Google Reader users looking for a new home for your RSS feeds should know that they don’t have much time left now to move over to a different service because in one week, Google will retire the 8-year-old Reader for good. Fortunately there are many Google Reader alternatives available and today, we’re going to take a look at a new, open-source option by the name of Sismics Reader. The application runs on your Windows, Mac or Linux machine as a server and allows multiple users to use it with their separate RSS accounts through any modern web browser running on a computer, table tor smartphone. Sismics’ design is based on keeping things simple, just like Google Reader. It presents everything in an easily understandable way and Google Reader users should feel at home using it.
Once downloaded and installed, Sismics Reader sits in the system tray. Right-clicking its notification icon brings up the context menu, which let you open the reader interface in your web web browser, launch its control panel, or quit the app.
The Control Panel doesn’t contain many settings and only allows you to change the port number, Context path and auto startup behavior, as well as showing you the current status.
Moving back to the reader part, when launched in web browser for the first time, Sismics asks you to sign in with the admin account login and password, both of which are set to ‘admin’ by default. Simply enter the default credentials and click Login to get started.
You will then be asked to immediately change the admin account password from ‘admin’ to your desired one. Though it would’ve been nice to have an option for specifying a different username for this account as well. The ‘Setup network’ tab allows you to toggle UPnP.
Next up, you need to create the first user account. The application can be used by multiple users while keeping their settings intact. Enter your credentials including username, email and password, and click Next.
This will finally bring you to the main reader area, which looks quite minimal just like what we have long admired in Google Reader. You can easily switch the feed’s view to titles only which is a nice touch as well. The left side of the interface lists all your current subscriptions.
To add a new RSS feed, just click ‘New Subscription’ at the top-left and enter the feed’s URL in the provided box followed by clicking ‘Add’.
But adding each subscription individually isn’t the most convenient way if you’re migrating from another RSS or Google Reader, right? Fortunately, Sismics also allows you to import and export your subscriptions as OMPL files, so you can easily import your Google Reader subscriptions exported via Google Takeout. To do that, click the gear icon from the top-right and go to Settings.
Next, head to the Import/Export tab and then click the ‘Browse’ to select the ZIP or OMPL file that you exported through Google Takeout. You can also export your current subscriptions from Sismics easily in a similar fashion, should you want to migrate to another RSS reader in the future.
The other options available in the Settings let you add or remove other users, and manage your own account. This makes the app ideal for running on an always-on computer, with every user being able to access it from any computer, tablet or smartphone simply by entering the appropriate IP address and port in the URL format (like http://192.168.1.1:4001) in their browser’s address bar, and then signing in with their account credentials.
Sismics Reader is an open-source application that works on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.