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Sneaking a peek at the new ABC News online.

Back in January I was sent a screenshot of the new abc.net.au/news, and while it was very much still a draft, it gave us some idea of what was coming.

The relaunched site is due to go live tomorrow, and from what I’ve seen its damn good. As you can see from the before and afters above, it is a much needed leap forward and has the most elegant and useful integration of video and audio I have seen on a news site. With simple audio and video flash players that appear and disappear thanks to the magic of ajax, it has Google Maps built right into the articles, which I immediately thought would be useless, until I realised how geographically challeneged I was and actually had no idea where Caloundra was (turns out its in Queensland).

The weather page is a brilliant, and even in fullscreen all the videos are more then enough, they load without any of the buffering that comes with the inconvenient WindowsMedia and RealPlayer formats that most news sites still use.

There is tons more to explore of the new site, but the incredibly simple and useful execution of audio/video and maps really are the top story of this news relaunch.

More screenshots below.. or visit abc.net.au/news sometime Monday.

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