Google Reader

Google just released their web-based feed reader named Google Reader. Users can login using their Google account and track web feeds in a two-column layout with a default sort of “relevance.”

Google is not currently pulling from its archive of past blog entries and only displays the items currently present in the feed. The first column displays a list of subscribed feeds and switches to a list of posts when you click an item. Posts are displayed in the sidebar drawer using title and publication date only. The complete entry display contains the entry title, author, publication date, link, and content. Google Reader recognizes audio and video enclosure, adding a link to “original audio source” and “original video source” when found.

Each account can add a star to a post similar to the Gmail interface. Google Reader also supports “labels” for feeds and posts that is just like tagging but by a different name.

The JavaScript makes obvious use of Gmail code, right down to variable names such as “_MSG_GMAIL.”

Google is using a User-Agent of “FeedFetcher-Google; (+” to power its reader but unlike Bloglines or My Yahoo!, Google does not currently communicate the total number of readers or viewers of your content.

It looks like Google Reader plans to integrate a Flash-based audio player into the reading interface. Judging from the source code Google Reader also plans to add support for author tags.