How To Add RSS Feed Live Bookmarks To Google Chrome

RSS feeds deliver regularly changing web content – many websites and blogs syndicate their content as an RSS Feed you can subscribe to. Firefox (and Internet Explorer) handles RSS feeds really well but Google Chrome lacks even the most basic RSS feed support – Google would prefer you use Google Reader to aggregate and view feeds.

Anyone switching from Firefox to Google Chrome will miss the lack of Live Bookmarks that can deliver the latest news directly into your Bookmarks toolbar – fortunately there is an extension for Chrome that can provide the same functionality: the Foxish Live RSS entension.

Foxish Live RSS (as the name suggests) mimics the native handling of RSS and Atom feed reading in Firefox using Live Bookmarks – it syncs RSS feeds within bookmark folders and refreshes them at a configurable interval.

Warning: if you use Chrome’s Bookmark Sync it may cause multiple items in the feeds because Chrome will sync your feed folders as well – you shouldn’t use this extension with Bookmark Sync too.

  • Install Foxish Live RSS from Chrome Web Store here. If you plan to add multiple RSS feeds, create a new Bookmarks folder (right click Bookmarks Bar, choose ‘Add Folder’ e.g. ‘RSS’ folder) to put the feeds into or the Bookmarks Bar will soon be filled up…
  • When you visit a website with an RSS feed, the orange Foxish icon appears in the address bar/omnibox next to the Bookmark ‘star’.
  • Click the Foxish icon to reveal the available RSS feed(s) – many websites have 2 feeds as shown below (the main site ‘Feed’ and a ‘Comments Feed’ – you normally want the main site ‘Feed’)

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  • Click the feed you want to subscribe to – the Foxish ‘Subscribe to this feed’ tab opens.
  • Select the Parent Folder you want to put the feed in – if you created a RSS folder before, choose it now.

You can also change the Feed Name and Max number of Feed Items as shown below:

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  • Click the Subscribe button to finish and save your settings then close the ‘Subscribe’ tab. The RSS feed is now available in the Bookmarks Bar – or RSS folder as shown below:

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Foxish Options

Right click the Foxish icon and choose ‘Options’ to open the Options tab. You can choose the poll time (how frequently feeds are synced – default 10 minutes), rename or remove a feed, change the max number of feed items or change the parent folder.

The ‘Error logs’ link provides info on any issues with the feeds e.g. connection errors or if feeds are not being synced properly.

Note: Chrome’s bookmark API can only sync 200 feed items an hour so entries may get out of date if you add dozens of RSS feeds (as the extension will have to wait an hour to continue). This is a limitation of Chrome itself – to work around it, make the poll time longer and/or max number of feed items smaller e.g. if you have 10 feeds each with 10 feed items then make the poll time 30 minutes so you are not syncing more than 200 per hour.

Conclusion

The fact that Chrome doesn’t include native RSS feed capability is (for some) a crime for a modern browser. However, if you are switching from Firefox (or IE) to Chrome you’ll love Foxish Live RSS – it adds great RSS feed support using Live Bookmarks and it’s easy to configure and use.