Extract Google Reader Data & Subscriptions with Google Takeout

Google Reader, one of the best and most popular feed reader services from Google is going to shut down in a few months from now, and this is a part of Google’s spring cleaning which they do every year where some of the services from Google are taken down. Here’s what was given by Google on their official blog:
We launched Google Reader in 2005 in an effort to make it easy for people to discover and keep tabs on their favorite websites. While the product has a loyal following, over the years usage has declined. So, on July 1, 2013, we will retire Google Reader. Users and developers interested in RSS alternatives can export their data, including their subscriptions, with Google Takeout over the course of the next four months.

Google Takeout is a Data Liberation platform given by Google which makes it easier for people to take out all the data needed when they are actually leaving a particular service of Google permanently. Using this feature, one could step out of the Google Reader service totally by extracting all the data of the Reader, and the actual Takeout service would help in extracting the data from the various Google services.

Here are the steps to follow to extract the Google Reader data through Google Takeout:

Open Google Takeout where you see the various options for taking out “All of your data”, “Choose services” and a section for the downloads available. Below would be the list of services you are using. Hit on “Choose services” and click on Reader and that would open a small section of calculation.

Google Takeout Choose Service

The next section would show the Estimated Files and the Estimated size of the archive in the Reader service.

Google Takeout Reader Files

Once you hit the Create Archive button, the page would take you to Downloads section where the archive is created for the Google Reader account of yours.

Google Takeout Download

Hit Download and it would download the zip file with the various saved records in it. You will be asked to login once for the authentication, before the download is processed.

Google Takeout Data Download

Google Reader Takeout files

The various lists in the zip file are as follows:

  • List of people that you follow
  • List of people that follow you
  • Items you have starred
  • Items you have liked
  • Items you have shared
  • Items shared by people you follow
  • Notes you have created
  • Items with comments

These all files come in the .json format, while the subscriptions come in the XML format that open in either the Safari browser or in any of the feed client like Feeddemon etc.

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