Python script migrates from dying Google Reader to Evernote

google-reader-to-evernote

We’re sure you’ve heard by now that Google has decided to close its RSS feed aggregator service called Google Reader. We’ve got to remember to get our list of thousands of great hacking blog feeds off of there before it’s gone. But just preserving the list is rather easy. [Paul Kerchen] has a bit different problem. He’s got hundreds of articles starred and he wants to preserve a way to find those pages again. His solution was to write his own Python script to migrate starred Google Reader articles over to Evernote.

We’re not here to promote the Evernote service. But just so we’re on the same page, it’s an archiving system that lets you save things like webpages and text documents for access on a wide range of different platforms. So all that really needs to happen is for [Paul] to get the list of links from his starred articles folder formatted for import on Evernote. It starts by using Google Takeout to download an archive of his account data. Within this dump is a JSON formatted file called ‘starred.json’. His script parses the data and imports each article into Evernote. There’s even rate limiting to manage the daily import maximum of free accounts.

Comments

  1. Necromant says:

    Well, this pretty much sums up why I don’t use any cloud services not running on my server or vps, under MY control.

    • lloydatkinson says:

      Agreed. And also why I disagree with some schools and colleges that use external email services like Gmail instead of their own servers.

    • Ryan Voots says:

      I’ve been looking at running my own newsblur service for myself, some of these export scripts are looking very nice for doing that now.

    • pelrun says:

      I find server setup and administration really tedious – I end up spending all my time getting things going and no time actually using them to *do* anything. So external services that handle it for me are a major boon. Of course, if I can trust them to actually stay around…

  2. Anyone try this? I tried and got several failed to send article, I’ve double checked my syntax on the command and have python 2.7 running. I’m assuming it’s my error.

    scriptname.py -e evernotuser -g gmailuser -m 50 -n notebookname

    Do I need quotes around the values?

  3. T4b says:

    I use Tiny Tiny RSS and imo it’s quite good.

    Any chance you might share those “thousands of great hacking blog feeds”?

    • static says:

      Sharing those blog feeds would be akin to giving up trade secrets,anyway they are shared 1 by1 every time the feature a hack. I can already read the “seen it already comments”, if they share the information.

  4. DirtY iCE says:

    I stopped using greader when they did that g+ integration about 1.5 years ago and removed many features and started using tt-rss since then. It knows pretty much everything greader used to know (even article sharing as a feed, although without comments…), open source, and runs on my server (well, VPS, but I could move it to a different hosting company pretty easily if I’d need it) so even if the developers would decide to do something stupid or stop developing the whole thing, anyone could fork it and continue to use…

  5. DirtY iCE says:

    I stopped using greader when they did that g+ integration about 1.5 years ago and removed many features and started using tt-rss since then. It knows pretty much everything greader used to know (even article sharing as a feed, although without comments…), open source, and runs on my server (well, VPS, but I could move it to a different hosting company pretty easily if I’d need it) so even if the developers would decide to do something stupid or stop developing the whole thing, anyone could fork it and continue to use…

    • Blue Footed Booby says:

      Yeah, I understand why people like social media, but I’m not big on it myself, and I’m certainly not interested in using it to do everything. It’s annoying how many things are adding unnecessary (from my viewpoint) social features.

      Even beyond the cruft, what really bothers me is what you can do with all the data that accumulates when everything is tied to social networking sites. There are retailers who use purchase histories to infer things I wouldn’t have thought possible, like figuring out a teenage girl is pregnant before her parents know. There are articles on figuring out all kinds of identifying personal information just by correlating likes on facebook. You look at the reasoning behind the inferences and they seem silly, but companies don’t care as long as the correlations have a predictable statistical reliability. Just think about what the NSA or MI5 can do. This used to be science fiction, but it’s really happening, and people talk about it like it’s liberating, like being the product instead of the customer is somehow an improvement.

  6. Paul Kerchen says:

    When I started using Reader, I wasn’t intending it to become my main RSS reader, so I didn’t pay attention to the danger of having all my starred articles in the cloud. I’ve moved over to feedly (and all my starred articles from Reader magically appeared there as ‘saved’ articles), but that doesn’t solve the problem of what happens if/when feedly goes away. The nice thing about dumping everything to Evernote is that all of your data is cached locally on your devices, so even if Evernote goes belly up, I’ll still have everything. I just wished I’d have set up an ifttt rule sooner to push my starred Reader articles to Evernote when I starred them (fortunately, ‘saving’ articles in feedly is the same event as ‘starring’ an article in Reader as far as ifttt is concerned, so all the articles I save henceforth will be automatically dumped to Evernote).

  7. cde says:

    But can Tiny Tiny RSS imported starred google reader JSON files? The feeds are easy, it’s the starred stuff I want to save for now.

    • The imported product is a bit of a mess. I’m not disagreeing with you about wanting none to have it, but I’m not sure Evernote is the format to have it in. The Script might be an excellent jump off point to write it out to a huge HTML file. I appreciate the work the script’s author did, I think my gripe is in the way evernote presents it. Raw HTML tags are in the output, which makes it messy to read.

      I have 707 starred items and in the first 50 I already had to manually edit the json file to remove an entry that was malformed.

      • Paul Kerchen says:

        Yep, what ends up in Evernote is pretty ugly. I looked into using the Evernote API to make it pretty, but that was just more work than I wanted to do. Dumping it to a big HTML file would certainly help with all the markup that otherwise ends up as visible garbage in Evernote.

  8. static says:

    When Firefox included the RSS button I tried it out, but used it so little I didn’t miss it at all when it was removed. I simply have a “daily” category on the bookmarks toolbar that It place the pages of interest to work my way through. The most used are set as home tabs. As long as I remember to back up my bookmarks locally I’m good. Yea “free” services are subject to change at anytime, I make use of them to the point they are handy,but copies are kept locally. I could easily use a surplus computer as a dedicated P2P to share the free to share files I have. Where my upload is 526k fast so I placed them at archive.org who I discovered automatically converts them to eBook reader formats

  9. Ted says:

    Just boycott the low life big bully called Google … They’d sell your mother to the river as soon as they see no opportunity to spam your face with ads.

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