NewsMac Pro 1.2.5

Information overload is easy to come by, especially in this age of pipes and dump trucks full of internets. Focusing your information gathering technique is critical if you want to effectively gather news and other data through the Internet. Enter NewsMac Pro.

NewsMac Pro is an RSS and Atom news reader application, meaning it recognizes the automatic feeds that many Web sites and blogs use to push content out to anyone that subscribes. You can read your collected news and content on your Mac, and you can sync headlines with your iPod. It also supports syncing news feeds with your cell phone or PalmOS PDA with a little help from iSiloX.

NewsMac Pro comes with an easy to use interface.

Adding news feeds is an easy task. NewsMac Pro comes with a long list to choose from, all broken down into categories like Mac News, World News, Blogs, Science and Technology, and Podcasts. Just select the feed you want to add to your watched list, and click the Add Selected Channels button.

NewsMac Pro includes a nice list of feeds to get you started.

It also accepts channels that arenit in the directory. You can copy and paste RSS feed URLs from your Web browser, and in some cases NewsMac Pro will auto-fill its New Channel field with the current RSS URL from your Web browser. Safariis RSS address scheme that starts with feed:// instead of http:// throws NewsMac Pro for a loop - youill have to replace feed with http before it will load into your Channel database.

Many Web sites include lists of RSS feeds.

Since NewsMac Pro is capable of handling an amazing number of feeds, youill need to organize them into categories that make sense to you. Creating a new category folder is a matter of clicking the New Folder button, entering a descriptive name, and choosing how often the feeds in the folder should be updated. NewsMac Pro supports drag-and-drop, so you can add feeds from your Library to category folders without using any special menus or dialogs.

To help organize your feeds even more, you can assign color highlights to customizable keywords. For example, assigning "Apple" the color red means that any headline with the word "Apple" in it gets a red highlight dot.

The interface is easy to use, and customizable, too. The button bar at the top of the application window holds the controls youill use most often. The left column displays a list of your customizable channel categories, the center column displays all of the feeds in the currently selected category, and the right column displays all of the articles in the currently selected feed.

You can also view a summary of your feeds, and even display an entire story in tabbed browser windows. The built-in Web browser is fine for most sites, but it doesnit properly render some Java and Flash content. For those sites, just tell NewsMac Pro to open the page in your default Web browser.

Despite all of NewsMac Prois great features, I did find a couple issues: First, it occasionally uses so much of my 1.67GHz PowerBookis processor that it brings my computer to its knees. In fairness, that may be because I have well over a hundred feeds updating every 30 minutes. Second, clicking a link in NewsMac Prois browser that should open a new tab always opens an extra copy of the tab. Not a big deal, but an annoyance when you already have several tabs open.

The Bottom Line
NewsMac Pro 1.2.5 is a powerful and capable news reader that has become a critical part of my daily routine. The organizational features help me keep my feeds in manageable groups, and keyword highlighting helps me pick out interesting articles even faster. I just wish it didnit need to use so much of my processor.

Product: NewsMac Pro 1.2.5

Company: ThinkMac Software

List Price: $24


Pros: Powerful news reader, supports podcasts, great organizational features.
Cons: Occasional a processor hog, Palm syncing requires extra software.