The sound of search

Listen turns Google's formidable search technology toward audio podcasts.

If you're Google, what better way to test new, experimental products than to test them on mobile phones running your platform? This is precisely the move behind Google's move to drop Listen for Android into the Android Market before making other native apps.

Listen, which is part of a Google Labs project, turns Google's formidable search technology toward audio. Listen searches out and manages mostly podcasts. You can subscribe to podcasts or stream on-the-spot, download audio files, queue share them, or queue 'em up to listen to later. An extra perk? If you're tracking a specific topic, you can even subscribe to search terms. The app looks good and so far it seems to seek out what we want to hear.

Unfortunately, though, while Listen can read back popular searches to give you ideas, it so far does not include categories to browse, or other suggestions for finding cool podcasts.

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