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Google Listen Discontinued Because You Have Other Options

Today, Google announced that Google Listen has been discontinued. Since the Google Play store is such a robust market for podcast apps, they would rather you take advantage of the “wide variety” that are available. If you already have it installed, they want you to know that after November 1, the search functionality on it will be killed off.

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.

Any Google Listen users around? Do people still listen to podcasts?

Via:  Google

  • Connor

    Doubletwist. Favorite Podcasts: Mike and Tom Eat Snacks, WTF w Marc Maron, MMP w Bill Burr, BS Report and Comedy Bang Bang. I know. Everyone knows that only nerds listen to podcasts.

  • sww e
  • Yes….a lot of us listen to podcasts. I hate how pretentious this site can sometimes be. Worse than apple fanboys

  • muffnman

    I JUST dropped google listen early in July for Podkicker Pro. It will be missed.

  • Greg

    I have been using Listen for over a year now. It works fine for me. Maybe it doesn’t have the bells and whistles some do but I have no complaints. It sure works better than some of Google’s services. Why would they trash something that actually works??

  • nate

    Listen is probably my most used app, hopefully they will open source it.

  • Andy

    Listen was one of my most used apps. I was so cross about this I immediately uninstalled it and installed Podkicker Pro. Should have done it a long time ago. It’s a really nice app and a worthy replacement.

  • Brian Sargent

    I tried Listen for a while but didn’t like it. wouldn’t find the podcasts and just didn’t like it. I use BeyondPod now and it does the job well enough.

  • kilbasar

    I started out with Listen, and it still has one of the best interfaces on a podcast app. But it gradually got very buggy (podcasts skipping around, etc), and I had to abandon it. Now I use BeyondPod, which is pretty much perfect in every way. Listen was good, but couldn’t keep up with the competition.

  • v3crax

    I love listen, but I will need to find something else now. I’m twit guy, and I loved how you could use Google Reader to sync up Podcast with Listen.

  • Russell Tanner

    BeyondPod is a great podcast app. It’s easy to use, lets you download or stream, and has a nice ICS inspired look to it. And it’s free. Or at least the free version is perfectly sufficient.

  • Marc Saegesser

    Bummed but not surprised. Listen hasn’t gotten any attention in ages. I use Google Listen every day in the car during my commute. It was easy to queue up podcasts and the simple interface made it easy to use in the car. I never use the search function, though, so it sounds like I can keep using as I normally. Do people still listen to podcasts? Really?

  • Rob

    I use Google listen every day on the way to and from work. I have tried other podcast apps and didn’t like any of them. This sucks.

  • itsgonnalast

    i use Google Listen every day. search has been broken for a long time
    (years), so this is really nothing new. i’m glad i can still use it.
    it’s quirky and buggy but still works for the most part.

    one of
    my favorite Listen features is that i can use Google Maps Navigation
    and Google Listen simultaneously, and Listen pauses and restarts itself
    when Navigation speaks… unlike iHeartRadio which just talks over Navigation.

  • Matt Wilber

    Not only do I listen to podcasts all the freaking time, but I jsut started to ween myself off of the iTunes and onto Google Listen. What do I do now?

  • jmildraws

    I just this week switched to beyondpod. It kind of made me sad. Looks like i got out just in time.

    • Give Pocket Casts a serious try. Very good app. Well organized and maintained.

  • Jonathan Rose

    I use Listen on the car ride to and from work everyday. Ive used other apps but Listen is by far the most simplistic and easy to use.

  • If only they had cheap(er) audio books (than Audible) then I would have been an avid user.

  • Erik

    Pocket Casts is the best alternative, folks. Take it from a Listen user from old times.

  • I do. This is a bummer. I use this app a lot and have been yearning for an update. I guess I’ll have to search for a new app.

  • Firelight

    I just “listened” to Windows Weekly, Tech News Today, Wall Street Journal Tech News Briefing and NPR Hourly News this afternoon/evening as I came home from work, cut the grass and worked in the yard. I’ve used everything including Doggcatcher – paid for most of them too – and nothing works as reliably as Listen. Everything is just “there” when it should be. Dammit.

