Brief VS Sage – The Feed Reader Duel


In today’s article I will be talking on how to read feeds (your favourite ones). Brief and Sage are Firefox’s two most popular feed reader. Hanging out with one is a wise decision, that’s another chance to take your browser one level up. Before going any further, we must not forget, there are also web based feed readers like Google Reader, Bloglines, alongside we also have specialised applications meant just for reading feeds.




Being a humble feed reader it provides the user a collection of settings optimised just for their needs. In simpler words, it can be described as “From Simple to Intuitive… From Customisable to Flexible”.

Launching Brief takes you to its own container (window). With a sidebar for Navigating through the feeds. The plus point is, when you open a particular feed, just to the right in a frame the contents are displayed. That makes reading more luxurious.

It easily integrates with your Live Bookmarks. So no hurdles, life becomes easier.

Now the settings. You have the freedom to choose your folder grouping your live bookmarks (feeds). Alongside, you can choose whether to show notification icon for latest updates. Moving forward we come to Update Interval. You can decide upon the frequency it will check for updates. That what is called flexible. Another life saver are the shortcuts. Just memorise them and read your feeds in a jiffy.

In a nutshell this is the power of Brief. Now lets look at our opponent, Sage.



Sage won the most “Most Innovative” award in Mozilla’s 2006 “Extend Firefox” competitionWikipedia

Sage, a versatile Firefox Add-on. It easily integrates itself with your Live Bookmarks. You just need to select the appropriate feed folder in its options.Unfortunately it is not as advertised, “It’s got a lot of what you need and not much of what you don’t”. I personally don’t feel so. It has a minimal level of option making customisation hard. I guess you will want to set-up your own update frequency. I am putting emphasis on this point bearing in mind those people having hundreds of feeds (I don’t know anyone having this much). According to Sage’s settings, it updates itself automatically. We don’t know its cycles. Thus, those with tons of feeds will suffer. But, there is an update frequency of 12 hours. This can be set in its option. Yet, we are at a disadvantage.One rocking feature that needs some appreciation is Feed Auto-Discovery. That means it automatically discovers feeds from a web site. Even though, I don’t find it pretty useful. I can find my own way to the feeds. 😛 Now lets see Sage itself. In fact it is a sidebar. That makes it sticky; it follows you wherever you move, be it Google or Facebook. Looking at the screen shot above, it shows that clicking on a feed open all the items the latter contains. Judging from its layout, that does not makes it ideal. I find it pretty lame. But yet it is better than not using any feed reader.

As a conclusion after having used both extensions I can only recommend Brief. For its ease of use, friendly interface and tailored functions. Have a pleasant reading. 😉