Meshing the Common Feed List
Last week I blogged a little bit about a new cloud syncing product called Live Mesh. I mentioned how in its current incarnation it really only serves as a file syncing and sharing tool, but in the future it will have an open API that will allow programmers to add application specific data to the system instead of whole files. I concluded with a short wish list of programs that might take advantage of this API which included a cloud synced RSS feed list. Well, I was playing around with this the other night, and figured out that this can already be done with just the file-based Mesh.
Quick Background: with IE7, Microsoft introduced what is known as the Common Feed List within Windows. When you click on the little orange RSS icon in IE and subscribe to a feed, it gets added into a system wide collection of feeds. There is a background service that keeps all of these feeds up to date. The feeds are then visible to any application on the system that wants to interact with them. Right now, FeedDemon and RSS Bandit interact with the Common Feed List as well as IE, Outlook and Live Mail. So, as far as offline feed readers go, the Common Feed List is a pretty good idea. What I would like to do is push that list up into the cloud, and allow me to access it from any computer I’m at. I’m not talking about just an OPML file of feeds that I’m subscribed to, but instead it’s a full version of the CFL, including a read and unread marking on all entries. So far, I think I’ve got a working solution.
In Vista, and Feed List is stored in
and, in XP it is in
C:\Documents and Settings\$USERNAME$\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Feeds
I just added that folder to Mesh and synced it to that location on all of my other machines. It seems to work like a charm. While Google Reader is probably a better solution to all of this, I still sort of like this set up. You must be careful to allow Live Mesh to update before the Common Feed List does, or your read/write tags will get a little messed up.
I’ve been running this set for about a week or two now and I can say for sure that it does work, however it will clutter your Recycle Bin with .feed-ms files. Why? I cannot explain…