Listen Up: an excellent Android podcast player

[Note: This post started as a copy from a Google+ post…but I’m committing myself to moving more of my voice back here, and starting this way is better than nothing. If the shutdown of Reader shows us nothing else, it highlights the danger of trusting another service with too much of our valued data and metadata.]

A silver lining to the Google Reader death fiasco…I’ve found my long-desired decent replacement to Google Listen, Google’s podcast player. They abandoned the app quite a while back, and even removed it from the play store, so I’ve been looking for a replacement for awhile.

For all its flaws, Listen was a pretty good podcast player app. The killer feature, IMO, is that it keeps its downloads out of the Music “inventory”. It sounds trivial, but it drives me *crazy* to see downloaded podcasts show up in my Music app just b/c they are new MP3s that the phone has found on the SD card. I seldom shuffle my entire music inventory, but the thought that if I did, I might end up with “song, song…podcast???” makes me batty. And way too many of the apps I’ve looked at did exactly that.

But on one of the threads I’m reading about the Reader retirement, someone (hold on…ah, +Kristian Serrano . Thanks!) mentioned Listen Up as a spiritual successor to Listen. I immediately bounced over, took a look, and bought it to try. (there’s actually a free [Listen Up Free] version of the app with identical functionality[!], but hey…it’s a buck. Pay the guy!)

I like the updated interface of the app (Listen was definitely dated), and….w00t! No podcasts in my Music player! FTW! (Update: I’ve since poked around the developer’s site a bit, and realized from a comment in a thread there the oh-so-difficult way to stop this is adding a “.nomedia” file to the directory the app uses to store its files. Seriously, other folks! Is that so hard to add to your app?)

I’m using Listen Up right now, and heartily recommend it as an Android podcast player. Thanks again to Kristian for mentioning it, and Patrick Julien for coding it!