Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register
  • The final cut of the 9th episode of the Tesla Motors Club Podcast, featuring Chad Schwitters, the former president of Plug In America, is now available. You can watch it now on YouTube or listen to it on all major podcast networks.

Slacker and Spotify Observations

Spelly88

OD 5/14 LR5 MSM/Black | 20 | PA I EDD 11/24-12/14
May 16, 2018
203
333
Philly Suburbs, PA
I've had a hard time finding Slacker and Spotify details so I'm going to post some observations I've made in the hopes that it might help someone. If anyone wants to add on to this list, please do so.

To start, let me say that since v10, for me at least, voice commands will no longer directly play a song request. Instead, it will bring up the results screen (top hits, artist, song, etc) where I have to manually pick what I'm looking for. I don't know if this is a bug, or a feature change, but it's certainly not as nice as it was before. Granted, the success rate of playing the song I actually requested was maybe 65%, but that could also have been a limitation of Slacker itself. Still, it was very convenient, and I don't like having to take my eyes off the road to pick a song, so I'm hoping it's a bug. Is anyone else having this same issue?

1. Slacker - Tesla Account: This is the account that comes with the Tesla. As far as I know, it's basically the $3.99 account. No commercials and unlimited skips. I occasionally get an ABC News Update after a song finishes, but you can skip that without issue, and it happens very infrequently that it doesn't bother me. The Premium account also has this ABC News track as well.

2. Slacker - Premium Account: Upgrading to your own $9.99/month account has a few benefits. For one, it allows you to create playlists on the web version, and then play those playlists in the car. I haven't found a way to add music to a playlist from the car itself, so I just do it on the web and it'll usually update in the car in 10 minutes or so. The bigger improvement for me is playing music itself. If I use the built in Tesla account, and ask the car to play "Weird Al Yankovic" (I have 8 & 10 y/o boys) it will play a Weird Al song, and the next song will be something in the same genre as Weird Al, but most likely NOT Weird Al. I can skip it and keep skipping until another Weird Al song comes on, but that could be 4-7 songs before I get one. With the Premium account, I can keep skipping songs and they will ALL be Weird Al. It might not seem like a big difference, but it's huge in my opinion, especially with kids involved.

3. Spotify - Premium Account: I believe you need a Premium account to even use Spotify in the Tesla. I wanted to try it out so I signed up. The nicest feature I can see with Spotify so far is that it seems to have more music available than Slacker. I don't have concrete evidence of this, other than some of the songs I've tried to play have not been available on Slacker but Spotify found them no problem. Also, if I search for a song and select it, it seems to actually play that song, unlike Slacker which will sometimes play another song by the same artist. I believe Slacker doesn't have great "on-demand" playback, while Spotify seems to excel at that. Another nice thing about Spotify is that with Slacker, unless the song is in your playlist, you cannot just select the same song again. It won't play it. You'll need to keep skipping through the artists songs until it randomly gets chosen again. For instance, if I want to play "Ebay" by Weird Al, I might get it playing once, but if they want to hear it again within 24 hours, I'll need to skip through a lot of Weird Al songs until it randomly comes up again. However, with Spotify, I can select that song over and over and it'll play.

What's not so nice, however, is if I ask Spotify to play Weird Al, it will bring up a curated playlist from someone (assuming I don't have my own) and only play those songs. It won't just start playing Weird Al that I can see. I feel that Slacker is actually better at this in that it will just keep playing Weird Al songs at random until I change it.

So for now, I actually have both Slacker and Spotify premium accounts because each offers features that I like. I'd hate to miss out on being able to just play an artist like I can with Slacker, but I also really like the extra music that Spotify offers as well as better on-demand playback.

Hope this was helpful!
 
I agree that asking the car to play a song, now brings up a display, requiring a press on the monitor, which in turn requires taking your eyes off the road. The previous response was better. It usually for me got the right thing, and even if it didn't I could repeat my request without taking my eyes off the road.
My major objection to the infotainment system is I downloaded my CD collection to a USB stick, but can't select from that using voice.
 

alphainfinity

Member
Supporting Member
Jul 11, 2019
170
125
Kalispell
Good write up, thanks.

I'm about to upgrade my Slacker Account (I have the Basic one I bought) and see how much that adds.

I also like the selection on Spotify, but the bugs in Spotify (not Necessarily Tesla's implementation) are driving me nutty.


I agree! Spotify has been super buggy! Sometimes playlists will display, other times you get the loading screen. Sometimes songs act like they are playing but there is no sound. I find myself constantly switching back to slacker, and then again back to spotify to get the playlists to load. This problem doesn't happen on my phone, or computer so I think this is a Tesla implementation problem.
 

mswlogo

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2018
7,556
7,017
MA, NH
I agree! Spotify has been super buggy! Sometimes playlists will display, other times you get the loading screen. Sometimes songs act like they are playing but there is no sound. I find myself constantly switching back to slacker, and then again back to spotify to get the playlists to load. This problem doesn't happen on my phone, or computer so I think this is a Tesla implementation problem.