  • bluefolder

    Strongly recommend Pocket Casts. Though its not free, its got great playback controls and looks better than any other podcast player out there. I’ve found the developer to be very responsive to feedback.

    Also, when I relied on Google Listen, I sometimes found it difficult to find certain podcasts. Pocket Casts’ search function has proven much more robust. Really can’t recommend this app highly enough for anyone who listens to podcasts with any frequency.

  • SecurityNick

    I use it, and actually wrote a blog yesterday saying that I thought Google should make more of a play (no pun intended) with podcasts in Google Play and use Listen to be the content provider.

  • Kisuk3

    Good riddance.

    Hope Google Labs is next.

  • Matthew Merrick

    I am fully expecting Google Play Podcasts to come out soon.

  • Inquizitor

    Shame. Used Listen for years. Always wanted it to get video functionality. I have since upgraded to the stellar Pocket Casts. However, my dad still uses Listen on his One X. He’s not a podcast junkie like me, so I doubt he’d pay for a player. Anyone know a good, simple, free one?

  • envoy510

    No, it was discontinued because it really, really sucked and they put no resources into it to fix it.

  • CodeToJoy

    Do people still listen (and watch) podcasts? YES! Every day in fact. I bought the add-on to DoubleTwist for my podcatching needs, works well with both audio and video podcasts.

  • George Davis

    Stitcher is the best podcast app, bar none. I used Listen for awhile on my OG Droid back in the day, but Stitcher completely blows it out of the water.

  • landon

    I clicked to this link via facebook, first thing I get is a prompt to open this link via podcast. Could have stopped right there .

    • landon

      *beyond pod 😛

  • evcon

    Kind of a bummer that they’re not sticking with it to really improve. Personally, I got kinda sick of Listen because it was too simple so I moved on to Podkicker Pro. Kinda surprised to see that nobody else here has gone to that…I think it’s pretty good.

  • William Hirsch

    I use listen for most, DogCatcher for a few. I’ve always hoped that Listen would get rolled into a cloud based solution so that you could easily keep track of what you have listened to, what is queued up, and where you were when you stop in the middle of a given podcast. Kinda bummed now since it doesn’t look like that will happen.

  • It’s not the best app but was my choice because of how well it played with Google Reader. Are there any replacement apps that pull podcasts from your Reader RSS subscriptios?

  • Lawrence_Hart

    I think this is horsesh!t!!! I love that app! It just works with reader feed and does everything I want it to.

  • In terms of a replacement app, I know there are a few out there (beyondpod, pocketcast) that allegedly can do variable speed playback using some third party library that you have to pay for in addition to the podcatcher app. Does anyone have any words of advice specifically regarding variable speed playback?

    • BeyondPod supports variable speed playback. It also has Google Reader integration. It’s the best out there and well worth the money. Personally I hated listen. I was also looking for a BeyondPod replacement at the time.

    • edmicman

      I’ve seen that, too, and wondered how the 3rd party aspect worked. Do none of the podcast apps bake it in? Why not?

  • Also, it was terrible.

  • nightscout13

    I had no use for this app. Just don’t get rid of Google Music.

  • damn that makes me kinda mad. I tried other apps but nothing for some reason I gravitated back toward Listen everytime

  • mtmjr90

    I don’t care if they get rid of the app, but I really hope they integrate podcasts into the Play store. Podcasts are in the Zune Marketplace and iTunes Store and able to be subscribed to via their respective mobile apps. I want Google to include podcasts as a section in Play Music…

  • Michael Lewis

    I kind of feel like this was never an app that was needed, but was super nice to have. Maybe they could just add all the podcasts to the Play Music Store? That would be awesome. That way I could save space on my phone and stream a podcast as I wish 🙂

  • dmfarley

    “Do people still listen to podcasts” come on. Are you serious?

