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Listen: A great way to organize and listen to podcasts

Discussion in 'Android Apps & Games' started by JkRivers, Jun 8, 2010.

  1. JkRivers

    JkRivers Guest
    Thread Starter

    Google Listen is the official podcast application for google on Android. A simple interface allows you to subscribe to a wide range of podcasts. You can also subscribe from your Internet browser on Android, in which case you will be prompted to select the application to open the podcast with (Google Listen is not the default one).

    Among the features is the easy configuration for automatically updating at your preferred intervals and downloading new episodes, allowing you to select if you wish to download new episodes only when Wi-Fi is available (which is great for those with limited Data plans), as well as only when the phone is plugged in. There is an option to search popular podcasts in case you are just joining this emerging medium.

    This being a Google product, the main selling point is full integration with your Google account and preferences in the Google "Cloud", which in this case is integration with Google reader. Sign into Google reader in any computer and you can manage your subscriptions and listen to your podcasts, and they will be automatically synchronized with Google Listen on your Android device. Sadly, the current version is missing a way to share a particular episode or subscription.

    Screenshot of Google Reader showing subscriptions from Google Listen

    Google Listen can run in the background with easy access through the Status Bar. As with the Android audio application, the podcast is automatically paused during an incoming call and you can control the audio using the default headphone control button (available only on certain devices). The episodes are stored on the SD card and you can choose the maximum amount of stored episodes before the application will delete older ones.

    In the current version it is audio-only, but that may change in the future as video podcasts become more popular. Another issue I have experienced with the application is that there may be downloading errors if there is poor network reception, which results in a corrupted file. This wouldn't be a problem except for the fact that the application does not allow for manual removal of a corrupt file to download it again; forcing you to remove the file using a file explorer in order for the program to download the problem episode again.

    Google Listen is a great application for managing and listening to your podcast subscriptions, and the Google seal behind it means that it will be under continuous improvement.


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