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I assume they’re shutting down on April 2 so that people won’t think they’re being pranked.
Credit: Justin Pot

Google is doing as Google does: shutting down a service. This time, it’s Google Podcasts, an application the tech giant launched just six years ago. Google Podcasts will be entirely gone at the end of March, according to Google, at which point you’ll need to get your podcasts onto some other service.

Here are Lifehacker we think the best podcast app is Pocket Casts, so we’ll show you how to get your shows into that app. The general steps should work with almost any podcast application, though, provided that application supports importing OPML files.

To get started, open Google Podcasts, either on your phone or on the web. At the top of the screen you’ll see a warning that the application is shutting down on April 2 along with a link to export your subscriptions. Tap or click that export option and you’ll see two options: one to export your shows to YouTube Music and another to download an OPML file.

Google Podcasts offers two migration options: sending everything to YouTube Music or downloading an OPML file.

Credit: Justin Pot

If you have confidence that Google won’t eventually shut down YouTube Music, or just remove podcasts from that app, I think that you are capable of trust beyond that of mere mortals. Your soul is pure and I’d admire you if I wasn’t completely certain that Google is going to make you do this all over again in two years or so.

So, yeah: tap the Download button instead. You now have an OPML file, which is essentially just a text document full of links to RSS feeds. Don’t worry if you don’t know what that means: you basically just need to open the file using your new podcast application of choice. Open the application and tap your profile, then the settings cog. From here you’ll find the Import & Export option. On Android you’ll be able to browse for the file you downloaded and grab it.

If you were using Google Podcasts on an iPhone, well, you’re odd. You’re not out of luck, though: on iOS, the application will tell you to use the system share functionality to send the OPML file over to Pocket Casts. Just head to the Downloads folder in the Files app, tap-and-hold the OPML file, then choose Pocket Casts as the application you want to open it in.

If you’d rather use some application that isn’t Pocket Casts, the process should be more-or-less the same. Just dig through the settings until you find an “import” option—OPML is an industry standard supported by almost all applications. The main exception I can think of is Apple Podcasts, but I somehow doubt that’s what you wanted to migrate to.

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