    I listen to them all day every day. I mean, I get that it helps that I’m an American living in NL so it helps me keep in touch with home, but I know tons of people that do. I listen to NPR, Slate, Uhh Yeah Dude, and QD Now podcasts. Although I have _never_ used the LIsten search function, so I really don’t care about that. The reason I don’t use Stitcher is because for some strange reason Stitcher doesn’t have an add by URL function (duh?) and the Google Reader functionality. Which is awesome. It’s a great sync. I listen at work on Reader then I know what I listened to for the ride home.

    I absolutely loved this app and it is the most used thing on my phone. This totally blows.

    • David Domine

      The search on Listen was NEVER good. I’d always have to find the podcast URL and manually add. But that’s no problem.

      I use Listen daily and because it integrates with Reader and my Google account, no matter my device (Phone, Tablet, PC), I have what I want to listen to.

      I wish someone at El Goog would write in the basic podcasting code into Google Music. Only seems natural that a consumer would want all their audio in one place.

  • Geekout

    NOO!!!!!! i loved google listen!!!

  • gpzbc

    I like Listen, but ended up going with Pocket Casts because it is more robust. Never regretted the switch. Pocket Casts is great!

    • pocket casts is great but isn’t compatible with my Vizio tablet, along with a host of other podcast apps. Listen works on it so i am disappointed to see it go!

  • I used it for quite a while but had a lot of little frustrations that never went away. Got BeyondPod on some sale, liked it tons (so customizable) and never looked back.

  • xray

    I use it everyday it is the most simple podcast catcher out there

  • phaeacian


  • The Ogler

    I use Stitcher, but I’m thinking about switching over to OneCast or Doggcatcher.

  • BobDoleGOP

    Smodcast w/ Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier is the BEST PODCAST EVER.

    • opustv


  • nex1

    I use Google Listen on a daily basis… Kevin and Bean!! Not cool Google

  • I used Listen until I discovered Pocket Casts. Can’t recommend it enough, one of my favorites.

    • Rex

      Pocket Casts. +1

    • YES. Absolutely. Pocket Casts is amazing. I’ve used them all and Pocket Casts is just so reliable and nice looking too

    • Droosh

      Yep. I used to use Listen. I finally got frustrated enough that I tried Pocket Casts years ago and haven’t looked back since. I download them all as video but usually just turn off the picture. Nice to have options ( and unlimited data.)

  • Sean Lally


  • Yeah, Google Listen was poorly maintained, but it was still the nicest, easiest podcast app in the market for a long, long time. *Sigh* Maybe it’s time to review the other apps again…

  • Steven Shreve

    PocketCasts has been my podcast app of choice. CLR on Mondays, Art of Wrestling on Thursdays, and Entreleadership every other Tuesday!

  • I use this app every single day multiple times a day. I am not happy about this.

  • I honestly love Google Listen. It’s short of a number of features, but it always has my podcasts ready to go every time I switch to a new phone and I can always listen to my podcasts anytime anywhere. It’s easy and straightfoward

  • Phreak

    I’ve used most of the podcatchers in the Market and none of them are as good as DoggCatcher to me. It’s updated often with bugfixes and new features, it has a really robust feature set but doesn’t beat you over the head with it, and it looks nice. Can’t beat DoggCatcher IMO.

  • i listen to podcasts, but almost exclusively through the web because i dont want to download and cut/paste to my mobile device. I would assume an aggreator/dl’er isn’t that hard to build

    • Vole_tron

      This is why Listen integrated with Google Reader. No copy/paste needed.

  • streetlightman

    never heard of it but i kind of want it now :/

    • Yeah I don’t think it showed up in the official Google searches in the play store, you had to search “google inc”

  • teevirus

    What are the best options for replacing it?

    • gpzbc

      Pocket Casts ftw

    • BeyondPod (even though it costs)

    • Jim Dandy

      Podkicker is decent Holo themed replacement.

  • …Where’s the import/ Export tab? is it on the web interface?

