Allow me to search all the way back.
This is what Google Reader did really well, and I feel a Google Reader substitute should do. I would pay for this (https://theoldreader.uservoice.com/forums/187017-feature-requests/suggestions/3743628-charge-for-the-darn-thing-if-it-keeps-it-from-goin).
Google Reader saved every item it showed from the moment you subscribed to a feed. This allowed me to use GReader as a research tool. The Old Reader has stated it will only ‘store up to several hundred of posts per feed’. (https://theoldreader.uservoice.com/knowledgebase/articles/146276-how-many-posts-per-feed-do-you-store-) That’s just not enough.
Some feeds I follow get over 30 updates per day. Think websites like The Next Web and MetaFilter. How many days will The Old Reader save? 300 posts would only be 10 days. How would I find that thing they posted last month? That would be 900 items ago…
The Old Reader should store every item I have ever read so I can search for a half year old item when I need it. This will cost server space. Which I believe I should pay for.
This is for the most part now available with Premium accounts. We store posts up to 6 months old, and the title and body of the post will be in the search index for premium subscribers.
To freshen this discussion ... maybe ...
To the best of my understanding a feed provider has in someway defined a directory structure where its rss feed items are located. google, inoreader, and feedspot for sure and netvibes probably are accessing this. So that when I want to read further back then the current feed url displays it searches down through this directory structure. That is if I scroll to the end of the listing there is a pause and then another 40 or 50 items are displayed. Now maybe these sites are taking advantage of something like superfeedr I don't know.
Saving a search results is the defining element of a truly useful aggregator, imho. If it includes a search that goes back through the history of the individual feeds then it is truly worth money. That the search result can be exported and not require additional space on the site storage would be a reasonable compromise.
Just my thoughts.
maybe you could provide a option to download feed archive like google takeout, then you can delete it to save space in the server
Alister Hood commented
At https://theoldreader.uservoice.com/knowledgebase/articles/146276-how-many-posts-per-feed-do-you-store- it says "If you don't access The Old Reader for a while..."
But it really needs to give an indication of how long "a while" is. A week? A year?
I have no desire to archive my feeds. I'm not building a library; I'm trying to get fresh updates. Please allocate resources to increasing feed update frequency instead of increasing storage of stale articles.
I just wish that when u saw these comments you'd give more storage -but not with extra charge. No, I wouldnt pay for such a thing, I werent paying for GReader, dont get encouraged by these ppl. No extras, no 1 buck for month, ok then, love you.
Your Name commented
Yeah, That's one of the features of GReader I miss the most.
Given the storage going on now, this is pretty essential. I haven't checked The Old Reader for a few days (no more than a week) and came back to a notice saying: "You have not used The Old Reader for a while, so we kept only fresh posts for you." What??? I want ALL my posts. It's not like I disappeared for a year, or even a month. Not keeping my posts is a huge deal breaker for me. I subscribe to a lot of feeds and some are pretty busy. I often mark entire feeds read but sometimes I go through them. And I want them to actually be there.
It's one thing to mark posts as read if they're more than, say, 30 days old (what Google Reader did). But if I can't see older ("read") posts, then they're just gone, and that's not okay.
I agree that several hundred posts saved is not enough for many feeds (Huffington Post, for example). But what I find really scary is this statement: "If you don't access The Old Reader for a while, your account will be marked as inactive, and we will only keep the last 10 entries of each feed for you." What is "a while?" Considering you said I hadn't used it in "a while" when I hadn't logged in for less than a week (though I have more than 10 posts in most feeds)...
Basically you're not making me want to stay. Let alone donate to you.
I agree, I'd like to see the entire history if I want.
I'm also noticing this; when I look at my feeds in TheOldReader I only see between 5 and 20 message for some feeds whereas in Google Reader I see many many more.
But as I saw further down in this thread, maybe that is due to TheOldReader only monitoring these feeds since a few days?
