Why won't Firefox subscribe to some feeds with Google Reader?

Some RSS feeds default to Firefox "live bookmarks" yet give Google Reader as an option, others default to Google Reader, other types of feeds do not give Google Reader as an option.

The Firefox knowledge base is a bit sketchy on the details:

You can choose different options for subscribing to web feeds, including "Add Live Bookmarks in Firefox", from "Tools -> Options -> Applications", by clicking on "Web Feed" in the list of content types and choosing an option from the drop-down menu.

The "application" I would like to add is Google Reader, which isn't an "application" in the way I think of it (I perceive Google Reader as a website or service, an online aggregator). I would like for all and any RSS or Atom content type to be handled by Google Reader.

How do I add Google Reader as an "application"?

In this screenshot from the web:

enter image description here

There's a drop-down menu, one of the options being "live bookmarks". Sometimes Google or Yahoo are options, additionally there's an option to "choose application." For those times when Google isn't in the menu, there should be a way to add Google Reader as an "application" for handling RSS feeds.

I know Google makes an extension so I can do this with a separate toolbar button, but I'm asking how to do add Google Reader as an "application".

The Google Reader toolbar button will add any type of feed.


1 Answer 1


Some audio and video feeds are not the normal "RSS" feeds, so you need to add quite a bit of configuration to Firefox to get it working.

  1. Enter about:config into the address bar of Firefox, That will bring up this screen: enter image description here Click on I'll be careful, I promise!

  2. Next you need to enter in a lot of new strings, so first search for browser.content, that should bring up values like this: enter image description here
    Look for the biggest number of browser.contentHandlers.types.#.* # being a number, * the text following. In my case the largest one was 5 when I began, and the values at the bottom that are bold are the ones added.

  3. Next you need to add several lines by -> Right Click -> New -> String enter image description here

Make The Following addidions substituting the numbers with the next highest numbers that you had from step #2 most likely this will be 6 & 7 but it may be different.

**Preference Name**                               **Value**  

browser.contentHandlers.types.6.title        Google
browser.contentHandlers.types.6.type         application/vnd.mozilla.maybe.audio.feed
browser.contentHandlers.types.6.uri          http://fusion.google.com/add?feedurl=%s
browser.contentHandlers.types.7.title        Google
browser.contentHandlers.types.7.type         application/vnd.mozilla.maybe.video.feed
browser.contentHandlers.types.7.uri          http://fusion.google.com/add?feedurl=%s

browser.audioFeeds.handlers.webservice       http://fusion.google.com/add?feedurl=%s
browser.videoFeeds.handlers.webservice       http://fusion.google.com/add?feedurl=%s

Source of code from http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?f=38&t=2083697

After making those additions to about:config, Restart Firefox then try a audio or video feed that you want to add using Google Reader. Which should now be a drop down option on these feeds where previously only "Live Bookmarks" was present. enter image description here

Lastly you can now change the default by going to -> Edit -> Preferences -> Applications

enter image description here

And change the Defaults for "Podcast" and "Video Podcast" to Use Google.

  • I didn't realize it was quite like that, almost as bad as registry hack. thank you for the answer, I'll accept it no doubt, but haven't had tried it yet. When I do, I'll accept it, I'm sure this will work. thanks.
    – Thufir
    Commented Jan 9, 2013 at 7:14
  • yeah, it's kind of weird since Google reader is a web app, Hopefully in the future there can be an automated way or "Add Website/app" type of button.
    – Mateo
    Commented Jan 9, 2013 at 20:41
  • 1
    Update: news.yahoo.com/google-shut-down-reader-feed-070054813.html at Google reader "Google reader will not be avaible after July 1, 2013" so it will soon be gone.
    – Mateo
    Commented Mar 14, 2013 at 17:21

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