Snackr is an RSS Addict’s Dream Come True

Snackr is a new Adobe AIR app that lets you display items in your RSS feeds in a beautiful scrolling ticker on any edge of your screen. I am absolutely giddy about it after only a few minutes of use. Snackr is something you’d supplement your existing reader with, not a replacement. It is not for the faint of heart or information averse, either.

If you’ve ever fantasized about having the river of news flow straight into your brain, this is the closest I’ve seen yet. I’ve uploaded a small OPML file of my top priority feeds, limited Snackr to displaying items from within the last 5 days and am in heaven. Read on for screenshots and some critique.

Snackr was built by Narciso Jaramillo, a long time Adobe developer now working on the Flex product line.

Below is a screenshot of the live ticker, paused when an item is clicked. The scrolling is really smooth, story order is randomized. When you click on an item, the full text will appear if it’s available in the feed. The link at the bottom of the pop-up will take you to the full post.

You can have Snackr running at the top, bottom, left or right margin of your screen. I clapped my hands and jumped up and down like a little school girl upon seeing each different view for the first time.

The idea is not to read every item here, but to give your eye some opportunity to catch items it might not otherwise. I love it.

Wishes

So far I’ve only got two requests for Snackr development. The site supports authenticated feeds (password protected, something Google Reader can’t do) which is great. When I click on an item from a particular filter’s RSS feed in my GMail account though, the popup window prompts but doesn’t allow me to log-in. I wish that were different.

Second, once I uploaded an OPML file, I ended up with some feeds I wanted to unsubscribe from and had to do so one at a time. Bulk feed management would be nice. A javascript bookmarklet to add a feed to Snackr with a click, when I discover it around the web, would be great too. Media handling could be improved as well.

All in all though, I am very excited to discover the app. It was the first app I happened to look at on FreshAIR Apps today, an AIR site we reviewed earlier this week. I plan to spend a lot more time on that site, as AIR is a very exciting platform.

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