In computing, a news aggregator, also termed a feed aggregator, feed reader, news reader, RSS reader or simply aggregator, is client software or a web application which aggregates syndicated web content such as online newspapers, blogs, podcasts, and video blogs (vlogs) in one location for easy viewing. RSS is a synchronized subscription system. Basically, RSS uses extensible markup language (XML) to structure pieces of information to be aggregated in a feed reader that displays the information in a user-friendly interface. The updates distributed include, for example, journal tables of contents, podcasts, videos, and news items.
Visiting many separate websites frequently to find out if content on the site has been updated can take a long time. Aggregation technology helps to consolidate many websites into one page that can show the new or updated information from many sites. Aggregators reduce the time and effort needed to regularly check websites for updates, creating a unique information space or personal newspaper. Once subscribed to a feed, an aggregator is able to check for new content at user-determined intervals and retrieve the update. The content is sometimes described as being pulled to the subscriber, as opposed to pushed with email or IM. Unlike recipients of some push information, the aggregator user can easily unsubscribe from a feed.
RSS uses extensible markup language (XML) to structure pieces of information to be aggregated in a feed reader that displays the information in a user-friendly interface.Before subscribe RSS, users have to install either "feed reader" or "aggregator" applications in order to read RSS feed. The aggregator provides a consolidated view of the content in one browser display or desktop application. "Desktop applications offer the advantages of a potentially richer user interface and of being able to provide some content even when the computer is not connected to the Internet. Webbased feed readers offer the great convenience of allowing users to access up-to-date feeds from any Internet-connected computer." Although some applications will have an automated process to subscribe to a news feed, the basic way to subscribe is by simply clicking on the RSS icon and/or text link.Aggregation features are frequently built into web portal sites, in the web browsers themselves, in email applications or in application software designed specifically for reading feeds. Aggregators with podcasting capabilities can automatically download media files, such as MP3 recordings. In some cases, these can be automatically loaded onto portable media players (like iPods) when they are connected to the end-user's computer. By 2011, so-called RSS-narrators appeared, which aggregated text-only news feeds, and converted them into audio recordings for offline listening. The syndicated content an aggregator will retrieve and interpret is usually supplied in the form of RSS or other XML-formatted data, such as RDF/XML or Atom.