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Product: NetNewsWire 1.0.6
Company: Ranchero
Website: http://ranchero.com/netnewswire/
Estimated Street Price: £39.95
Review By: Byron Hinson

NetNewsWire 1.0.6

NetNewsWire on the Mac OS X has become on of my most used applications. It is an RSS reader, but unlike all of the others that have been released on Windows and the Mac it does the job superbly.

  • Remembers which items you’ve read, and lets you know when there are new items, so you spend less time surfing.
  • The headlines pane shows columns for dates, subjects, and creators when available. The Combined View option—new in 1.0.3—combines headlines and descriptions into a single view.
  • You can expand and collapse descriptions by clicking the triangle, or by using keyboard shortcuts.
  • Reads RSS news files from thousands of different websites. Comes with hundreds of sites you can subscribe to with one click in the Sites Drawer.
  • Imports and exports subscriptions files compatible with other RSS readers. The Subscribe command supports RSS discovery—it can usually find a site’s RSS feed given the home page URL.
  • The Subscribe in NetNewsWire command in the Services menu makes it easy to subscribe to sites directly from your web browser. [demo movie] Subscriptions can be grouped via drag-and-drop, so you can organize your news your way.
  • Customizable appearance—set colors and window transparency to suit your own style via the Preferences. The Find command allows you to search through current news. The dock icon shows the number of unread headlines.
  • The dock menu lets you view your unread headlines, and includes commands for marking as read, opening stories in your browser, and unsubscribing.
  • NetNewsWire is scriptable via AppleScript and other OSA languages. There’s a Scripts menu where you can add your own scripts.
  • The Weblog Editor allows you to post to Movable Type, Radio UserLand, Blogger, LiveJournal and other types of weblogs. The Notepad—a scrapbook for the Internet—stores news headlines, URLs, subscriptions, and your thoughts and observations for later posting.

NetNewsWire is an easy-to-use RSS Web news reader for Mac OS X. Its familiar three-paned interface—similar to Apple Mail and Outlook Express—can fetch and display news from thousands of different websites and weblogs, making it quick and easy to keep up with the latest news.

As already mentioned – NetNewsWire has a three paned interface, on the left you have subscriptions, this area contains all of the RSS feeds that you have decided to subscribe to and how many new headlines are available for you to read (next to each subscription will be the number of unread feeds). Then on the top right you have the news listing of the particular RSS subscription you have selected to read. Finally, at the bottom right you have an area that contains a little snippet of the news headline you have selected (assuming your RSS feed service has that option).

Just like any good newsreader, NetNewsWire remembers what items you have read. There is also a Combined View option that combines headlines and descriptions into a single view. You can expand and collapse descriptions by clicking the triangle, or by using keyboard shortcuts.

Another good feature is the addition of Importing and exporting subscriptions files compatible with other RSS readers, this allows you to try out other RSS readers to see if they can compete with NewNewsWire. NetNewsWire is also very customisable, allowing you to change colours and transparency effects if you feel the need to.

The whole feel of NetNewsWire is professional and clean, right down the excellent dock icon, which shows the number of unread headlines. The dock menu lets you view your unread headlines, and includes commands for marking as read, opening stories in your browser, and unsubscribing.

How It Grades
Installation: 93%
Ease Of Use: 94%
Design: 92%
Features: 93%
Options: 93%
Help Files: 92%
Price: 90%
Overall: 93%

Things don’t end here though, as NetNewsWire is fully scriptable via AppleScript and other OSA languages. There’s a Scripts menu where you can add your own scripts. It also contains a Weblog Editor, which allows you to post to Movable Type, Radio UserLand, Blogger, LiveJournal and other types of weblogs.

There are so many good things to say about NetNewsWire that it is hard to find anything wrong with it, I’ve been using it since the first month I got my Mac and I certainly won’t be bothering to try any other news feed readers any time soon.


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