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VisualFeed is a one man project. The idea for it came up when I was searching for a new way to stay up to date with a bunch of my favorite websites. In fact, I noticed that every morning, I would visit the exact same websites, manually sift through all their content and try find interesting articles, which got quite annoying. I was looking at alternatives; something that would make this process easier less tedious. Naturally, I thought of RSS feeds and news aggregators. Of course I tried other feed readers, but most of them - especially those for Windows - seem overly complex and complicated to me and, quite frankly, they also look ugly as hell with their excessive menus and settings. I also tried mobile apps, which there are numerous of nowadays, and they are indeed better on the design side, but also didn't quite automate the process enough for me, since you still need to check them manually and regularly (not to mention the advertisements that most of them will mix in with the content).

So I thought it would be nice to have a simplistic feed reader that is still configurable. One that would do all the work for me and just notify me about new articles on websites somehow. But not by having to start a program or an app and not without any annoying popups or perhaps notification messages. One that would always be present, even when I work, and would actually let me decide when I want to look at it. Like when I go back to the desktop for example.

The second reason is that I wanted to look at images in a sort of slideshow fashion on my desktop. I'm a semi-passionate hobby photographer and if you're anything like me, you probably have tons of photos on your PC and some really beautiful ones at that too. And what do you usually do with them? Nothing. They just sit in their folders labelled with the date they were taken and are never looked at again. But again, other slideshow applications, including the Windows sidebar application, weren't quite good and configurable enough for what I had in mind. So I thought, why not integrate that as well?

After close to a year of development, VisualFeed is now exactly that. It lets you subscribe to websites and notifies you about updates in a rather subtle way, only when it's visible on the desktop. It also lets you look at your own images in the form of a desktop slideshow. Somewhere along the way, I even picked up the idea of making it a podcast and videocast reader as well (which pretty much happened by accident, since a podcast is basically an RSS feed). And seeing the first vacation photos and a GIF animation show up during development was a pretty rewarding moment, as it turned out to look exactly like what I had in mind. I have only just begun to check out all types of websites that you can add and I can also think of many more features and improvements to make to the program, but for now, I'm just glad everything works the way it was intended and perhaps someone else will find it useful as well.