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Google Reader Might Be Dead, But You Can Still Loot its Corpse for Data Using Google Takeout

Unfortunately you don't get any extra experience points.



So Google Reader is dead. It has ceased to be, shuffled off this mortal coil, run down the curtain, joined the choir invisible. Whatever metaphor you use to indicate its passing, you can’t use it as an RSS reader anymore. But what if you still had data that you hadn’t transferred over to your new reader? Well, calm down, nerds. For the next two weeks only, you can still retrieve an archive of your data from Google Takeout. We’ll even hold your hand throughout the whole process. It’s gonna be okay. We’ll get through this. Together.

Google Takeout allows you to create archives of any and all of your data on Google, including Youtube, Google+, and, yes, Google Reader. When you first log in, it will give you the option to create an archive for all of your information at once, or to choose select services.

The all-at-once method looks like this:


And if you switch over to “choose services,” it looks like this:

takeout-2Once you click on the services you want, it will begin to estimate how large the files you want will be. If you select multiple services to archive at once, it will compare the size of the two as percentages of the total file you’ll end up downloading. I’ve also selected my Drive data to show you the difference:


Once you’ve got everything you want selected, click “Create Archive” at the bottom of the page and it will take you to the Downloads tab, where a .ZIP file will be preparing itself for you.


Yeah, I blocked out my personal Gmail account. It’s not that I don’t trust y’all — just trying to pretend I have some modicum of control over my Internet presence. Indulge me.

Anyway, once you download the file and unzip, you’ll get a bunch of .json files and a thing called “subscriptions.xml.” The .json files won’t really do much, but you might want to hang on to them just in case. What you really want is the subscription file, which you can import into your new RSS feed. I use The Old Reader and it works just fine, but there are a bunch of other alternatives you can check out as well. Many of them like Feedly and Digg Reader import your Google Reader information with just a few clicks.

Don’t think you have plenty of time get get all your Reader data out, though — according to Google, all that stuff is going to get permanently deleted after 12pm PST, July 15 2013. So yeah, get it done now while it’s still fresh in your brain.

(via Google)

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