Yeah, for me, that's the only problem I have with The Old Reader. When I subscribe to a feed, I also want to read the post all the way back (or at least as far as possible) and I also would gladly pay a small fee if this could be arranged.
Oh, and Pavel, you said:
"Google Reader never went and found feeds on its own so it would never index items before someone subscribed to a feed. It could only read back to the day you subscribed and that exact behaviour can be copied by The Old Reader."
That's actually not true. With numerous feeds I subscribed to, Google already had posts archived going back multiple years (and well before what was the oldest item in the current RSS feed.)
What Google did was rather intelligent. It simply archived the feed from whenever the first Reader user subscribed to it. Any subsequent person adding the same feed was only shown the posts in the current feed file when they subscribed, but if they chose to view read posts (or they searched for them), they also saw everything from that feed from all the way back to when the first Reader user added the feed.
(I'd imagine there could potentially have been holes in that coverage, if there were periods where no Reader users were subscribing to the feed, but it was still much better than nothing.)
There's no reason The Old Reader couldn't replicate that same behavior.
I, too, would happily pay a few bucks a month for this feature.
Lucas Vigroux commented
Bigger storage space for The Old Reader, and the ability to search back in a feed as far as the original feed provider allows, would be great indeed. And yeah a tiny fee to cover server and maintenance costs would seem reasonable if it can keep adverts away.
Dominik Fa commented
Would pay for this too!
Guan Wang commented
That's the feature I can't live without. Many of my feeds are from closed site.
And I believe it is at least technically possible.
Cached items of google reader can be accessed without auth, like
And a few non-offical GR api uses this as well.
I myself tried download all the xml cross-site-ly by
- a reverse proxy elsewhere
- or browser extension ( the chrome version : http://jokester.github.io/feedzombie/ )
BUT in either way, google would start to ask for recaptcha, after hundreds of requests.
Given a central server to submit to, maybe we get them all in a crowd-sourcing way.
I'll pay for this too. Right after "show only feeds with unread"
The thing that prompted me to write my last comment is my worry that someone who does not know the technical limitations due to RSS/ATOM, when reading the summary/description of the idea would get the wrong impression and have unreasonable expectations.
Hopefully I am wrong, maybe those people would also not use uservoice and never get here.
I could clarify that when I said ‘The Old Reader should store every item I have ever read’ I meant ‘ever read in The Old Reader’. But I thought this was clear enough. I never requested to be able to read what The Old Reader doesn’t know about.
Google Reader never went and found feeds on its own so it would never index items before someone subscribed to a feed. It could only read back to the day you subscribed and that exact behaviour can be copied by The Old Reader.
Also note that you already went wrong in your first sentence about the technology. RSS/ATOM feeds do not only expose ‘the last few posts’. In fact, I am subscribed to several feeds that go back to the beginning of the site. This is completely up to the website owner.
Anthony Petrov commented
Pavel: we do realize that it's impossible to retrieve items posted long time ago due to the RSS protocol limitation.. However, for those items that we read in TheOldReader right now, we'd like to be able to find these items and read them again here on the TheOldReader after a year or several years from now. I.e. if it is possible to "start" storing all the posts from now on, we definitely would like it to be implemented. Thank you.
This is somewhat impossible to implement. The Old Reader can definitely store all the posts starting today, but it is not possible to go back.
Some technical details:
1) RSS/ATOM feeds only post the last few (10-20) posts. The clients (Google Reader, The Old Reader, etc.) check these pages every so often and see new posts. They then store these in their own storage. Google Reader has been around for a long time, and thus it was able to see all the posts throughout history and kept them all. The Old Reader is just beginning to look at the feeds, and thus cannot go back in history and find posts, especially since some of the websites no longer exists.
2) Google Takeout does not expose all the posts you read in the past, only the ones you "liked" and "starred" (based on what I see in the zip file). The Old Reader could import these, and reconstruct some history (might not be trivial), but there will be holes in history.