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I recently watched a RailsCasts episode (http://railscasts.com/episodes/168-feed-parsing) on parsing and persisting RSS feeds using Feedzirra. It took a little setting up on Ubuntu because it relies on some libraries that aren't included with Ubuntu > 8.
The gem will fail right off the bat
Here is what I needed before I could install the gem
gem sources -a http://gems.github.com # if you haven't already gem install pauldix-feedzirra
apt-get install libcurl3 apt-get install libxml2 libxml2-dev apt-get install libxslt1-dev
Then go ahead and
gem install pauldix-feedzirra
Here are some other useful resources http://github.com/pauldix/feedzirra/tree/master http://ruby.zigzo.com/2009/02/15/feedzirra-installation-errors/