Oddly, walking meditation works quite well for listening without pain. I can hardly sit still for an hour, but walking is fine for hours. And yes, MN1 is autoexpanded. That autoexpansion seemed useful at the time, but I haven’t extended it to work on all suttas. Other things became more important. The expansion was valuable because it truly takes mindfulness deep into the sutta. When we read, we glance, we skim and we miss important things. Listening, this is skipping is not possible. It becomes a mindfulness training. The mind wanders when listening.
I only download Pali/English for short suttas such as SN12.23. I share your horror at a 4hr+ MN1! In contrast, DN33 is 2hours and a trusty daily companion. I initially split it up into morning/evening. But with the dark forbidding winter nights, I simply walk 2hrs during the day listening. I use the computer in half-lotus, so it somewhat balances out.