Backfeed – the memorable feed processor

Backfeed takes an RSS feed and concatenates it with deduplicated historical items from snapshots of the feed saved in the archive.org Wayback Machine. You’ll get a Backfeed URL to enter into your news aggregator or podcatcher which will give you access to a larger set of items than the official feed. This is useful when a RSS feed author includes only a few items in the latest feed, but you know there are older items which are just not listed.


Instructions

  1. Request a backfeed access key (from me, at ). Enter it into the access key field above.
  2. Find the URL to an RSS or podcast feed. Enter it into the Feed URL field above.
  3. Click Backfeed it!
  4. Wait for it to process. Typical feeds take about a minute to load, but large feeds with a lot of history can take an hour or more.
  5. The new feed URL will be printed on your screen.
  6. Copy this new URL into your feed reader.

FAQ

What kind of RSS feeds can Backfeed process?
Backfeed can process any XML-formatted RSS feed, for both podcasts and articles.
Are all back items retrieved?
Usually, yes. Backfeed will retrieve up to 5000 unique snapshots from archive.org. Each snapshot will link to multiple podcast episodes or articles, so the total number of items can be many more. If a feed is updated frequently, and has a very large history, 5000 snapshots may not be enough to include the full history.
Some podcast episodes or articles are missing.
Backfeed tests the existence of each file or linked article, and excludes items with broken links.
It’s so slow!
The first time Backfeed loads a feed, it downloads historical snapshots and verifies every link in every snapshot. A large feed, with a long history, may have hundreds of snapshots and many thousands of articles or episodes; this may take an hour or more to process. Backfeed caches snapshots and links, so subsequent requests to a feed will load more quickly.
The page crashed with a Bad Gateway error.
This means Backfeed is taking a long time to process a feed, and the connection to the server was closed. Backfeed is still working in the background. Go make a cup of coffee, come back in an hour, reload the page, and the feed should load correctly the second time.
Is Backfeed bulletproof?
Backfeed is not mature software, and probably doesn't work with all URLs. If a Backfeed-generated URL works for you, it will continue to work as long as: a) the original feed URL does not change, b) archive.org continues to hold historical content for that URL, and c) Backfeed continues to operate as a service.
What else can go wrong?
Is this a free service?
Free for now, but bandwidth costs have forced me to limit the number of people with access to the service. If you like Backfeed, saying thanks with cash will help encourage me to keep the service online. ;)
What if I find a bug?
If you have any problems contact me at @com on twitter or send an email to .