Google Listen

A long, long time ago, in an Android ecosystem far away, Google Listen was our favorite podcatcher app. It was easy. It was simple. It synced with Google Reader, making adding new podcasts a snap. But it never seemed to be a very high priority, and today Google has put Listen out to pasture, as was first noticed by some of our own, as well as by folks on Twitter. The reason? There are other, better apps out there.

Says Google:

We launched Google Listen through Google Labs in August 2009, to give people a way to discover and listen to podcasts. However, with Google Play, people now have access to a wider variety of podcast apps, so we’ve discontinued Listen. People who have already installed the app can still use it, but after November 1, podcast search won’t function. You can access your podcast subscriptions in Google Reader in the “Listen Subscriptions” folder and download them from the Import/Export tab.

We're a little sad to see it go, but there really are a number of great podcatchers out there. Oh, and if you're needing to re-add the feed to the Greatest Android Podcast in the World, here's the audio feed.

Source: Google


Reader comments

Google Listen is officially dead


How does PocketCasts compare to Doggcatcher? I was sad to hear Google Listen die as it was my first Podcast app on Android and I found it simple and easy for what I need. Thought Doggcatcher looked good and I just downloaded it, but after reading these comments, I checked out PocketCasts on Google Play and now wonder if I should have bought that instead :-/

I bought Pocket Casts right away on my new nexus 7 because a friend recommended them. It's only 3 guys running things, but if you have a problem they easily help you fix it. They also offer OPML export, which is awesome!

Bought it shortly after my post. UI is great and the ability to stream and not just download podcasts is a huge plus as well as discovery of podcasts is awesome!

are PocketCast feeds backed up to the cloud or tied to an account? do i have to set everything up if i have to re-install or when i get a new phone or rom? that's what i liked about Listen, feeds stored in cloud and just worked after re-install.

PocketCasts is great. I know many that like Doggcatcher, as well, but PocketCasts has been spectacular. The devs even responded to one of my Twitter questions once!

I'll second that. More than just a podcatcher but well put together.

It took me a little while to get used to it.

One advantage is you can import the feed from Google Reader.

Ok, I'm kiNda sad to see it go. Listen was my first Podcast listening app for Android, and while it wasnt the most feature laden podcast APP, it was among the most easiest for subscribing to podcasts. I was holding out hope Google was gonna jazz it up, but oh well,,,,the greatest benefit for being an Android user is the option of choice...

Google Listen R.I.P. 11/01/2012

I second this one of the only pocast listener apps that is holo style and the only one with the jellybean notification feature.

Pod kicker is the one I decided on as well. It gives me a bare bones pod catcher very similar to Google listen. Does video too.

PocketCasts is by far the best podcast app I've ever used (both on Android and iOS). The guys who run ShiftyJelly (PocketCasts's developers) are really nice and their changelogs/twitter feeds are quite funny. They also just announced an impending update that will sync app data (podcasts, playlists, where you left off) across devices...can't wait for that myself!

I actually still use, and prefer this podcaster to others I've tried. I wish they would at least open-source the app for others to extend, there's just a few tweaks I would make to it to enhance the experience for myself.

If I were to guess though, considering the age of this app, it's probably pretty poorly written, and wouldn't serve as the best example, or base to extend from. :(

I'm using this at the moment probably out of loyalty to Google's apps rather than functionality or polish. I'm not sad to see it go, in fact I much prefer PocketCasts, but what I really want to come of this is for Google to include podcasts as part of Google Play (Music).

Both Microsoft and Apple include them in their content hubs (Zune Marketplace and iTunes) and you can subscribe to them with each platforms respective apps. I'd really like to see podcasts as part of Google Play Music and it's corresponding Android app sometime soon.

I use Listen everyday and am really sad to hear this news. So when they say the "podcast search won't function," will this have any effect on the ability to manually add subscriptions or pull/download new podcast episodes to my device using the "Fresh Items" sync button? If not then I'll still be ok =)

Listen was the 2nd worst software ever written.
When I joined Android (after ios4 bricked my iphone 3), Listen was the first podcast program I used on my dInc. Stupid program always forgot where it was, so I was always restarting and fast forwarding. The 1st worst program ever written is itunes. Obviously. Get doggcatcher...

You guys think that maybe they'll incorporate podcasts into Google music somehow in the near future? As a Listen and Music user I would be happy to see this happen.

I'm glad for all of what Google does but I wish they would pay more attention to their individual apps. I'm afraid that talk will go the same way. I want to use talk but the competing apps work so much better for me. How long since talk has had a facelift or feature update? G+ is kind of cool but it is difficult for me to use.I can't figure out how to search out people to follow but from contact list.

