Outlook 2007 and Duplicate RSS Feeds

I suppose I should have known better than to use a first-generation effort from Microsoft to read RSS feeds, but I honestly thought they’d get something this simple right. They didn’t. The basis functionality is there, but it’s missing pretty much every feature you’d want if you had to process a lot of RSS feeds each day. There’s no way to have all the items marked as read when you switch to a different feed (who wants to right click > Mark All As Read). There’s no way to have headline-only items automatically fetch the Web page. And worst of all, duplicates run rampant:

outlook2007-duplicate-rss-feed-items.PNG

Why the duplicates? I believe it’s because I’m on an Exchange server. I open Outlook 2007 up on my main PC, it downloads all the RSS feeds. I then grab my laptop and open up Outlook 2007 on it – and it seems to re-download all the RSS feeds again, resulting in massive duplication. Because this is an Exchange issue, you’d think Microsoft testers would have seen it happen internally and fixed it, no? Seems not.
Ultimately I think I’m just going to have to head back to Feeddemon. For all its foibles, at least there wasn’t a problem with duplicates.

  • ctmagnus

    Might I suggest NewsGator Outlook Edition (along with NewsGator Online and NewsGator Mobile, both of which are free)? I used to use FeedDemon but quickly became dismayed with it once I really started getting into synchronizing things.

  • I always thought Feeddemon was fantastic at synchronizing things…I never had a problem with it. You did I guess?

  • ctmagnus

    It never really worked for me. I always had something that wouldn’t quite synchronize fully.

    And, with NewsGator Outlook Edition, you can synchronize your feeds with your Exchange account. 😉

  • I also use hosted Exchange and I do use Outlook as my RSS reader. I’ve been using it since the 2003 version which required a plug-in to do it. Here’s one suggestion: Set up only one of your computers to pull the RSS feeds. The others will get the feeds synced via Exchange, just like any other email folders. You’ll still get duplicates from time to time, but not very often.

  • Thanks for the tip Perry – I guess though that would mean that on my laptop, I’d never get new RSS feed items, right? That’s definitely not ideal. I wish Microsoft had put some more smarts into this system.

  • brianchris

    Perry’s solution is the idea I had before I read this, and was about to implement it. Your desktop Outlook becomes the “RSS retriever,” which then syncronizes with Exchange. I agree with Jason that this is less than ideal, though, as Outllok needs to be running on your desktop at all times. I wish you could setup RSS feeds on the Exchange server itself (via OWA or Xadmin)….maybe Exchange 2007 does this???

  • I’m also using Outlook 2007 for RSS feeds, it saves me a ton of time as I don’t have to randomly visit sites nor run another app. I’m also on an Exchange server and I also get duplicate RSS items ALL THE TIME on EVERY feed. I’m not using a second computer so that’s not the cause of your duplicate problem. And I also know the RSS feeds are using the same URL for their posts, so it’s truly a pure Outlook 2007 flaw.

    Considering how blatant this bug is, I can’t believe it shipped this way. Considering that Outlook 2007 is 5 months old, an update should have been provided by now!

  • brianchris

    Travis, you may be right: Despite my best efforts, I can’t seem to only have the RSS settings in *one* Outlook 2007 client. Its as if the RSS settings are migrated to other Outlook 2007 clients of mine *VIA* Exchange. Add an RSS feed on Outlook 2007 client A, those settings will be propogated to Outlook 2007 client B next time you log on. Delete those RSS settings from client B? They’ll be deleted from client A!

  • Yes, I think you’re right brianchris, the RSS settings are being mirrored from the Exchange server to the clients.

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  • gregsedwards

    Apparently the issue is with the feed itself. Feeds without a unique guid and link value are picked up by Outlook as new and downloaded repeatedly. Still, other newsfeed aggregators don't seem to exhibit this strange behavior when they encounter improperly constructed feeds, so maybe Outlook shoulders some of the responsibility here, too.