Configuring Newsbeuter

May 3, 2009 by Clair Ching  
Filed under How To

I’ve recently talked about using Newsbeuter and it has been interesting for me because of how focused I am on reading whatever content I get online through it. However, knowing that I need to somehow fix some things so I could work better with it, I decided to make a config file that does that.

My needs are mainly for saving articles in one spot, indicating which browser to use and indicating where podcasts must be saved. I am still happy with the keyboard shortcuts that are available by default and the colors look good in my eyes. But it’s faster if I could configure the other settings

one could enqueue a podcast so it could be downloaded

one could enqueue a podcast so it could be downloaded

For Newsbeuter, you just need to make a config file in ~/.newsbeuter called “config” :D Yes, it’s as simple as that so you could easily remember where it is the next time you want to tweak it.

We could take a look at the sample config file on the Newsbeuter help:

# a comment
max-items 100 # such comments are possible, too
browser links
show-read-feeds no
unbind-key R
bind-key ^R reload-all

The ones on the left side are the things to be customized and the ones on the right, or after a tab, are the settings of your choice. For my needs, it’s actually simple:

browser firefox
download-path ~/Podcasts
player mplayer
save-path ~/Documents/FeedArticles

You need to look at the table of configuration commands that you could tweak.

One more thing I like about Newsbeuter is that it does have a counterpart for managing your podcasts. For example, I have a list of podcast feeds in Newsbeuter and I have selected to ‘enqueue’ some of the episodes (done by pressing ‘e’) then I could run “podbeuter” on another terminal and view the list of enqueued files. I could toggle the download of all these files on Podbeuter. Podbeuter is included when you install Newsbeuter and it really is meant for managing your podcasts. It will also use the same config file as Newsbeuter’s so there’s no need to worry about that.

Read Feeds from the Terminal via Newsbeuter

April 30, 2009 by Clair Ching  
Filed under Geeky Fun

I’ve been looking for a better way to read my RSS feeds and I’ve been thinking that it would be nice to take it away from the web UI of Google Reader. As much as I love Google Reader, I realized that I’d like a different way to read my feeds these days. Google Reader has been overwhelming, so to speak.

Image credit: Clair Ching, 2009.

Enter Newsbeuter. It is a terminal-based RSS reader which you could easily use and tweak according to your needs. For one thing you could export your OPML file and use that as a basis of your list of feeds. At the same time, you could also go start from scratch and all you need is a text files with all of the feed URLs of your choice. If you’re looking for a way to tag these feeds, don’t worry. Your text file can indicate the tags to be used for them. You just need a file called “urls” in your .newsbeuter directory and you’re good to go.

What I like about reading in Newsbeuter is that I could focus on the news and not look at the pictures yet. Sometimes pictures take too long to load on my computer and it gets irritating when there are too many pictures loading. At least if I could get the textual content right away, I could decide to open the article in a browser later on to view the pictures, etc. I also like how Newsbeuter is quick. One more thing that Newsbeuter has going for it is the keyboard shortcuts used. You’ve got “o” to open it in a browser, “q” to quit reading an article, “s” to save the article as a text file, and so on. There are also many things you could tweak so that you could use it according to your needs. I have yet to tweak it so I could easily manage podcasts.

It’s been a week since I started using Newsbeuter and I really like it. So far, I can’t see anything else that might replace it.

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