"Knowledge speaks but wisdom listens."

Thursday, August 20, 2009 | 1:30 PM

Today we're pleased to announce a new Google Labs application for Android-powered devices in the US called, Listen. Listen quickly finds podcasts and web audio relevant to your searches, lets you stream over-the-air or download for later, and subscribe to fresh content from your favorite feeds and searches. In short, Listen helps organize the world of audio information and makes it easily accessible anytime, anywhere. And if you agree with the Jimi Hendrix quote that is the title of this post, then Listen may actually make you wiser, too.

Listen lets you stay informed even while engaged in other activities. Our colleagues use Listen as a personal audio-magazine while exercising, commuting, gardening, cleaning, dressing, cooking, and more*.



It's simple to get started. Just go to Android Market on your Android-powered device and search for "Listen". Install the application and search for anything you would like to listen to. For inspiration, try hitting "Popular searches" from the home screen. This will show some of the fastest-rising audio searches that people are making now. Tapping one of the results reveals content that you can play, queue for later, or subscribe to.

So search for, subscribe to, sit back and listen to thousands of podcasts from your phone. Remember that this is a Labs launch, so we are particularly eager to get your thoughts and feedback below. For more information, take a look at our Google Labs page.



*driving, shopping, eating, farming, laundering, shaving, vacuuming or hoovering, traveling, waiting, toileting, mowing, remodeling, grooming, collecting, raking, swimming, refinishing, painting, sewing, hiking, walking, resting, jogging, loafing, pet sitting, ice fishing, packing, paving, digging, sweeping, recuperating, cementing, guarding, waking, darning, watering, watching, inspecting, moving, envelope stuffing, constructing, mending, baking, scrap booking, jack hammering, mopping, maple sugaring, patrolling, demolishing, horse grooming, ironing, biking, dog walking, ranching, restocking, fishing, sanding, polishing, and mailing.

20 comments:

Roy van Keulen said...

Someone link me to an .apk here. I want this app.

ARcashflow said...

Dude this app should be awesome, I can download stuff on the bus while I am on my way to work, uses less bandwidth (in Sydney our mobile bandwidth really blows).

hihik said...

couldn't find the trance around the world podcast ..

awahid said...

I am so excited to try it out right now...

Daina said...

Impressive .. surely this gonna be of real use .. Loved it ...

Cheers,
Daina

ubuntu-ma said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

ubuntu-ma said...

Looks great, just what i need.
i unfortunately get the error below when i want to download this app from http://listen.googlelabs.com/

Over Quota
This application is temporarily over its serving quota. Please try again later.

srakyi said...

Can't download from Czech Republic? Why?

shmoula said...

Yeah, we want this app in Europe too!

edweerdt said...

Yes, anybody can share the apk plz?

Hugh Parker said...

I've just installed this and had a quick play - it looks interesting.

I'm subscribed to several podcasts in google reader, and it looks like I'm going to have to subscribe to them all on my phone again. It's going to be hard to keep track of which ones I've listened to in which app - is there a way of making the two work together?

Neil said...

Yeah looks good!

Couple of suggestions:

The time-position-slider is fiddly to use because it's too narrow... maybe it could pop-up on touch to use the full screen width, or use gestures to ffwd/rwnd, or use the trackball.

Could it integrate with Google Reader? Firstly pick up any feeds containing audio files, maybe later it could search all subscriptions for links to podcast feeds and 'suggest' them.

Wouter said...

I feel like a second-rate customer because I cannot download this due to me not being in the US. Google is pleased to accept my money when I pay for the phone yet the limits my options. I can understand limitations for specific US-centric apps (google voice for instance) but a podcast manager!!!

George said...

i like the app, but there are obviously some things that could be improved.

when i am in my subscriptions page and i click in the podcast pic (under programs) i am taken to a page with only one podcast, the most recent one and i have to click the tiny button up top to see more episodes. it would be nice to see all episodes in the first place, instead of having to click thru a few screens.

once i can see a list of available episodes it would be nice to have some sort of an indication as to which ones have been listened to and which ones have not. would also be nice to have an indication as to which ones have been downloaded already and not played instead of having to click each episode and try to find very small writing that says if the podcast has been downloaded.

the time bar is also very small and tough to scroll with.

thanks for the app, i do think it will be great with a few additions

dnanian said...

This is an interesting take on a podcast application, but I'm having some issues that seem a bit weird. Since this blog post seems to be the only way to correspond with the team, here you go:

• Some podcasts, which are readily found with Google (e.g. Creative Screenwriting), and even referenced through a Google feedproxy, cannot be found with Listen, and there's no way to add a podcast manually.

• New episodes do not seem to show up quickly when posted. Even "popular" podcasts, such as the Diane Rehm "Friday News Roundup"—available almost immediately after broadcast in the podcast feed—are not available, even when manually refreshed, searched for again, etc. They show up near immediately in DoggCatcher.

• The "use headset button" option doesn't seem to work on the HTC Hero (although it does work with DoggCatcher).

• The comments regarding the time position size, above, are dead on. It's hard to use.

That's just a quick cut. Looking pretty good, and I'm looking forward to whatever updates are coming down the pike... hopefully soon.

duncs said...

Why is this US only? Podcasts are available worldwide... It's getting annoying being locked out of Google apps on my Google phone... In my Android market (South Africa): no Google Maps, no Google Voice Search, no Gmail, no Google Talk etc.

Ironically, we have the Google Voice app - but of course no Google Voice service.

Herman said...

I'd love to download it; but can't find it in the Android Market and the QRS links that are posted don't work. How can I get it?

Cedric said...

OPML support would be appreciated.
An equalizer as well ;-)

drittenorn said...

Would it be possible to release an update ASAP that allows the manual specification of a feed ? That's all this needs to at least allow users to get at the full range of the usual podcasts they listen to.

There is no way to find a feed url in the Android browser & get Listen to subscribe -- this would also be a big plus.

thedon said...

Great idea - but two flaws I've found so far:

1 - the search function doesn't seem to pick up anywhere near the number of podcasts I'd expect. Can Google index / categorise a list of these (dare I say it like iTunes)?.

2 - As mentioned by someone else earlier, the timebar is hard to control - perhaps popping up a triangle/pointer with a finger sized "fat" end would be a better idea?.

3 - Perhaps a button to set apreference to wait until attached to a WiFi network before starting a download. My battery / data allowance took a big dent yesterday!.

These minor things said, great idea, and potentially a brillient app. Well done yet again Google.