Just found PocketCast in my Amazon free apps list from a while back. Guess now is good a time as any to try it out.

I personally use carcast, it has a very simple interface and will auto download if you want (you can even set it so this only happens over wifi). I've been using for 2+ years and the developer is good about releasing updates and fixes, I definitely recommend it.

One thing I liked about Google Listen, that the other podcast apps I've tried did differently was caching podcasts rather than downloading the full files. I was annoyed when I would "shuffle all" on my music only to have podcasts pop up. Listen kept them nice and separate. Can anyone point me to something else that keeps them separate?

DogCatcher will put podcasts in your music collection. Its one of the lead complaints in the reviews.

So does Pocket Casts according to some comments, but there are the necessary .nomedia files installed in the podcast directory by this app, so this may have been user error. I do not see any podcasts showing up in my music when using Pocket Casts.

I use doggcatcher, and there is an option in the settings to hide the podcasts from other apps. I can't recommend doggcatcher enough

i hope they just work it into the playstore and google music. I love pocket cast but i would love to have 1 less app.

Sad to see this. It was quirky, and had warts, but it has been around a long time and was very light weight and easy to manage from the web (via reader).

Going to the market and buying the most expensive one I can find. Those with financial incentive don't abandon their products.

Next Prediction:

Google Reader Death Sentence.

I know there are others, but they all are paid versions or their free versions have ads. My needs are simple: subscribe via URL, download as new ones come out, let me play them (or I'm actually willing to use something else to play them), and then let me delete them. That's it...I don't need all the bells and whistles of management, search, share, blah, blah, blah.

Guess I'll go check my backups for the Listen .apk.

I think I need to correct myself. They are not *all* paid or w/ads. Just found "Podcatcher". Very simple, no ads, free and does just what I want/need.


I use listen every day and find it way better to use than BeyondPod (which is more complicated and seems to lose its Google Reader credentials all the time.

This is depressing.

I figured this was going to happen. What I was hoping to see was Listen to become part of Google Music. Maybe they still will.

No way! I just downloaded this a couple of weeks ago. I was listening to comedy bang bang at work today.

So is Podcatcher the best free podcast app for Android? I don't listen to enough podcasts to justify dropping $5 on Doggcatcher.

uggh so annoyed! How much of a problem is this in the android eco system in general? I've been using android for 2 weeks now, and this is the second big application I depend on that has just *poof* disappeared without warning.

I installed and setup listen on my new phone, got my nexus 7, and *poof* google listen is gone. I spent probably 30 minutes trying to figure out how I was searching wrong terms in the play store to find it. I couldn't even find anything on google confirming that it was gone until a day later. Navionics is the other app that just disappeared. I did some googling, and it seems like there's alotta pissed off people if they have to re-install their phones and stuff they've paid for is gone from the play store or released as a "different" piece of software in the play store (instead of an update so people have to re-pay if they have to re-install).

In all seriousness, do I need to backup the apk of every piece of software I install incase it disappears from google play without warning? Or am I just an unlucky SOB that I've run into this twice in my first two weeks? Is there some reason why a play store page doesn't stay and explain that it's not available any more.... possibly with a message that says "Coming back in September!" or "Going away for good, go find something else, sorry you lost all of your stuff". Trying to NFC beam the app between the two devices just gave me an error in the play store with a big retry button. Not very helpful.

They left the tablet versions in google play, they pulled phone versions for some unknown reason:

At least they posted something to their website, even though that website says absolutely nothing useful as to why or when they will be back :( I should have installed it last week, but I was roaming and felt bad using so much roaming data.

I've always only used Listen for podcasts as it was simple and did the job for me. Ironically for Google, the search feature on the app I've always found useless and had to go off and find podcast rss feed urls myself and add them manually. I think it's probably time to experiment with some new podcast apps.

Is there anyway to export a subscription? I have a podcast in my subscriptions that is no longer active. There is no rss feed, or url left. Is there anyway to download them as audio files?

Thanks in advance.
I really like Listen a lot. Bummer.

If you downloaded the podcast in Listen they should be on your external SD card in a folder called

I'm going to keep using Google Listen anyway. When I want to add a podcast, I'll just find the RSS feed somehow and add it to Google Reader.

This just in! Google is discontinuing Gmail because "people now have access to a wider variety of email apps."

Argh! That sucks! I just wrote a post about RSS, Google reader and Listen - only to find that RSS is being slowly killed by Google, and Listen isnt even in the Play store any more.. (lucky I have the apk)...
Oh well... You're right, it was neglected. I wonder if they'll sell me the source code - I'm sure I could do better!

FYI Shortlink, if you care to read the post: