When I last checked Google Listen, it was a limited podcast player. The original purpose of the program was to search for podcasts and then stream the playback. Most podcast players subscribe to RSS feeds to automatically download podcasts to the device for playback. The benefit is that you always have the latest podcasts on your device, and you can play them back even without a network connection.
Today I read about an update to Google Listen and I learned that it now includes the basic features of most podcast or podcatcher applications. The nice thing is that it integrates with Google Reader for managing podcast RSS feeds, so you can add feeds for Google Listen on your phone from your PC rather than having to enter a feed by hand on the phone. Of course Google Listen has the ability to search for podcasts on the device and you can then either subscribe to the podcast or instantly play it back. When you add a subscription in Google Listen, that feed is added to the Listen Subscriptions folder in Google Reader.
Additional features of the application include the ability to automatically or manually check for new podcasts, whether to download only while charging and/or using Wi-Fi, and specify how many episodes of a podcast to store on the device. The program stores the podcast files on the phone’s storage card.
Google Listen is available now in the Android Market.