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Slacker Radio (US) Streaming - 320 Kbps Bitrate Support

Discussion in 'Model S: User Interface' started by kitk, Jun 4, 2015.

  1. kitk

    kitk Model S P85 - VIN#2589

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    Slacker Radio just updated their iOS application yesterday and now offerings a 320 Kbps streaming option within their application. For many years the highest bitrate they have offered (including to Tesla vehicles) has been 128 Kbps MP3. With their backend now offering this higher bitrate option it would be great if Tesla provided the option to toggle between all three bitrates (64, 128, and 320). Today in the media settings you can just switch between the lower two.

    What is the best path for getting this kind of feedback over to Tesla these days?
     
  2. Majerus

    Majerus Member

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    Send an email to [email protected]
     
  3. Majerus

    Majerus Member

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    If you have the credentials for the tesla slacker account, you can go to the site and set the streaming to 320kbps, as well as enable the espn cut in. After doing this I have noticed I cannot stream music if I am on Wifi, only from the cell connection. Also I cannot really tell if its any better I know at least the espn cut in is working, so I would believe the 320kbps is working as well but no real proof.
     
  4. smsprague

    smsprague Member

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    How do you get the credentials for the Tesla slacker account.
     
  5. smsprague

    smsprague Member

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    Thanks sent them an email
     
  6. Cyclone

    Cyclone Active Member

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    I have Standard audio system and had been unhappy with the "quality" I was getting out of Slacker (my primary source) and standard radio. However, when I was on HD Radio, the quality was miles ahead of Slacker. I did have Slacker set to "best" in the car, but it was nothing compared to HD Radio. Today I used Slacker's website to enable 320 Kbps on my car's Slacker account and I have a significant improvement, particularly in bass response. If you can get the credentials to turn on 320 Kbps support (and have a strong enough 3G connection to support it), do it. The difference is very noticeable, even on my standard audio system.

    To me, this ultimately means that Tesla's sound system hardware is capable, but the sound processing on lower quality sources is very poor. This could be why I previously complained that Tesla's audio system was lacking (particularly in bass), but was very clear. The sound processing was probably inhibiting bass if it didn't meet certain quality "depth" levels. In my 4Runner, I had significantly more bass (compared to Slacker pre-320 Kbps), but much less clarity and some distortion in the music.

    Honestly, certain bass heavy songs were able to vibrate my mirrors at 7, must less needing to go to 11! And this is without an aftermarket sub!
     
  7. wayner

    wayner Active Member

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    A slightly different, but related question: Does anyone know what the maximum bitrate is for bluetooth audio with the Tesla? Specifically does anyone know what the maximum bitrate would be between an iPhone 6+ and my car? I have tried googling and haven't been able to find this info.
     
  8. Majerus

    Majerus Member

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    So you think the change actually helped, I thought it was in my head honestly.
     
  9. Cyclone

    Cyclone Active Member

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    At least on my Standard Sound system, most definitely. One of the songs is a song I heard yesterday on the commute between work, so it provided a decent, unscientific comparison.
     
  10. Joules Verne

    Joules Verne Member

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    I cannot speak for the tesla player, however, I've been experimenting with slacker to see how the service (in general ) compares to Rhapsody.

    Ive been using the LTE network on my iPhone with a premium slacker account, hardwired into my 5 series system via USB lightning cable.

    128 sounded thin, lacking, and not something you wanted to listen to at high volume.
    320 sounds much richer, fuller, has bass, and crankable

    If Tesla allows for the full 320kbps bandwidth over 3G or the new LTE accounts, you guys are in for a major sound upgrade for the slacker streaming service.

    Its on par with Rhapsody downloaded content.

    Rhapsody seems to be the winner on catalogue size and licensing terms (For the content they offer, I could always play the song or entire album whenever I want). Slacker has seemingly random terms on a per artist basis, making for an uneven user experience.

    Question: is the Tesla slacker service still between Radio Plus and Premium?
    Can you not download and cache albums for times when your out of cellular range?


     
  11. sperrysburg

    sperrysburg Member

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    Cyclone, thank you very much for this tip. I had thought that selecting "best" in the car was all that could be done.
     
  12. Law&Disorder

    Law&Disorder Member

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    Let me add one other interesting point to this discussion. As per here, I emailed Tesla for my Slacker login credentials and Tesla responded within the hour. I logged into my Slacker account and enabled 320 Kbps. To my ears (which I think are pretty good from years of listening to high-end audio equipment) I noticed a significant improvement in the audio quality, particularly in spacing and low end frequency.

    I then connected my Model S to the 4G portable WiFi hotspot on my cellphone (Moto X 2nd Gen. w/Android 5.0). Another big improvement with more detail and percussion (also objectively louder). Slacker just happened to be playing Alabama Shakes "Don't Wanna Fight" which I also have in FLAC format on a USB and the Slacker track sounded at least comparable.

    Definitely worth investigating further if you care about sound and have a very generous data plan.
     
  13. wayner

    wayner Active Member

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    @Law&Disorder - But can you get the 320kbps over 3G or do you need a Wifi or LTE connection. Did you test that as well?
     
  14. Cyclone

    Cyclone Active Member

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    I am using 3G and got a significant improvement when activating 320 Kbps as an option and ensuring I am set to "Best" in the car (which I was).
     
  15. LetsGoFast

    LetsGoFast Active Member

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    To my ears it improves the sound over 3G noticably.
     
  16. wayner

    wayner Active Member

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    Did you notice a difference in the time it took to load songs when you switched to 320kbps? If you were actually streaming 320 kbps songs over 3G then they should take 2.5X as long to download - so the bar will move much more slowly. Did you notice that at all?

    I presume one could always do A-B comparisons at home by turning on Wifi, listening to songs, and then turning off Wifi to switch to 3G.
     
  17. Majerus

    Majerus Member

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    It does seem to take longer to buffer.
     
  18. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    I pay for a Premium Account and so just logged in with my own credentials. But I assumed the Tesla account used the same credentials across all cars. Are we saying that each car has it's own unique login and password from Tesla? There is a button on my screen to "Restore" the Tesla account, but the credentials are starred out.
     
  19. Cyclone

    Cyclone Active Member

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    Yes.

    When I logged into my account, I saw my list of favorites stations and the individual tracks I favorited. I was also able to turn on Headline News for all stations and it took affect. I would hope that another car isn't using the same sets of favorites as me and is now getting the 2 minute headline news every now and then.
     

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