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pt's How-to Fridays: Read RSS feeds on your iPod

Peter Rojas
04.16.04
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Are you an RSS junkie? I am, I rarely read websites unless it has an RSS feed. That said, myiPod mini is always by my side, wouldn't it be great to view RSS feeds on it? Well, you can and I'll show you how.

First, make sure you "get" what RSS is, there are million resources on the web which explain it here are few before we begin.

What is RSS:
http://www.mnot.net/rss/tutorial/

CNN: Welcome to the new web.
http://www.cnn.com/2004/TECH/03/15/new.web/index.html

Some have said it is like "Tivo for the Web". That's how I like to think of it, I am able to quickly view headlines and text from hundreds of sites, most I don't go to, many I do. On my iPod I read all the headlines and text and later on, visit the sites when I'm back at my PC or Mac.

Ingredients needed:

1. iPod with latest updates, etc...
2. PC (Windows XP)
3. iPod agent (http://www.ipodsoft.com/ipodagent.aspx)

What is iPod agent? It's a very cool (and free) .NET application, it's in beta, but it's been really solid for me. iPod agent transfers songs from your iPod to your PC, Outlook mail, Outlook appointments, Outlook contacts, Outlook tasks, Outlook notes, Fetches weather forecasts, copies any text file to your iPod - iPod Agent will automatically break these up into 4k size pages if necessary (the iPod has a limit of 4k size notes), creates listings of the songs on your iPod in plain text, HTML or CSV formats and last but not least- fetches RSS news feeds from the internet and makes them available on your iPod.

So once you install iPod agent, it's pretty easy to configure and use, but let's add the Engadget RSS feed.

1. Make sure your iPod is plugged in to the PC and you've properly installed iPod agent. Run iPod agent, the program is likely in your start menu on your PC.

2. You'll be presented with a control panel.

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3. Click Synchronize.

4. Click RSS News Feed, then Click Options.

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5. Click the Check box next to RSS News Feeds, then click Settings.

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6. Click Add.

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7. Enter "Engadget" as the Name and enter https://www.engadget.com/rss.xml as the RSS Feed. I usually do not check "Pull linked pages" as that will pull all the HTML pages from the site and most likely will fill your iPod up with too many pages.

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8. That's it, click Close, then OK, then Sync, in just a few moments you'll have RSS goodness on your iPod. If there are any errors, the application will inform you, sometimes a web connection could be down, other times if a RSS feed isn't valid it'll also bark at you.

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9. To access the RSS feed on your iPod, unplug your iPod from your PC. On your iPod, scroll to Extras > Notes > iPod Agent > News > Engadget.

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10. Bang-There ya go, RSS on your iPod.

Keep in mind, it's not perfect, and some things might not display great- but if you're looking to have yet another time killer for when you're stuck doing something, or somewhere and would like to fill that time with something useful, RSS on the iPod is a good thing.

Hungry for more, on more devices?

RSS and Mobile devices:
http://www.dailywireless.com/modules.php?name=News&file=...

And you can get more RSS readers here for PC, Macs and other devices:
PC: NewsGator http://www.newsgator.com (provides a mobile version too)
Pocket PC: Pocket RSS http://www.happyjackroad.com/AtomicDB/pocketpc/pocketRSS/poc...
SmartPhone: http://www.codent.com/rss/
Palm: HandRSS http://standalone.com/palmos/hand_rss/
Symbian: FeedBurner http://www.feedburner.com/fb/a/mfr
Linux: Sydigator http://syndigator.sourceforge.net/

Questions, Comments? Suggestion for the next How-to? phillip@flashenabled.com

Phillip M. Torrone is Director of Product Development for Fallon Worldwide (www.fallon.com) and runs the uber-geek site http://www.flashenabled.com where he writes about gadgets, art, roblogs, physics, and marathon running.

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