Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

Spotify released Car Thing back in 2022 as a dedicated Spotify media player for cars, complete with a physical knob and and voice controls. Unfortunately, all Car Thing players are about to turn into bricks.

Spotify is notifying Car Thing owners that the device will soon be discontinued, and it will stop working entirely after December 9th, 2024. Spotify recommends resetting the device to factory settings and then “safely disposing of your device following local electronic waste guidelines.” There is no trade-in program available for Spotify to properly dispose of the device for you.

Spotify initially made Car Thing available to select Spotify users, before expanding its availability to anyone with a Spotify Premium account in the United States in early 2022. It was a device that could be attached to a car dashboard, with its own touch screen interface for selecting playlists, searching for music, and controlling playback. However, it still relied on a connected smartphone for its data connection, so it wasn’t all that useful if you already had Android Auto or Apple CarPlay.

Car Thing didn’t last long, as Spotify confirmed a few months later that it had stopped manufacturing due to “several factors, including product demand and supply chain issues.” The player was sold for a while longer at a fire sale price of $50, a discount of $40 from the original price (on top of the cost of the required Spotify Premium membership).

Unfortunately, Spotify also still doesn’t have plans to sell a new Car Thing or any similar devices. A support page explains, “As of now, there are no plans to release a replacement or new version of Car Thing.”

It’s not great that Spotify is turning all Car Thing players into bricks, especially after software updates allowed it to control other media sources and answer calls from the connected phone. It probably wouldn’t be too difficult for Spotify to keep those features functional while dropping support for the Spotify-specific features, but the company isn’t willing to do that.

The mobile Spotify app still has a Car Mode that makes buttons and other interface elements larger, so that feature combined with a phone mount can be a partial replacement for Car Thing. If your car has Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, you can also just use that.

Source: Spotify

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By John P.

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