Browser-Newsreader M&A?

September 30, 2004

Last week, Ranchero Software released a public beta of the new version of my favorite computer program, NetNewsWire (NNW). NNW is a news aggregator. In other words, it collects information from websites, like this one, which publish RSS/Atom feeds containing headlines, posts or articles. netnewswireIconlarge.png

In addition to feeling snappier, the new version of NNW includes a number of new features which make the program even more powerful and easy to use. Perhaps the most interesting is the fact that NNW now includes web browsing capability within the program itself. Instead of opening scores of tabs in Safari, one can open scores of tabs in NetNewswire. Unlike Safari, NNW remembers the state you leave it in. This makes it easier to work with a set of open pages without worrying about a crash.

Not only is this feature immediately useful, but suggests that soon the web browser and the news aggregator may simply merge into a single application. While NetNewsWire adds simple browsing, the next version of Safari will add simple news aggregating.

NetNewsWire will soon be able to sync with Bloglines (the kickass web-based news aggregator), making it possible to conveniently read the same news on multiple computers and across different platforms. Bloglines will also sync with FeedDemon and BlogBot, two aggregators for Windows.

marseditIconLarge.png While the aggregator and browser may be merging, the blog editor may be divorcing the aggregator. Earlier versions of NNW Pro included a weblog editor. That weblog editor has left the familiar home of NNW to become its own application, MarsEdit. I am typing this entry in MarsEdit, which is generally an improvement over the NNW weblog editor. All in all, the only feature I find lacking in MarsEdit is the image uploading-- it is no easier to use than the image upload feature in the Movable Type web interface. Hopefully an upcoming version MarsEdit will allow one to drag and drop images into the entry edit screen and have the program upload and create thumbnails for multiple photos at once.

Best of all, the new NNW and MarsEdit are free for prior purchasers of NetNewsWire Pro. Yes, free.

Posted by Andrew Raff at September 30, 2004 05:36 PM
Trackback URL for this entry: