Listening to podcasts on Android using Google Reader

Update: Google had decided not to support Google Listen anymore. You can still follow these instructions and use an alternative podcatcher (e.g. BeyondPod) instead.
If you have an iOS device like an iPod you probably know where to go to when you want to listen to a podcast: iTunes. There is nothing like iTunes for Android and there are many ways to get podcasts on your device. The most confortable one is probably using Google Reader and Google Listen.  When you subscribe to a podcast on the internet Google Reader puts the feeds in a separate folder “Listen subscriptions”. It is possible to listen or download the podcasts via Google Reader as it has got an integrated audio player. Chances are, however, that you would like to listen to the podcast on your mobile device.
Here is how to do it.

  1. Search for a topic you are interested in, e.g. “technology podcast”
  2. Add the RSS feed of the podcast to Google Reader by copying it and creating a new entry in Reader (often you will find a link “Subscribe with Google” which does the same thing more quickly)
  3. Install the Listen app on your mobile phone and enter your Google Reader credentials.

The Listen app synchronizes with the “Listen Subscriptions” folder in Google reader and you are ready to listen to your subscribed podcasts.

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