Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The demise of Google Reader and Google Listen

Like many other people I was surprised to hear about Google cancelling two of my favourite tools - the Google Reader service for managing your RSS feeds and the Google Listen podcast player.  Apparently the reason given is that they could not see any way to make revenue from these products, but I would have though that the users of Google Reader would have been a gold mine of data in relation to what feeds are most popular through the number of reads/favourites/shares etc..

I like the simplicity of Google Listen and you can still install Google Listen, but only if you have  saved a link to it (it no longer shows up in search results). I occasionally find that Listen will crash at random times and since Google have cancelled the project they are unlikely to fix it (I wonder why they didn’t Open Source the project like they did with Google Wave),  As a result I have switched to BeyondPod as a replacement. Overall I find it reasonably easy to use - I have paid for the Pro version, but I don't think I really use any of the Pro features so the free version is equally good from my point of view.

Apparently Google Reader site will be shutting down in July, so while there is no mad rush to get off the platform, it is still a good idea to find some other tool to replace it. The consensus on the internet seems to be that Feedly is the best alternative - my initial experiences seem to back up that claim.

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