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Guide to Export Your Google Reader Data, Some Alternatives

Finally, Google Reader lays in the rest today, July 1, 2013, all the loyal users still have 2-3 days to use Google Reader, to export their data.

Google Reader is Dead

There are several options available to take your data out–probably the easiest was is to use Google Takeout to export your Google Reader data. Owned by Google, the online Takeout service is designed to export not only Google Reader data, but also data from Buzz, Hangouts, Contacts, Drive, Goggles, and YouTube.

Takeout exports your data as a OMPL file, which can be used in most RSS readers. You can also upload your OPML file to this site, which preserves hitorical feed data.

However, it doesnt’ export “your subscriptions, your notes, starred items, shared items, liked items, list of followers and the people you were following, items shared by the people you were following, comments, and read itmes, tagged items,” explains Mihai Parparita.

Parparita wrote some Python scripts to help you export everything through Reader’s API. You need Python 2.7, some basic command-line skills and a lot of free storage: my backup has more than 5 GB for about 250 feeds (vs 125 MB for the uncompressed Takeout backup).

The script grabs:

  • “All your read items
  • All your starred items
  • All your tagged items
  • All your shared items
  • All the shared items from the people you were following
  • All the comments on shared items
  • All your liked items
  • All items you’ve kept unread, emailed, read on your phone, clicked on or otherwise interacted with
  • All items that have appeared in one of your subscriptions
  • All items that were recommended to you
  • All items in the (English) “Explore” section
  • All the profiles of the people you were following before the sharepocalypse
  • All your preferences.”

Google Reader Backup via Python Script

Here are tips for running the script in Windows 7/8:

  1. install Python (Python 2.7.5 Windows Installer)
  2. download Mihai’s zip file from Github and extract the files
  3. open the folder in Windows Explorer and you should see a list of subfolders like “base”, “bin”, “feed_archive”.
  4. Shift + right-click below the folders and select “open command-line window here”.
  5. copy this code, paste it in the command-line window and press Enter (I assumed that Python’s folder is c:\python27):
    set PYTHONPATH=%cd%
     c:\python27\python reader_archive\reader_archive.py --output=download
  6. a web page will open in your favorite browser and you’ll need to click “Accept”, copy the authorization code and paste it in the command-line window.
  7. wait until the script downloads all the files.

Here are some alternatives to Reader:

Feedly already an established player is most used since the Reader’ death commute was served.

FeedSpot, a Google Reader look like is available in both free and paid versions.

CommaFeed is open source and offers extra, and more modern, features than Google’s service did — perhaps because Reader innovation ended long ago.

NewsBlur free on the web, iPad, iPhone, and Android. By subscribing to a premium account, you support a growing service and unlock a few restrictions.

and Digg Reader.

Here is the message, Google is showing, when you open Reader today:

Google Reader Farewell Message

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