Easynews Launches New Web Usenet Interface

Earlier this month we wrote a hands-on review of the new Easynews web interface.  At the time the new webreader was in beta.  After a few weeks of testing and tweaking the new interface is live and available to all new and existing subscribers.  Easynews is offering a 14 day free trial to new customers so if you’ve never tried the service or it’s been awhile definitely take an opportunity to check out the new features.

Read our Easynews web interface review to learn about some of the cool features in the new version.  Those new to Usenet will find it very easy to use.  Usenet veterans will also find some nice extras like audio / video previews, screenshots, article details and more.

We’ve had years of experience with a wide variety of newsreaders and the bumps and bruises to show it.  While we have our favorites the new Easynews web interface makes Usenet simple to use without installing a newsgroup reader.

Read our Easynews review or sign up for a 14 day free trial and test out the new web Usenet interface for yourself.

Review of Easynews New Web Interface : Beta Release

October 4th update:

Easynews is starting to offer access to the new web interface beta.  To test it out for yourself simply sign up (including a free trial for new customers) and log in at https://members-beta.easynews.com/2.0/

Share your thoughts of the new interface – feedback (at) newsgroupreviews.com


Original post:

If you take a look at Easynews.com you’ll notice a new image in the mix.

The guys over at Easynews are getting ready to release a new web interface and were kind enough to give us some early hands-on time with the beta release.

Providers are often reluctant when it comes to reviewing beta releases.  Not in this case though.  Easynews seemed quite confident in the new interface.  After a few hours of use we understood why.  It was very easy to use and lacked the typical technical issues you come to expect from a beta.

Everyone uses terms like easy navigation, simple UI, etc. but the new Easynews interface is really well done.  You can tell a lot of effort went into this release.  It’s not just a tweak of the existing interface but a completely new experience for Easynews subscribers.  If you’re new to Usenet or prefer ease of use over installing and configuring a newsreader definitely check it out.

Easynews fans who like the existing web interface and global search have nothing to worry about.  We confirmed that Easynews is keeping the original design as-is and adding the new interface.  You will be able to easily switch back and forth at any time.

Let’s jump right in and take a look at the Easynews beta.

There are a few options at the top of the screen including Easyboost and Safe Mode.  Either can be toggled on and off.  We definitely suggest using Easyboost as the performance is greatly enhanced.

Moving on to the simplified search box:

You can choose whether to search for videos, audio files or images.  There is also a “find Groups” tab:

Here you can do a quick search for newsgroups containing certain keywords.  Searching across all groups or filtering based on content.

For those who want more options there is also an advanced search:

Use the advanced search to really narrow things down to help find just what you’re looking for with a full assortment of search, filter and display options.  For more details read our Easynews first look post from a couple weeks ago.

We decided to start our testing of the new beta with a video and chose “WoW cataclysm beta” for our search.

We had several videos returned.  As you can see from the example above there are sample images from the video along with a description of the file size, resolution, runtime, audio / video codecs, format and post details.

In case you want to see more samples before downloading Easynews offers a “Full Thumb” view.  We cropped it down to two rows but the results included five rows of images pulled from frames throughout the video.  Very cool feature!

We shared an audio result in our first look post but noticed a tweak in the interface.

Easynews has added some nice “Preview” and “Download” buttons to the interface along with all the audio file information.  The preview will give you a 15 second clip while the download will play the full audio file.

Last but not least we did an image search for Corvette:

Our Corvette search netted over 500 results.  While we’re showing a couple rows there were actually 50 thumbnail images per page.  Clicking on any picture takes you to the full screen version.

I hope you had as much fun reading our review as we did using the new Easynews web interface.  Check back as we will update the top of the post as soon as the public beta is released.  We’ve confirmed that all Easynews subscribers (existing and new) will have full access to the beta.  Those new to Easynews can sign up for a 14 day free trial to test drive the new web interface in the near future.

First Look : New Easynews Web-Based Usenet Browser

Easynews is developing a new web interface for their popular web-based Usenet service. Not to be confused.  This is not just a minor revision or tweak to the current browser.  The new webreader is geared toward those new to Usenet.  Along with newsgroup veterans who would prefer an easy to navigate, streamlined, in-browser Usenet experience.  While the current Easynews interface works fine, the new UI promises to integrate popular features with ease of use and a number of new enhancements.

The Easynews team has kept very busy over the last year.  Starting with major investments in infrastructure.  Followed by the release of Easyboost web accelerator.  Then came a 50% increase in retention boosting NNTP binary retention to over 600 days.  Earlier this year Easynews added free unlimited NNTP access to the Big Gig plan and made it a $9.98 add-on for other accounts.

Today though we want to give you a first look at the new webreader interface.  The in-browser UI provides a number of advantages over the current browser.  Not the least of which is easy navigation and improved usability.  Here are some of the early screenshots from the Easynews team.  Stay tuned for more details as the new web interface nears the beta testing stage.

Let’s start with the new Easynews advanced search feature:

As you can see the advanced search is packed with options.  Search for Usenet posts by keyword, subject, poster, newsgroup, filename, extension, audio or video codec.  Narrow your search by content type including archive, document, executable, audio, video, image or parity file.  We also like the option to remove duplicates and collapse file sets.  You can add a date range, file size, pixels, FPS, BPS, Hz or runtime to your search criteria.  With a final option to save your search configuration.  For those less adventurous there is always the basic search option.

Now let’s take a look at the new Easynews video search results:

Check out the thumbnails!  How much time could you save by not downloading poor quality videos.  Now you can take a sneak peak before you queue them. Along with the small images there is a link to a full set of thumbnails.  More on that in a second.

The detailed information to the right of the images will provide you with the name of the file, date and time of the post along with the newsgroup and poster.  Just below you can quickly read the file size, resolution and runtime.  Along with the video and audio codec.  No more guessing or relying on NFO files.  Easynews does the work for you.

How about the new Easynews full video thumbnail view:

You’ll notice that the full thumbnail view displays several frames from throughout the video.  Very cool feature!

Now on to the new Easynews audio search results:

The audio search results are similar to the video search above.  Starting with the post name, date and time, newsgroup and poster.  Along with relevant file information including size, runtime, audio codec and sample rate.

Last but not least – the new Easynews image search results:

While we prefer the swimsuit model images from the Easynews homepage the Great Pyramid will have to do for now.  We’ll bring you some swimsuit shots during the upcoming beta test phase.

The results are very similar to the style used by Google Images.  This particular example shows two rows of images.  While there are only 7 results for this search criteria we’ll get more in our swimsuit search.  All for a good cause.  To test the sort feature, lol.

I hope you’ve enjoyed our first look at the upcoming Easynews web interface.  Expect lots more coverage to come as the new web-based browser moves to beta testing in the weeks ahead.  In the meantime if you would like to learn more about the Usenet service read our Easynews review or sign up for a two week free trial.