The Tesla update that came in last night seems to be helping. We'll see.
 
I find the change to default Slacker to be dangerous. You often have to really scan the screen to figure out if any of the suggestions are what you wanted to hear. Often, none are correct anyway. It seems to be misunderstanding the request more often than it used to. Certain songs it used to automatically play when I would say "Play [song] by [artist]" -- and now the screen recommendations don't provide the correct music. (Sometimes it will show what looks to be correct at the top, but then doesn't play the right music.)

I'm wondering if Tesla hobbled it on purpose as part of the negotiation with Spotify. It kind of feels like that might be the case.
 

jboy210

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Dec 2, 2016
6,548
4,464
Northern California
I really am loving the inclusion of Spotify. I have been a Spotify user for a long time, and have a number of playlists, sorry no Weird Al Playlist! But it is great to have "my music" on all my devices. And I like being able to download music to phones or tablets so I have my music even when I fly somewhere.
 

alphainfinity

Member
Supporting Member
Jul 11, 2019
170
125
Kalispell
This is what I see quite often when using Spotify in the Model X.

23C3097C-9F6D-4458-9085-A0CC3CB9E751.jpeg
 

ABC2D

Active Member
Dec 19, 2016
1,147
1,589
Home
I occasionally get an ABC News Update after a song finishes, but you can skip that without issue, and it happens very infrequently that it doesn't bother me. The Premium account also has this ABC News track as well.
You can disable the "News snippets" - call Tesla for the password for your car's slacker account, login to slacker.com website with obtained information, go to "Account Settings" then "General Settings" and turn off the "News" for all categories. You can also enable "Maximum Quality" option on the same screen:
upload_2019-10-18_9-34-47.png
 

Spelly88

OD 5/14 LR5 MSM/Black | 20 | PA I EDD 11/24-12/14
May 16, 2018
203
333
Philly Suburbs, PA
You can disable the "News snippets" - call Tesla for the password for your car's slacker account, login to slacker.com website with obtained information, go to "Account Settings" then "General Settings" and turn off the "News" for all categories. You can also enable "Maximum Quality" option on the same screen:
View attachment 467388
Thanks MasterT! I didn't know about that. That's very helpful...

Going off topic a bit, I noticed something strange with playback from USB. I've been playing back audiobook (mp3) files from my usb stick, and it seems that whenever I park and leave for a while, the car loses track of what I was listening to. The media screen just won't have anything selected. This normally wouldn't be a huge deal, but I've ripped these from cd's and there's like 300 tracks for a book. Having to remember which track I'm on and then find it again is a bit of a pain... Is this normal behavior for playing from usb? Is there anything I can do differently so it doesn't lose place?
 

ABC2D

Active Member
Dec 19, 2016
1,147
1,589
Home
Going off topic a bit, I noticed something strange with playback from USB. I've been playing back audiobook (mp3) files from my usb stick, and it seems that whenever I park and leave for a while, the car loses track of what I was listening to. The media screen just won't have anything selected. This normally wouldn't be a huge deal, but I've ripped these from cd's and there's like 300 tracks for a book. Having to remember which track I'm on and then find it again is a bit of a pain... Is this normal behavior for playing from usb? Is there anything I can do differently so it doesn't lose place?
This, perhaps, would be better answered in Comprehensive USB Bug List
 
  • Helpful
Reactions: Spelly88
I have the same problem, voice commands do not directly play but go to the search screen. I rebooted my MCU this morning to see if it would fix it. Nope
I was also going to try Spotify? But this has he same problem? And buggy?
With Music and Navigation being basically the only voice functions available, voice commands have become 1/2 as useful.
I think Elon said he wanted to eventually control all the car functions through voice? He can start by fixing the music app voice commands.

Running on MCU1.
 

Spelly88

OD 5/14 LR5 MSM/Black | 20 | PA I EDD 11/24-12/14
May 16, 2018
203
333
Philly Suburbs, PA
This, perhaps, would be better answered in Comprehensive USB Bug List

What I read in that thread actually seems to work for me. If I get to my car and I notice that the track I was playing previously has blanked out, I close the door and wait for the screens to go dark again (3-5 seconds). I then open the door again, and my previous track will start playing again. It's definitely a workaround, but I can live with it until a permanent fix is introduced.
 

mswlogo

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2018
7,556
7,017
MA, NH
You can disable the "News snippets" - call Tesla for the password for your car's slacker account, login to slacker.com website with obtained information, go to "Account Settings" then "General Settings" and turn off the "News" for all categories. You can also enable "Maximum Quality" option on the same screen:
View attachment 467388

It is my understanding Tesla does not do that any more, for quite some time. I just paid the $18.99/yr to get a real basic account.
 
