4 Great Ways to Convert Partial RSS Feed To Full RSS Feed

How many of you are pissed off by a partial RSS feed? I am not sure about you, but i sure do.

In case you are still not aware, most, if not all, the blogs in the whole Internet provide a RSS feed that you can subscribe in a feed reader. Some of these blogs provide a partial feed that shows only the headline and a small excerpt. To read the full content, you will have to visit the actual site. From the reader’s point of view, this is a bad user experience and does not aid in productivity.

So, what solutions do we have?

1. Super Google Reader

If you are using Google Reader as your primary feed reader, then Super Google Reader is one extension that you need to install. Super Google Reader is a Google Chrome extension that enables full content feeds for Google Reader. It integrates directly into Google Reader and allows the reader to read full content from a partial feed.

rss-super-google-reader

After the installation, you will find 3 new buttons (Readable, Link, Feed) on top of each feed. Clicking the “Readable” button will fetch the full content from the source, strip it to the bare minimum and display it in your feed reader. The “Link” button will load the actual site with an iframe.

Super Google Reader can be set on a per-feed or per-folder basis. To configure Super Google Reader for feed folder, simply select the option from the Super Setting dropdown. I find the “pre-fetch all readable content” particularly useful.

rss-super-setting

2. Full Text Rss Feed

Unlike Super Google Reader, you don’t have to install any extension to use Full Text Rss Feed and it works in every browser. What Full Text Rss Feed does is take a partial feed that you provided and churn out another RSS feed with the full content. You can then subscribe to this churned feed in any feed reader and enjoy the full content.

rss-full-text-rss

The advantage of Full Text Rss Feed is that it works across browser and various feed readers. On the other hand, its disadvantage is that the update interval might not be as frequent as you wish and you could be missing out the latest news from your favorite site.

3. FiveFilters

As the same as Full Text Rss Feed, Five Filters allows you to input a partial RSS feed and churn out another feed with the full content for you to subscribe. What makes it different is that it comes with two favours for you to choose: hosted or self-hosted.

Hosted

“Hosted” means you are using the service hosted on FiveFilters server. The basic feature is free, but is only able to display three items per feed at a time. The premium option (costs 8 €/month) removes the limitation and allows you to grab up to 10 items per feed.

rss-five-filters

One thing that I like about FiveFilters is that it comes with a bookmarklet (drag the link to your browser’s toolbar to use it) where you can easily drag a partial feed to your browser toolbar and get it to churn out the full content feed.

Self-hosted

For a one-time fee of 20 €, you can buy the source code of FiveFilters and host it on your own server. In this case, you can provide your own partial-to-full-rss service without having to depend on others. You can configure options such as the number of items to fetch per feed, update interval and the content extraction method.

For casual users, it can be difficult to justify the cost, not to mention that you have to maintain a server as well. However, for busy professionals or journalists, this can be a great solution to the partial feed headache and also a potential time saver.

4. Unsum

The beauty of Unsum lies in the flexibility of its services. By default, Unsum will grab the HTML code of the partial feed link, strip out the tags and miscellaneous content and show only the actual page content that we are interested in. Unfortunately, this will not work for some sites due to their complex HTML structure. For such cases, Unsum gives you the flexibility to specify the start and end of the HTML code where it should look for the content. You can even use regular expression.

rss-unsum

Other options that you can configure include the caching time (the update interval) and the feed name.

Conclusion

The services mentioned above have their own pros and cons. You will have to try them all to find the one most suitable for you. Personally, I love the Super Google Reader extension because I am both a Chrome and Google Reader user and It makes things dead simple for me. Let us know which one is your favorite. One more thing, we provide full Rss feed, so don’t forget to subscribe to MTE feed if you have not done so.

18 comments

  1. #1 is an automatic fail. The one reason I don’t use Chrome over Firefox is that I can’t get Google Reader links that are redirected into tabs to open in the background.

    • Super Google Reader is Chrome only, so I am not surprise that plenty of people won’t be able to benefit from it. You can try out Unsum. It works in all browsers

  2. I am woe that you did not include Yahoo Pipes. I have gotten it to do anything I want and output it to an RSS feed. This includes trimming ads out of RSS feeds, creating full image embedded feeds for webcomics that only publish RSS with a link to the comic, etc. Really a great tool.

  3. when you alter the way the content is presented like this, there is a good chance you are stepping on the toes of the content producers. the result can be something small, like maybe making the layout a little wonky, or something big, like preventing the content producer from getting ad revenue from your pageviews.

    just something to consider i guess.

    • The fact is, when content producers use a partial feed, they are already stepping on the toes of their readers. I have not seen any big blog going bankrupt by offering full feeds. And yes, content producers can place advertisement on their feeds too.

      • when i made that post, what i wanted you–and any others who cared enough to read it–to consider how messing with the content (especially in the context of circumventing advertisements*) has the potential to harm the content producers, and to act on that knowledge however you wish.

        i am not the best at expressing myself in writing, so i hope that point is clear this time.

        your comment is not relevant to my point, but i wanted to mention that i feel you have a skewed perception of the user/producer relationship here. it doesn’t matter if the producer is stepping on the toes of his users somehow (which, by the way, is not always the case with partial feeds), or if providing a full feed doesn’t hurt him financially. the content is HIS, and it is his right to distribute and present it how he sees fit.

        it is weird to be explaining this to a dude who owns and runs a (pretty cool, by the way) site on the internet like this. am i mistaken about something?

        *i understand that your post was not meant to encourage this, but this can and does happen with Full Text RSS Feed Builder–i did not check the others.

        • Sorry that I missed your point.

          As a content producer, I do agree with you, and there are little we can do about it. We can control what our readers see on our site, but outside of our domain, it is very difficult for us to control.

          btw, this article was written from the reader’s point of view.

          Thanks for the compliment, I hope you like the site as much as I love creating useful content.

  4. I personally prefer going to the content producer’s site to see their content. I spent years just reading content in my feed until I one day I realized I no longer felt I knew the content producers. Visiting their sites allows me to keep a connection with them because I see changes they make to the site, new profile pictures, and other things an RSS feed does not pick up.

    I use Google Reader in list mode, sorted oldest first. This allows me to see a headline and snippet of text so I can decide whether or not I want to read the whole thing. I rarely choose not to, so I click on the double-chevron on the far right of the entry and it opens a new tab and loads the content producer’s page. When I’m finished reading, and done perusing old posts the new post may refer to (something you can’t do in a reader), I close the tab and I’m back in Google Reader, ready to move on to the next item.

    In closing, some wise words, “Of course, that’s just my opinion. I could be wrong.”

    • On behalf of all content producers, I thank you for your effort. It really make a difference.

  5. What about partial URL’s? I want to add characters (a query string) to the end of the URLs in a feed. Anyone know of a tool that will let me take a feed and change the URLs and create a new feed. Please don’t say pipes. (or if you do please show me how, thanks)

  6. Hi guys, I am trying to extract the full-feed of this particular RSS feed, ‘http://feeds.feedburner.com/streething’

    but no sucess on it. anyone can provide some help?

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