Review: Newtella

By Colin Stoner 6/18/01

Ease of Use:

Newtella is a fairly simple little program to download but it needs a lot of work in a lot of different areas. Itís a newer program and a spin off of the other Gnutella which was even more of a pain to use than this program. The good news is that as the network of users grows for Newtella (and the Gnutella network), the sophistication will get greater and the ease of use will get better.



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At this time only a little over a hundred thousand people have downloaded Newtella as compared with four and a half million for Imesh, and over ten times that number for the 800 pound gorilla in the group, Napster. One of the problems I encountered with the program was when I searched for songs, and that is definitely no small problem when you are searching an audio file-sharing site. It took me a while to figure out that when I wanted to search for a certain band or song that I had to first hit enter and then hit the clear bar. This can be a major pain when you have to do this each time you want to search for something new. In all honesty I had trouble rating the ease of use category for Newtella. We donít give out half stars so it could have easily ended up being a two star rating, but I decided to give the program the benefit of the doubt because I have no doubt that it will improve greatly in the coming months

Layout/Design:

The layout of the Newtella site is quite rudimentary and basic as well as being fairly bland and unattractive. It seems like back to basics was the theme that the developers had in mind while whipping up the program, and let me tell you they went way, way back to basics. There are four major categories in the program that are basically the same that all the other audio file sharing sites use. These include search, downloads, uploads, and connections. I must admit that they probably didnít even need the fourth category, connections, as I cannot explain exactly what the hell it is or does. If anyone would like to tell me exactly what it does I believe my email address is located in the staff section.

Speed of Download:

To be honest if I could give a half a star I would give it in this particular category. Itís not necessarily that the download speed is slow, but that it doesnít really download anything in the first place. Out of the fifteen or so songs that I attempted to download it actually managed to download only two of them. As much as I love Jimi Hendrix I would prefer to have a few more songs than Hey Joe in my library. I must say that of these two songs one downloaded at the brisk pace of 37 k/s, which is none too shabby, and the other at around 4 k/s, which for me is just good enough. Again I didnít have too much luck downloading songs so I canít really give you a good sense of the download speed on this particular site.

Overall:

If Newtella was the only file sharing site in the world Iím not sure that I would care that much about downloading free songs anymore. Itís a simple enough program to use and I definitely give it points for that but if it doesnít do anything you want it to then the simplicity of the thing pretty much disappears. However users can get some solace knowing that if they ever want to search the Gnutella network they can use far superior programs such as Lime Wire or BearShare.

Colin Stoner is a regular contributer to MP3 Newswire. Colin is also the editor of Experience-Mp3.com.

Other MP3 Reviews:
Review: Morpheus (Music City)
Review: BearShare
Winamp 3 Preview
We Test Drive the Archos Jukebox MP3 player
We Test Drive the Rio Volt MP3/CD player
Review: Sonique 1.90 MP3 Player


 

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