Tabbloid is a utility provided by HP that takes one or more RSS feeds and converts them to a PDF document. The PDFs can either be emailed to you on a schedule you set — hourly, daily, or weekly — on the hour (for daily mails) or day (for weekly) you specify. The PDF files Tabbloid sends out appear to be incremental — so you only receive news published in the subscribed feeds since the last mailing.
The subscription interface is pretty straightforward:
Add a feed (you can add as many as you like), enter an email address, pick your delivery options, and save them. The resulting PDF file can either be downloaded instantly or sent by email.
A few notes about the PDF. The document is nicely formatted in two columns and is easy to read. Each item is identified by title and blog source, though the post’s author is not displayed. The title links to the original version of the item on the web. The favicon for the blog is displayed after the article.
A few criticisms of the PDF: First, in my tests, the order of articles is apparently random. This does not seem appropriate when the layout of the items is in a simple two-column format. Second, the time stamp displayed on each article is the same — and is the time stamp for the most recently published article.
A few minor bugs mar Tabbloid’s performance — especially for a tool not blatantly labeled “beta” — but it makes a handy tool for offline reading. The service has its own weblog, but all that’s listed is a brief introductory statement promising more things to come. One suggestion in the blog’s comments is to add an OPML import tool — an excellent suggestion. Overall though, this RSS-to-PDF tool has a simple user interface and a clear, easy-to-read output format.
2 thoughts on “Another RSS-to-PDF Tool, This One from HP”
Ken, I’m currently working on a service similar to this. It’s a free software (FLOSS, open source) project and I have a basic demo and source code available here: http://fivefilters.org/pdf-newspaper/
Five years later, HP’s Tabbloid service is gone. From the Internet Archive, it appears to have been killed sometime after April 14, 2012 (the last capture of the site). I’m less surprised by the fact that this service was killed than by the fact that HP ever started it in the first place.
The open source project referred to by Keyvan in the previous comment, PDF Newspaper, seems to be alive and well.
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