I have been using Thunderbird‘s feed reading features for a while, but I have become increasingly frustrated with its (currently) clunky interface and slow response. I’m sure that they’ll improve it eventually, but they’ve been pretty slow to release new builds in the past. I’ve also used other feed aggregators such as Feedreader, Syndirella, and Sharpreader in the past. FeedLounge has all of the core features you could want from those programs: a choice of two different pane layouts, sensible keyboard shortcuts, and OPML import (no export yet, but I’m sure that will come eventually).
One difference in FeedLounge is the use of tags. You can tag both feeds and the items within the feeds. Feed tags are used to categorize feeds into topic areas similar to how you might use category folders. Except that since you can have overlapping tags, a feed might appear multiple times, under different tags. This is a good thing. For instance, if you tagged one site with the tags “perl programming” and another site with “python programming”. If you were hunting down the latest perl news, only the first site would show up under the “perl” tag. But if you wanted to read about the latest trends in programming across multiple disciplines, just look under the “programming” tag to see sites for all the types of code you’re interested in.
Likewise, you can tag indidivual items with their own tags. Sometimes when you’re searching for somthing in particular, you don’t want to have to wade through all the articles in a feed, or do a general search for a few keywords. If you know that you’re going to want to refer back to a particular posting at a future time, then item tags are just the thing. You might create a “bookmark” tag for articles that you know you want to read again later. Or how about tags for “work-related”, or even “send-to-mom”? The tags for items get their own display, separate from feed tags, so it’s easy to organize things. Think of item tags sort of like the “search folders” in Thunderbird, or the “labels” in Gmail, if you’re familiar with those.