I’ve been using Readwise Reader for read-it-later for some months, but Macstories discussion of Matter makes me wonder if I backed the wrong horse. Does anybody have experience with both, and can talk about why they prefer Matter to Readwise Reader—or vice-versa? Also, any Omnivore fans out there?
Readwise Reader is fine, but it’s full of features I do not use, and I wonder whether another service’s parsing might be better.
I tried Matter a few months ago and didn’t care for it. All the cool features were….cool, but not anything I wanted to use with any regularity.
Been enjoying Readwise much more, using it for highlights on my Kobo to resurface things, and as an awesome Read it later app.
Matter felt like an email program to me, I just didn’t like the way it was set up, but this could well just be personal preference.
I’ve tried all 3 and stuck with readwise. Mainly because readwise lets me combine highlights from articles and books, which is not the case for the 2 others. I found omnivore to be a little buggy also.
Readwise is also cross-platform, which is not the case for matter, and I use it on my boox tablet.
If I just wanted articles on apple platforms only, I might use matter. It has a better UI for me and better text to speech functionality than readwise.
I’ve been using Readwise Reader for 4 months now. I like it as a replacement for Instapaper, but I find the RSS performance to be poor, so I am still using Reeder to triage articles to Readwise Reader.
@onepointzero John Voorhees at Macstories seems to like using the Matter website on his epaper tablet. I’m pretty sure it’s a Boox ultra.
@Shurs Yes, the RSS reader on Readwise is not suited to heavy-duty RSS users (like me). I have been using Inoreader for that but found it too busy and I don’t like the parser—particular the way it handles newsletters. I’ve been using Feedbin for almost a week now and I think I’ll stick with it.
I use both Matter and Readwise Reader. I prefer to use Matter for long articles - stories from NYT, New Yorker, etc. So I share to Matter from the source app/web page. That way I can skim the newspaper and sit and read the interesting stuff later. The text to speech they released in the last week or so is superb, aside from the “period” glitches.
Reader I use for RSS feeds, but I’ve added so many that I’m overwhelmed, and just delete so many. The view filters help a lot.
Why not just use Reeder then?
I’ve switched back and forth between Matter and Readwise, but I think I’m going to stick with Readwise. Matter looks better, but I’ve found Readwise’s performance to be significantly more reliable. Its web client also has more features than Matter’s.
Matter is still an excellent app, but Readwise offers nearly all the same features, plus a few more, and I’ve found it to be less buggy over time.
But like Shurs said, Readwise’s RSS reader isn’t the best, so using something like Reeder + Feedbin (the one I use) will yield better results.
Readwise Reader will sync my article highlights into Obsidian.
I’m sticking with Matter, just because.
Do I understand right that if you highlight something in a book you’re reading on your Kobo, it goes into ReadWise, the way @MacSparky describes with his Kindle books?
If so, how easy is it? Last I looked into it there was some sort of manual export required.
Finally, do you know if it works on library books?
You may be able to tell that the idea of Kobo + Spaced Repetition excites me.
That’s what it means, yes. Highlight on Kobo, into Readwise it goes. I can’t speak to library books.
My suspicion would be that it would work with any library books that you’re reading on your Kobo in Kobo format.
At least, that’s how it works with library books on Kindle. If I check something out using Libby, and use the Libby app to send the borrowed book to my Kindle, any highlights and notes I make get synced to Readwise.
FWIW, Readwise also syncs direct with Libby, so I could do my reading and annotating in the Libby app. I just prefer to read on an eink screen.
Yikes! Matter’s new text-to-speech functionality is scary good. There’s the occasional mispronunciation or slightly off word stress / intonation, and it’s not as good as a professional human narrator, but it’s definitely better than adequate, and, in this regard, better than Readwise Reader.
I’ll continue to use Reader since it allows me to read, highlight, and take notes on articles, newsletters, epubs, and PDFs and ports them directly into Obsidian. (I currently use News Explorer for my modest RSS needs and GoodLinks for casual read-it-later fare.)
But … given the quality of it’s text-to-speech engine I’m seriously toying with the idea of subscribing to Matter as a sorta substitute for now sadly discontinued Audm. (The New York Times purchased Audm in 2020 and re-vamped it into its own audio product in May 2023. Alas, the NYT product is no substitute for the original as it has extensively cut back on articles from other publications. Audm alternative Curio is missing some key publications in the former Audm lineup.)
I tried Matter in its early days and moved on almost immediately since it didn’t scratch any particular itch, was nearly unusable on a Mac, and I had some privacy concerns. I’ll give it another test drive and see if it’s a substitute for GoodLinks and News Explorer. At the moment, it’s not a substitute for Reader in my particular case since it doesn’t handle PDFs and epubs.
An update: Matter’s podcast transcription functionality is also good. The only thing it doesn’t (yet) do—and it feels almost churlish to even mention this—is indicate when there is a change in speaker. It’s still a very handy tool to have when you need to make notes on a particularly information-dense podcast.
Also, it appears Matter has ditched the entire Nuzzle-like social approach of the earlier version that, for me at least, made for a cluttered user experience and added little real value.