Google Chrome RSS Live Links

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 1, 2010
Updated • Sep 10, 2014
Google Chrome, Google Chrome extensions

RSS Live Links is a handy Google Chrome extension for users who want access to selected feeds and their updates right in the Chrome browser. The extension adds a new button to the Chrome address bar.

This button controls the extension's functionality. A click on it displays the monitored RSS feeds, and an option to scan available feeds. No feeds are monitored in the beginning, and the user's first task is to click on the available feeds link to subscribe to some feeds.

RSS Live Links will automatically scan all open tabs for RSS feed links to display those as links to the user. It is then possible to subscribe to selected feeds by clicking on them in the interface.

Feeds that are added this way are monitored from that moment on. The extension's options can be used to add feed urls manually as well, but more about that later on.

The RSS Live Links button will indicate RSS feed updates from that moment on. A left-click on the button displays the monitored feeds. Another click on one of the feeds displays the latest RSS updates of the selected website or service. A short preview is available on mouse over, a click loads the selected page in a new tab in the browser.

rss live links

Articles that have been selected are marked as read, and options exist to mark all articles as read and to open the feed homepage.

RSS Live Links uses sound notifications in addition to icon animations to notify the user about feed updates. It is possible to disable either one in the options.

RSS Live Links Options

Lets take a closer look at the extensive options.

rss links

Display options are configured at the top of the option's page. Here it is possible to define the maximum height and width of the popup, feed and title formatting options, the maximum number of items per feed or how feeds or items are shown in the popup.

Groups can be configured as well. This is helpful for users with lots of feeds that have subscribed to, and users who prefer feed categories for easier access to specific news. Feeds can be added to specific groups, e.g. windows for windows news sites. It is necessary to enable feed groups in the options before they become visible in the popup.

Export and import options exist for the configuration, but unfortunately not for opml files. It is therefor not possible to import a list of feeds in the program. Chrome users need to click on the Save Options button before the changes become visible in the browser.

RSS Live Links is a handy extension for Chrome users who want to be notified right in the browser when one of their subscribed feeds is updated with new content.

The extension could use a bulk import option for adding multiple feeds at once. Another great option would be the ability to see full feed previews by hovering over the feed item. Chrome users with more than a handful of subscribed feeds should consider using groups to improve the display of feeds in the popup.

Update: The RSS Live Links extension has been removed from Chrome's Web Store. It is not clear why that is the case. An alternative is Foxish Live RSS which you can use instead. It works similar to Firefox's Live Bookmarks feature.


Update 2: The extension injects ad scripts into pages that you visit. We have removed the link to it as a consequence.

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Foxish Live RSS
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  1. Boris said on September 10, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    Your extension is now misused for aggressively ad distribution (Superfish / SimilarProducts iFrame)

    As of file timestamps it was enriched with Superfish load routines in Mai 2014.

    It is adware / malware now :-(

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on September 10, 2014 at 8:29 pm

      Boris, thanks for letting me know about this. I have removed the link as a consequence.

      1. Boris said on September 22, 2014 at 7:50 pm

        Ich have found a background report about the adware problem:

        “Adware vendors buy Chrome Extensions to send ad- and malware-filled updates”

  2. Martin Bartlett said on June 30, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    As the original author of RSS Live Links, I sold the extension in January to what I thought would be a safe home. Unfortunately, that home then sold it on. I have contacted the new owners and have received a very curt reply that Google pulled the extension (I have not been told why) and that they are working to reinstate it.

    I apologise to all for this – my intention when selling it was to ensure its continued survival in the face of my lack of time to maintain it.

    1. Dylan said on July 2, 2014 at 5:51 pm

      As the original author, do you know if there is any location that saved the list of RSS feeds? I’m looking in hcamnijgggppihioleoenjmlnakejdph but I’m not finding anything. I had a bunch of feeds saved on there and I doubt I could remember all of them. EDIT: I found it in local storage. Nevermind!

      1. loripod said on August 1, 2014 at 3:16 pm

        hi you can zip the extension and send on anywhere cloud storage pls? i can’t stay without!

    2. Martin Brinkmann said on June 30, 2014 at 4:14 pm

      Martin, thanks for clarifying that. I appreciate it.

  3. Miguel Figueiredo said on June 30, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    I always used RSS Live Links for Chrome but in the other day I did a complete format in my PC and now I can’t find it anywhere… is it still working?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on June 30, 2014 at 2:19 pm

      It seems to have been pulled from the store. I have updated the review with an alternative.

      1. Miguel Figueiredo said on June 30, 2014 at 2:28 pm

        Thank you!

  4. Martin Bartlett said on November 5, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    inoxllor – RSS Live Links actually HAS an option to maintain a bookmark folder for each RSS feed – this is pretty close to Firefox live bookmarks. The functioanlity is, however, necessarily limited by some of the limitations within Google Chrome’s boorkmark API itself and is a little stale due to lack of demand. I’ll work on improving this feature if there is real demand but I’ve found that vast majority of users go for the pop-up because it is very close to a bookmark folder but has a whole lot more functionality than even Firefox manages in its live bookmarks.

    And I’ve heard the OPML demand – coming soon.

    1. Martin Bartlett said on November 17, 2010 at 5:24 pm

      Update: I just released version 1.5 that has beefed up and much improved bookmark folder support. See the release notes for details.

  5. inoxllor said on November 1, 2010 at 6:45 pm

    I’d like to see a RSS add-on similiar to the Firefox’s live bookmarks.

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