Mastodon & Microposts

by Ben Ubois

Feedbin has some new features for your Mastodon reading pleasure.

Mastodon supports RSS. However, RSS auto-discovery has been broken on the latest Mastodon release for some time. To remedy this situation, Feedbin will do some extra work to help determine where the RSS feed is. With this in place, all you have to do to subscribe is enter the URL for a user like

Next is the format. Mastodon gets the same great treatment as all short and title-less posts in Feedbin, just like Twitter and The great thing about this is that there’s nothing actually Mastodon-specific here. Any RSS feed can be styled this way.

If a Mastodon post includes a link to a YouTube video or other media, Feedbin will expand the embed right the in the content area. Posts with links will also show the full extracted content and a nice card preview where available.

To round out the support, Feedbin now has the ability to post directly to your Mastodon account, with a new built-in sharing service. It will even pre-fill the post with the title and URL of the currently selected article. You can enable this in the Share & Save section of settings.

CarPlay for Airshow

by Ben Ubois

Airshow version 1.2 is out now. The biggest new feature is CarPlay. You can browse your queue and access playback controls.

There’s a number of other improvements and fixes too:

  • Improved progress sync
  • Broader podcast feed compatibility
  • Various layout fixes

Airshow: A Lightweight App for People Who Like Podcasts

by Ben Ubois

Introducing Airshow. It’s a podcast player for iPhone & iPad. It syncs with the Feedbin account you already have.

Download it now from the App Store.

The idea for the first version is simple: a podcast app that has only the features required to actually listen to and enjoy the shows you love.

There are many great podcast apps out there, so why make another one? Two reasons:

  1. To add value to your Feedbin subscription.
  2. To see if there is an opportunity to make something simpler and nicer than the existing options.

There are two ways I think about podcasts. Entertainment or informational. The design philosophy behind Airshow is to treat podcasts as entertainment where the words, and the space between words are part of the medium. So for now it omits some features you might be used to like speed control or sound effects.

It also takes a lightweight approach to organizing your podcasts. Playlists, folders, etc… provide a lot of flexibility, but they also make it to easy to oversubscribe and bury shows that you subscribe to aspirationally. Instead there’s one place to go to listen: your queue. The idea here is to spend less time managing and just subscribe to shows you actually want to listen to.

New episodes for shows you subscribe to get automatically added to your queue. For podcasts where you only want to listen to the occasional episode, there’s bookmarks. From here you can browse episodes and manually choose what to download.

There are three ways to use Airshow:

  • Sync with your existing Feedbin account at no additional cost
  • Completely free without sync
  • A new Airshow only sync plan priced at $19.99/year

This goal for now is to get the basics right and to have a simple, lovable and complete product. Please give it a try if that sounds like something you might enjoy.

Back in the App Store

by Ben Ubois

The Feedbin for iPhone and iPad app is once again available in the App Store.

Previously, it was ineligible to receive updates until support for Apple’s in-app purchase system was added.

If you’re running the TestFlight version, now is a good time to switch over to the App Store version since it is the most recent release.

Here’s what’s new:

  • In-app subscription support for new accounts
  • An improved settings screen with access to your newsletter address
  • The new app icon (finally)
  • a number of bug fixes that make for a much better experience

YouTube Embeds

by Ben Ubois

Feedbin is great for following YouTube channels and playlists.

There’s no algorithm or confusion about what you have already watched, just the videos from your favorite creators in chronological order.

To make the experience even better, YouTube embeds have recently been improved.

There’s now rich metadata including the channel name and video length. Profile images are used both at the feed level (instead of the generic YouTube favicon) and in the embed to reinforce the creator.

You can easily subscribe to any YouTube channel, user or playlist by copying and pasting the YouTube URL into Feedbin.

New Logo

by Ben Ubois

Todd and I had the pleasure of working with Dan Cederholm on a new logo for Feedbin.

I’ve been a long time fan of Dan’s design and writing, so when I came across this pitch perfect one-pager for his spiffy Super Turbo Logo Service™ I jumped at the chance.

The process was fun, collaborative, and remarkably smooth. I’m thrilled with the result!

Newsletter News: Full Formatting and Sender Management

by Ben Ubois

You can now view newsletters with the original formatting. Previously, Feedbin was only able to offer the newsletter content with all styles removed to prevent conflicts between Feedbin’s styles and the newsletter’s styles.

Next up, there are some new management options available in Settings.

When you unsubscribe from a newsletter, future deliveries are blocked to guarantee you don’t see emails that are no longer wanted. However, this creates an issue: what if you want to resubscribe?

To help with this, Feedbin maintains a record of all previous newsletter senders. Deactivated senders are newsletters that you are no longer subscribed to. If you’re trying to resubscribe to a newsletter, you can reactivate that sender.

Automatic Dark Mode and More

by Ben Ubois

There’s a new palette to change the theme and other formatting preferences.

The new Auto option will change the theme based on your system preference.

This also comes with a change in behavior: all formatting options are now per-device. This way you can have a light theme on your day phone and a dark theme on your night phone ;) Or use a different font size depending on if you are on a desktop computer or a mobile one.

Moving to Colocation

by Ben Ubois

Feedbin's rack at Hurricane Electric Fremont 2

This Sunday, September 29, Feedbin will be moving to a new hosting environment. The move will mean some downtime. If all goes well, it should be about 30 minutes.

This project has been in the works since April. It’s been a lot of fun and very educational to work on. There will be more posts about the servers and setup soon.

NetNewsWire 5

by Ben Ubois

NetNewsWire 5 has been released. I’m thrilled that it:

NetNewsWire was my first introduction to RSS. I’d seen links to RSS feeds around on various blogs, but it took NetNewsWire to put a great interface on the technology and unlock its power. Without NetNewsWire, there would be no Feedbin. It’s a dream come true to be a part of it.

Congratulations and thanks to Brent Simmons, Maurice Parker (who implemented Feedbin sync), and the rest of the NetNewsWire team.