    • Sean Lally

      It’s in google reader under the Listen Subscriptions folder.

  • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

    I KNEW IT! . . . Couldn’t find it tin the market couple days ago…. But let’s be HONEST Here… IT wasn’t one of google’s better apps… it was Designed like ass

  • Rob Nance

    Never used Google listen but podcasts are still viable, esp for sports radio because most commercials are removed & most sports podcasts are still free.

  • jothen2002

    That is how is how I listened to CAR TALK every week!!

  • I find out about most of Google’s random products when there is news that they are being cut 😛

  • ottonomy

    Ah, yes, I use Google Listen even though it sucks. I was hoping for improvement, not death. Recommendations for a replacement?

  • amy

    Ugh. This stinks, I use this app, as of about 9 months ago, it was the *best* podcast app available (and it’s only adequate). I use only for CarTalk, but I do use it!

  • teevirus

    Damn it! I use Google Listen religiously. Why not just integrate it with Google music?

    • DickyDarko

      Agreed, it would be nice to have one place to go to for music and podcasts.

    • Agreed.
      that said, i just switched to Pocket Casts and it downloads podcasts and automatically adds them to Google Music. Not quite to same, but still pretty nice…

  • Man, I really wanted to see them re-invent Listen the way they have a lot of their stuff. It’d be nice to have an “Official” Android podcast app, and I thought they were maybe gonna do it with Listen eventually. Oh well. :/

  • MikeD675

    Still use Listen and still listen to podcasts on the commute. I haven’t found another app that is as easy and straightforward to use.

  • CK

    OMG!!!! For a split second i thought it was Google Music. The logo confused me.

    • TheOiulkj

      Same here, but I still didn’t care.

  • Tom

    It didn’t used to work very well but I feel like it got better… I actually like it a lot and use it just about every day

  • JBartcaps

    I listen to Rooster Teeth’s Drunk Tank Podcast all the time!

  • Been using Google Listen for 2.5 years. I listen to podcasts on my commute each day both ways as well as when doing house/yard work. Its been apparent for a long time that the project has been abandoned. I had been holding hope that they would come back one day with variable speed payback but I guess now its officially time to move on.

    • You are absolutely right!! still kinda sad but time to move on to the next one

  • Dave Dean

    I was always surprised how poor of a podcast app Google gave us with Listen, and I gave up on them fixing it a while ago. I guess killing it is the next best thing

    • I agree. I don’t get all the love here… I had tons of little issues that never seemed to get fixed, and so gave up on it long ago.

  • I use this every time I have a long car ride. Always interesting to listen to a recent Fresh Air or Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me.

  • I use DoggCatcher

    • Jeff Martin

      I second the vote for Doggcatcher. It’s what I replaced Listen with.

      • Daniel Horne

        Ditto. Doggcatcher is the better product, IMHO.

        • Eddie

          But Listen is free! And it is pretty good.

          • Daniel Horne

            True enough, but we see how well that pricing model has served Listen. I find DoggCatcher to be worth the $5, but I’m sure other freeware out there (e.g., Stitcher) will painlessly replace Listen.

          • michael arazan

            Tunin radio pro has a ton of podcast, fm/am radio from almost every city and country around the world, record-able music, rewind to re-listen to a song or podcast or to record it, and so on.

            Nerdist podcast and WTF podcast, FTW

          • xmichaelx

            I switched to Doggcatcher because Listen constantly forgot where I left off in my podcasts, and would restart me back at the beginning. Not cool.

    • Woody Fentress

      Doggcatcher is about as robust an app as you could ever hope for when looking for a podcast app.
      I wish that I could sync back and forth (not just one way) with Google Reader but other than that this app kind of kills it.

      Also, do people still listen to podcasts?

      Some live podcast recordings sellout huge theaters in San Francisco, LA, Seattle and New York. Also the LA Podfest, Earwolf, Nerdist Industries, Smodcast just to name a few there are hundreds of podcasts with millions of listeners. So, yep, people are listening.