feed urls.

It stores things in ~/.rss2email

See the r2e man page (type man r2e) for usage.

After running

r2e new email@example.com

the ~/.rss2email directory will be created.

In there, create a config.py file where you'll put config options. Mine looks like:

HTML_MAIL = 1
DATE_HEADER = 1
DEFAULT_FROM = "r2e@rss2email.reedwade.net"
FORCE_FROM = 1


The From address makes it easy to filter on. I use Gmail for email reading and I've created a new label called 'RSS Feeds'. All mail from that address gets that tag and bypasses the Inbox so I don't have to look at it until I want to.

Use Google Takeaway to get a copy of your Reader subscription data. In the zip file you'll find a subscriptions.xml file. Copy that into ~/.rss2email then import it via:

r2e opmlimport subsciptions.xml

Use:

r2e list

to review your subscriptions list and cull those you no longer care about.

r2e run

will process each feed and send you the new items. You probably don't want to get mail about all 2000 postings the first time, so:

r2e run --no-send

to get things caught up.

I have a cron entry which matches the times I might want to see new postings:

32 1,7,9,11,13,15,17,19,20,22 * * * r2e run

So far so good, I've only been using it a few days so I don't know how well it works or if there's gaps or whatnot.

The usage experience is as good or better than Google Reader as it's just a label in my mail instead of a separate thing.

1 comment:

czaras said...

Do you need to keep your computer on all the time to run this service?