Monday, April 4, 2011

Quick Duel: Google Listen vs. Stitcher Radio

Both Google Listen and Stitcher Radio are for listening to podcasts. However, that's the end of their similarities. Here's a quick impression of both, and I'll reveal what I use later.

Stitcher Radio

Stitcher Radio is an excellent podcast player... If you are on WiFi most of the time and have a phone with PLENTY of memory. The problem is, I have neither... I have the original Droid (with a meager 256MB) and previously I have to use only 3G as I don't have WiFi at home. Thus, my experiences have been getting worse and worse. The reason is half due to my phone: if a call comes in, Stitcher often go pushed out of memory, and thus when it resumes, all of the buffers are gone, and the app have to re-stream the content... over and over. Stitcher also have no "offline" mode where you can use SD card space to pre-load the podcats.

On the other hand, Stitcher lets you sort the providers and shows by topic, provider, search box, and so on. You can also thumbs up/down the podcast, subscribe to it, and so on.

Rating: Try it

http://www.appbrain.com/app/stitcher-news-radio/com.stitcher.app

Google Listen

Google Listen is an official app from Google Labs, and its "discovery/browse" interface is atrocious. You can't browse... Just search. is available, no topic browser at all. Eeek. However, Google Listen is one of the apps that saves your listen position, even if the app was pushed out of active memory then reloaded. It is VERY handy. There are a series of buttons in the player screen that lets you skip ahead and so on.

Furthermore, Google Listen has a few tricks, such as browse the "prior episodes" of any podcast, and you can choose to subscribe or not (i.e. check RSS feed), and or add those episodes to the playback queue.

But the best ability of Google Listen is its ability to download all the relevant information (you can even specify to pre-fetch only while on AC power, and/or only on WiFi). All the pre-fetch podcasts goes into the SD card, so playing them back needs NO bandwidth at all!

Rating: Get it                                                          

http://www.appbrain.com/app/listen/com.google.android.apps.listen

2 comments:

  1. Am I correct to understand that Stitcher only has podcasts from those providers who have partnered with them whereas Listen has anything that is on a RSS feed - no need for walled garden "relationships"?

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  2. Listen "curates" its search results too. Not all RSS results are podcast indices. Listen however, also picked up video podcast indices, which it can't play. Which is another quibble. :D

    I'd REALLY want Stitcher's "index" with Listen's prefetch/cache power. Too bad I can't have both.

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