Google Podcasts gives us another option for listening to our favorite shows, but it's nowhere near as feature-rich as a lot of other competing services. Like a lot of early-stage Google products, it feels like there's some way to go before it catches up. The ability to listen on the web is a pretty basic feature that's been missing, but now there's a way to force this functionality.
Reader Omar Tosca discovered that if you change the URL of the share link Google Podcasts creates, you can enable web playback. For example, take this link to the latest episode of the Android Police podcast...
Open it on a computer and you'll see the following splash screen, with a link that takes you to the Play Store listing for the Google Podcasts app. Not very helpful unless you're on a Chromebook capable of installing Android apps.
However, if you change the first part of the URL to podcasts.google.com...
You instead get taken to the web player below. It includes a seek bar, buttons for skipping back and forward, play and pause, and also speed controls.
If you click the blue "Android Police Podcast" title, it'll take you to a list of every episode. Your progress is also synced with the app. You can't yet search for other podcasts or subscribe to them, so more work is to be done before Google will officially publicize Podcasts on the web. Even so, it's good to know it's there if you need it.
Podcasts on the web are official
You don't need to use this workaround anymore to access podcasts on the web. Google Search added support for Podcasts, so you only have to search for a podcast's or episode's name, then click Play. You can also view the entire podcast page and check episode descriptions as shown above.
- Omar Tosca