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Thursday, December 7, 2023

Spotify Launches Car Thing, a Smart Player for your Car

If you're tired of "Hey Siri" or "Hey Google", soon you'll be able to add "Hey Spotify" to your list of key phrase.

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Spotify today announced its new “Car Thing” for Premium subscribers that will bring easier navigation of their music to their cars.

Car Thing connects to a user’s car via Bluetooth, AUX, or USB cable and enables them to play music and podcasts from Spotify Premium through their vehicle’s speakers. The device features a “Hey, Spotify” hands-free control system that is similar to Hey, Siri’s control over Apple Music. There is a touch screen and tactile dial that users can use to navigate through music for people who don’t prefer to use voice command. It’s powered by the car’s 12V power outlet and can be mounted on the vehicle’s dashboard, vent, or the CD player via the three included mounts. 

According to a press release by Spotify, Car Thing makes the entire experience, from setup to navigation, simple and seamless. Here’s how it works:

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  • Use voice control for easy access. Spotify’s voice search lets you quickly play specific music or podcasts, and can even help you find something new. Just say “Hey Spotify,” then ask for a song, album, artist, playlist, station, or podcast. With four microphones along the top, Car Thing can understand what you’re asking to play, even with the music turned up or your windows down.
  • Try the dial for a hands-on way to steer to the audio you love. You can also browse deeper, curating the perfect soundtrack to wherever you’re headed. Use the dial to browse, select, play, pause, and discover. 
  • View the touch-screen display to see what’s playing. You can also use the screen to see what’s in your library, as well as results from voice search. Swipe to browse further or skip, or tap to play.
  • Choose four preset buttons to get to your favorites faster and then change them anytime. They’ll always bring you the newest podcast episodes and up-to-date news.
Spotify Car Thing Device.

Car Thing leaves your phone free to do “phone things”. It is an advantage in today’s world of mobility and connectivity to have a device solely for music. The device does need to connect to your smartphone to use your mobile data and play music though. It also requires a Spotify Premium plan, which costs $9.99 a month or $4.99 a month for students.

Spotify’s Car Thing isn’t out yet, but users can sign up to be notified when it goes on sale. You can sign up for the notification here. Spotify will initially make the device available for those in the United States, with the device priced at $6.99 or $14.99 for those in Hawaii and Alaska. Spotify will raise the price to $79.99 after the initial purchase period.

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