Boston’s “new and improved” web site can best be described in one word: impressive!

Expanding even further into the multi-media world, Boston is now featuring audio programs – podcasts – that can be played on portable music players, like i-pods and other MP3 players. Files can also be played on personal computers.

Boston’s first podcast – just under 14 minutes in length – focused on “Aim for Peace,” the city’s gun buy-back program. The podcast featured an anti-violence song performed by a local hip-hop group. The city’s second podcast discusses summer programs for city youth.

But that’s just the beginning …

The site’s new look makes for smooth navigation through its pages, with handy links to related materials where applicable. For example, the Online Assessing page – one of the ten most popular pages of the site – includes searchable property assessment data and tax announcements, along with links to the Appellate Tax Board and the Massachusetts Department of Revenue.

The site is rich in providing information on specific neighborhoods, searchable by name or address. Online services – from paying a parking ticket to applying for a film permit or adding an event to the city calendar -are also popular among visitors to the site.

While information for residents is plentiful throughout the site, there is also a wide variety of tools and materials for business and economic development. The site features business guides, license and permit information (and forms), financing links, a property locator, and much more.