Awasu's multipane interface offers a bird's-eye view of your RSS feeds. The left-side Control Center column lists the channels that you've subscribed to, such as Yahoo Business News, New York Times, and Salon.com. The item pane, upper right, shows the latest headlines from a specific channel. Directly below it is the browser pane, which functions as a standard Web browser and displays articles in their full HTML glory, complete with banner ads and pop-ups.
Awasu's 4.15MB setup file takes just a few minutes to download and install, after which the program displays a page of suggested channels to get you started. Whenever you click the orange XML newsfeed icon on any Web page, Awasu's Channel Wizard loads and leads you through the subscription process. The new channel is then added to the left-hand Control Center pane. It's all quite slick and easy to use.
One of Awasu's strengths is its many display options. You can receive notifications of updated feeds in several ways, such as via a sound clip (a WAV file) or visually via a balloon that hovers above the taskbar tray. You can run application or channel plug-ins, too, including one that lets you search Syndic8.com to find new RSS feeds.
As mentioned, the Personal Edition, which should be good enough for most users, is free. The Advanced Edition costs $25 and adds some features, including the ability to update a channel once every 30 minutes (the free version is limited to once an hour). It also supports an unlimited number of channels; the free version is limited to 100.
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