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Winds - A Beautiful Open Source RSS & Podcast App Powered by

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Winds is a beautiful open-source RSS and Podcast app created using React & Redux on the frontend and Express.js on the backend. Use the free hosted version or run it on your own server and customize it as you see fit. Contributions in form of pull requests are always appreciated. Activity Feeds & Discovery in Winds are powered by Stream, the app leverages Algolia for search, AWS for hosting, MongoDB Atlas for a hosted database (DBaaS), and SendGrid for email. All of these services have a free tier.

Getting Started

To get started with Winds, please download the latest release

Featured RSS & Podcasts

Have a popular RSS or Podcast and want to be featured? Reach out to We reply to every message.

Features at a Glance

Winds is packed full of awesome features behind a beautiful user interface and user experience. Here's a quick look at what the project has to offer:

Beautiful UI

Winds UI

RSS & Podcast Recommendations

Winds RSS & Podcast Recommendations

Integrated Search

Winds Search

Podcast Player

Winds Podcast Player

RSS Reader

Winds RSS Reader



Help us improve Winds and/or vote on the Roadmap for 2.1

  • Search detail screen
  • Playlist support (partially implemented)
  • Team support (share an activity feed with colleagues or friends to discover and collaborate)
  • Mobile application powered by React Native

Powered By

  1. Express
  2. React & Redux
  3. Algolia
  4. MongoDB Atlas
  5. SendGrid
  6. Bull
  7. Mercury
  8. Stream
  9. Sentry
  10. AWS

The full stack can be found on


Stream is an API for building activity feeds. For Winds the follow suggestions and the list of articles from the feeds you follow is powered by Stream. Stream accounts are free for up to 3 million feed updates and handle personalization (machine learning) for up to 100 users.


Algolia is used for lightning fast and relevant search. We use their JavaScript search client to easily setup the Winds search implementation. Algolia, accounts are free up to 10k records and 100k operations.


MongoDB Atlas provides a Database as a Service, and serves as the backend datastore for Winds.

Tutorials & Blog Posts

The following tutorials will not only help you start contributing to Winds, but also provide inspiration for your next app.

Note: We're actively working on this portion of the README. To stay up to date with the latest information, please signup for the hosted version at

  1. Implementing search with Algolia
  2. Stream and Winds
  3. Running PM2 & Node.js in Production Environments
  4. Creating a RESTful API design with Express.js
  5. Takeaways on Building a React Based App with Electron
  6. The Winds Stack
  7. Building Touch Bar Support for macOS in Electron with React
  8. Testing Node.js in 2018
  9. Simple Steps to Optimize Your App Performance with MongoDB, Redis, and Node.js
  10. Getting Started with Winds & Open Source
  11. Deploying the Winds App to Amazon S3 and CloudFront
  12. Deploying the Winds API to AWS ECS with Docker Compose


To download Winds, visit

Contributing to Winds



  • brew install redis mongodb
  • brew services start mongodb
  • brew services start redis
  • cd Winds
  • cd api && yarn
  • cd ../app && yarn

Sign up for both Stream and Algolia, and create the following .env file in the app directory, replacing the keys where indicated:





Note: If you are running the test suite, you will need to have a test version of the .env file inside of the api/test directory.

Then run:

  • pm2 start process_dev.json
  • cd app && yarn start

Clone the Repo

git clone

Install dependencies

The following instructions are geared towards Mac users who can use brew (Homebrew) to install most dependencies. Ubuntu users can use apt, and Windows users will have to install directly from the dependency's site. Non-debian-based Linux users will probably be able to figure it out on their own :)

  • cd Winds/app
  • yarn
  • cd ../api
  • yarn

Start MongoDB Locally

Winds uses MongoDB as the main datastore - it contains all users, rss feeds, podcasts, episodes, articles, and shares.

If you're on a Mac, you can install MongoDB through Homebrew by running:

brew install mongodb

(You can also install MongoDB from the official MongoDB site.)

You can also run MongoDB in the background by running:

brew services start mongodb

Start Redis Locally

At Stream, we use Redis as an in-memory storage for the Winds podcast processing and RSS processing workers. It contains a list of podcasts and RSS feeds, which the workers pick up and process using the bull messaging system.

If you're on a Mac, you can install Redis through Homebrew by running:

brew install redis

(You can also install Redis from the official Redis site.)

Then, start Redis by running:


...which creates (by default) a dump.rdb file in your current directory and stores a cached version of the database in that location.

