Finally got myself a laptop (well, got work to get me one anyway..) and so I’ve not got a use for FeedDemon’s Prefetch feature. It is now officially My Favorite Feature™. With a 1 hour train trip out of the city I’ve got a fair amount of time to kill & I’ve already gone through my bookshelf twice! About 10 minutes before I left work I did a final refresh of all my feeds and then set the pre-fetch running. With all my feeds (~200) it took a little under 5 minutes to finish.
A few things to note:
- It will take a while if you’re on a slow connection and/or you have a huge number of unread posts.
- It’s probably a good idea to go into offline mode after the pre-fetch is finished so that everything that’s unread is fetched. It would be annoying to have something else come in a minute before you leave and you have to wait until you get home to read it.
- If you use a synchronised news bin, setup a non-shared news bin to dump stuff into until you’re back online again. (It would be nice if synced bins just cached stuff until you went online, like it does for marking items as read).
- It defaults to loading only 5 links per feed item, which means that for posts like the del.icio.us auto-posts, all you’re likely to get is the 1st link and it’s tags! You can increase this number, but it will also increase the amount of time it takes to load. It would also be handy if you could specify some domains for the pre-fetch to ignore (del.icio.us, Technorati, etc.).
This really is an awesome feature that highlights again for me the advantage of having a client application to do this, rather than, say, Google Reader. Even with Gears installed, Reader can’t do this. If you find yourself offline on a long commute, FeedDemon is a winner.