As you start the application you get a notify icon in the windows task bar (at the right button, near the clock). All commands are accessed by the context menu (right click on the icon). Make sure that the icon is always shown and not hidden by configuring this in windows.

The first thing you might want to do is add your favorite RSS channels to be displayed. For this you need to select RSS Channel Settings and add them there. If you read multiple channels you may want to assign different priorities. Messages from higher priority RSS channels are more likely to be displayed. The effective priority is calculated by the pre-selected priority of the channel settings and the user's click rate. Thus, if you click more messages from one channel, this increases its effective priority and display probability.

A single left click on the application icon in the task bar enters pause mode. This is indicated with the color of the icon. No messages will be displayed in this status. Double clicking the icon may also have functionality if this is configured in the application settings.

Color codes of the icon:

Further information can be obtained by the application help system. Just press F1 in any configuration dialog to get specific help on it.

Advanced Usage

Private RSS Channels using HTTP Authentication

In some cases a private RSS feed might be protected by HTTP authentication where you must enter a username and a password to access it. You can use BalloonRSS also for such feeds. For this you need to edit the channel configuration file channelConfig.xml. It is located in the user data directory, e.g. at C:\Users\<user_name>\AppData\Roaming\BalloonRSS for Windows Vista and C:\Documents and Settings\<user_name>\Application Data\BalloonRSS for WinXP. This directory may be hidden and you may have to type the link in the explorer window directly to access it. There, you need to add the XML tags httpAuthUsername and httpAuthPassword to the configuration. Here you see an example:



This configuration is not visible within the graphical channel settings dialog. I think that protected RSS channels are an exceptional use case and I do not want to confuse the average user with such settings, which are normally not needed.

Configuration in Multi-User Environment

Pre-Definition of RSS Channel Settings

BalloonRSS uses 2 channel configuration files:

  1. A user specific channel configuration (located in the user settings directory, e.g. C:\Users\<user_name>\AppData\Roaming\BalloonRSS)
  2. A computer specific channel configuration (located in the program directory, e.g. C:\Program Files\BalloonRSS).

Using the configuration dialogs in the GUI, you always modify user's channel entries. The global channel settings can only be changed by directly creating and editing the configuration .xml file.

The easiest way to configure the global channel settings is to configure the desired global channels as a user and then move the channelConfig.xml file from the user settings directory to the program directory. Afterwards you may add additional user channels.

Pre-Definition of Application Settings

You may pre-define application settings in a multi-user environment by putting a configuration file BalloonRss.exe.config in the program directory. You need to manually edit this XML file. You start by obtaining the default settings file from the SVN repository at trunk/bin/BalloonRss.exe.config and modify it according your needs.

Once a user modifies its settings using the application configuration dialog, BalloonRSS will create a user specific setting file in the user directory. This file then overrides the global application settings.