You can also run Redis in the background by running:

brew services start redis

Loading Test Data

For testing purposes, you will want to use the test data located here.

Use mongoimport or mongorestore to import the data. There are two username and password combinations for testing:

Password: admin

Password: test

You will need to run the FLUSHALL command in Redis to ensure that the new content is picked up.

Note: This will override any local data that you may have. Please be cautious! Also, this will not create Stream follows – please follow feeds manually to generate them.


Sign up and Create a Stream App

To contribute to Winds, sign up for Stream to utilize the activity and timeline feeds.

(Reminder: Stream is free for applications with less than 3,000,000 updates per month.)

Add your Stream App ID, API Key, and API Secret to your .env

Append the Stream App ID, API Key, and API secret to your .env file:


Create Your Stream Feed Groups

Once you've signed in, create "feed groups" for your Stream app.

A "feed group" defines a certain type of feed within your application. Use the "Add Feed Group" button to create the following feeds:

Feed Group Name Feed Group Type
podcast flat
rss flat
user flat
timeline flat
folder flat
user_episode flat
user_article flat

It's fine to enable "Realtime Notifications" for each of these feed groups, though we won't be using those yet.


Sign up for Algolia and Create an Algolia App and Index

In addition to Stream, you also need to sign up for Algolia, to contribute to Winds, for the search functionality.

(Algolia is free for applications with up to 10k records.)

  • Sign up for Algolia here
  • From the Applications page, click "New Application" and create a new Algolia application. (We recommend something similar to my-winds-app)
    • (Select the datacenter that's closest to you.)
  • From the application page, select "Indices" and click "Add New Index". (We recommend something similar to winds-main-index)

Add Your Algolia Application Id, Search-Only Api Key and Admin Api Key to Your .env File

From your app, click the "API Keys" button on the left to find your app ID and API keys.

Append your Algolia application ID, search-only API Key and Admin API Key to your .env file to look like this:


Start Backend Services

From the root directory, run:

pm2 start process_dev.json

To see logging information for all processes, run:

pm2 logs

Start Frontend Electron / Web App Server

cd app && yarn start

Running tests

Winds API server uses:

Tests are located in api/test folder.

File structure is intentionally mirroring files in api/src to simplify matching tests to tested code.

To run tests:

cd api && yarn run test

To run tests with extended stack traces (useful when debugging async issues):

cd api && yarn run test_deep

Adding new tests

Add your code to a file in api/test folder (preferably mirroring existing file from api/src folder).

Refer to Mocha documentation for examples of using BDD-like DSL for writing tests.

Modules are mocked in api/test-entry.js as mocks have to be installed before any modules are loaded.

Fixtures are loaded via loadFixture function from api/test/fixtures folder

Various utility functions are provided in api/test/util.js (See other tests for examples of usage).

Building a Production Version

Build a production version of Winds by running from root directory:


This creates production-ready JS files in api/dist.

To run the production JS files:

pm2 start process_prod.json


Prepare the build for Docker:

cd api && cd scripts && ./

Build the Docker container (API & all workers):

cd ../ && docker-compose up

The commands above will prepare and start the API (and all workers). The frontend will still need to be started manually.

Debugging RSS & Podcast Issues

Unfortunately there is no unified standard for RSS. Go to the api directory and run yarn link to make these commands available:

winds rss


winds podcast\?id\=510289

Open Graph scraping:

winds og

RSS Discovery:

winds discover

Article parsing (w/ Mercury):

winds article

Pull requests for improved RSS compatibility are much appreciated. Most of the parsing codebase is located in api/src/parsers/.


All support is handled via GitHub Issues. If you're unfamiliar with creating an Issue on GitHub, please follow these instructions.

Maintenance and Contributions

Thank you to all of the maintainers and contributors who've helped Winds become what it is today and help it stay up and running every day. We couldn't do it without you!

Special Shoutouts To:

Primary Maintainers


Revive RSS

RSS is an amazing open standard. It is probably the most pleasant way to stay up to date with the sites and podcasts you care about. Our reasons for contributing to Winds are explained in the blogpost Winds 2.0 It's time to Revive RSS. In this section we will list other open source and commercial projects that are having an impact on Reviving RSS:

We are hiring!

We've recently closed a $38 million Series B funding round and we keep actively growing. Our APIs are used by more than a billion end-users, and you'll have a chance to make a huge impact on the product within a team of the strongest engineers all over the world.

Check out our current openings and apply via Stream's website.