Windows: The Big Showdown between Google Reader's web-based convenience and FeedDemon's speedy, customisable client may become moot. The latest FeedDemon beta now supports synchronising with Google Reader, giving RSS addicts the best of both worlds.
Setting up FeedDemon to sync with Reader is a pretty seamless part of the setup process when you grab the latest release, just out yesterday. There's still the option to sync with the NewsGator service for cross-reader comparability with NetNewsWire and online access, but the Reader process is really simple if you're a new user. If you've got existing subscriptions in FeedDemon, you'll be asked whether you want to delete your Reader subscriptions, or (by default) combine them with your NewsGator items.
After typing in your Google credentials, your NewsGator will spend about a minute syncing up with Reader, and then you'll notice your folder icons have changed into familiar, Windows-98-era "folder with a globe" icons. You might want to head to Tools->Synchronization Settings to change how often FeedDemon pings Reader and how many items it pulls down at a time (pictured at right), but other than that, FeedDemon and Reader are now keeping each other in the loop, and when you can't get to one, the other will be right there for you.
On the feeds and updates level, FeedDemon and Reader seem to match up perfectly. As a farily devoted Reader user, though, I noticed a few things missing. The tagging systems don't seem to work in tandem, and I can't find a way to manually pull down my tagged items from Reader. And while emailing is now conveniently handled by whatever program you prefer, there's no way to share your items from FeedDemon. Luckily, though, your friends' shared items and anything you've already sent out are right there for you. FeedDemon's local storage and Reader's Gears-based offline modes aren't compatible, obviously, but, hey, an RSS addict can dream.
Most of Lifehacker's readers, it seems, prefer to read RSS in Google Reader. Even my NetNewsWire-devoted boss has to admit that Reader's keyboard shortcuts are a powerful hook, but I'm definitely considering working FeedDemon into my Windows routine as of this morning.
FeedDemon's 3.0 beta is a free download for Windows systems only.