Thanks MasterT! I didn't know about that. That's very helpful...

Going off topic a bit, I noticed something strange with playback from USB. I've been playing back audiobook (mp3) files from my usb stick, and it seems that whenever I park and leave for a while, the car loses track of what I was listening to. The media screen just won't have anything selected. This normally wouldn't be a huge deal, but I've ripped these from cd's and there's like 300 tracks for a book. Having to remember which track I'm on and then find it again is a bit of a pain... Is this normal behavior for playing from usb? Is there anything I can do differently so it doesn't lose place?
Sadly, based on my experience in several loaners, the best workaround is to get a Model S. Why it has worked near perfectly in Model S for over 2 years and is still worthless in Model X is beyond me, but it is what it is.
He was probably referring to cars with MCU2 and newer. I think he's pretty much given up supporting MCU1.
I don't think there was an MCU2 when he said this.
 
I've had a hard time finding Slacker and Spotify details so I'm going to post some observations I've made in the hopes that it might help someone. If anyone wants to add on to this list, please do so.

To start, let me say that since v10, for me at least, voice commands will no longer directly play a song request. Instead, it will bring up the results screen (top hits, artist, song, etc) where I have to manually pick what I'm looking for. I don't know if this is a bug, or a feature change, but it's certainly not as nice as it was before. Granted, the success rate of playing the song I actually requested was maybe 65%, but that could also have been a limitation of Slacker itself. Still, it was very convenient, and I don't like having to take my eyes off the road to pick a song, so I'm hoping it's a bug. Is anyone else having this same issue?

1. Slacker - Tesla Account: This is the account that comes with the Tesla. As far as I know, it's basically the $3.99 account. No commercials and unlimited skips. I occasionally get an ABC News Update after a song finishes, but you can skip that without issue, and it happens very infrequently that it doesn't bother me. The Premium account also has this ABC News track as well.

2. Slacker - Premium Account: Upgrading to your own $9.99/month account has a few benefits. For one, it allows you to create playlists on the web version, and then play those playlists in the car. I haven't found a way to add music to a playlist from the car itself, so I just do it on the web and it'll usually update in the car in 10 minutes or so. The bigger improvement for me is playing music itself. If I use the built in Tesla account, and ask the car to play "Weird Al Yankovic" (I have 8 & 10 y/o boys) it will play a Weird Al song, and the next song will be something in the same genre as Weird Al, but most likely NOT Weird Al. I can skip it and keep skipping until another Weird Al song comes on, but that could be 4-7 songs before I get one. With the Premium account, I can keep skipping songs and they will ALL be Weird Al. It might not seem like a big difference, but it's huge in my opinion, especially with kids involved.

3. Spotify - Premium Account: I believe you need a Premium account to even use Spotify in the Tesla. I wanted to try it out so I signed up. The nicest feature I can see with Spotify so far is that it seems to have more music available than Slacker. I don't have concrete evidence of this, other than some of the songs I've tried to play have not been available on Slacker but Spotify found them no problem. Also, if I search for a song and select it, it seems to actually play that song, unlike Slacker which will sometimes play another song by the same artist. I believe Slacker doesn't have great "on-demand" playback, while Spotify seems to excel at that. Another nice thing about Spotify is that with Slacker, unless the song is in your playlist, you cannot just select the same song again. It won't play it. You'll need to keep skipping through the artists songs until it randomly gets chosen again. For instance, if I want to play "Ebay" by Weird Al, I might get it playing once, but if they want to hear it again within 24 hours, I'll need to skip through a lot of Weird Al songs until it randomly comes up again. However, with Spotify, I can select that song over and over and it'll play.

What's not so nice, however, is if I ask Spotify to play Weird Al, it will bring up a curated playlist from someone (assuming I don't have my own) and only play those songs. It won't just start playing Weird Al that I can see. I feel that Slacker is actually better at this in that it will just keep playing Weird Al songs at random until I change it.

So for now, I actually have both Slacker and Spotify premium accounts because each offers features that I like. I'd hate to miss out on being able to just play an artist like I can with Slacker, but I also really like the extra music that Spotify offers as well as better on-demand playback.

Hope this was helpful!

Very helpful and much needed side by side comparison.

A bit of a side rant, I wish one could have the option to remove services from the screen if you never use them, the same way that you can remove apps from your iPhone. I don't listen to enough music (I am boring like that) to justify having a premium Spotify account, so that service is just sitting there, taking screen real state and making the interface a tad more convoluted than it needs to be.

Oh well...
 
  • Like
Reactions: mxnym

Products we're discussing on TMC...

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top