Tesla Music Streaming Services and Apps (Spotify, TIDAL, Slacker, TuneIn and more)

By Alex Jones
Tesla supports various music services
Tesla supports various music services
ugarvesnation/Reddit

While Teslas are filled with a plethora of industry-leading features, new owners are often surprised by the incredible quality of the Tesla audio system and its audio features.

In fact, it is believed that Tesla’s sound systems are on-par with premium Bang and Olufsen systems ($12,000 optional sound system in vehicles like the Audi A8). Elon Musk even admitted in a tweet that they used former Bang and Olufsen engineers to design the audio systems found in the Model 3 and Model Y.

Tesla continues to refine the audio experience for Tesla owners, as indicated by the release of the new subwoofer equalizer settings as of update 2021.44.25.

With this incredible audio experience standard across all models, it should come as no surprise that music streaming is a priority for Tesla.

Premium Connectivity

Part of the selling points of Tesla’s Premium Connectivity is the seamless music streaming abilities offered by Tesla.

With a Premium Connectivity plan, drivers can easily stream audio without the use of cellphone pairing solutions or Bluetooth streaming.

Bluetooth Audio

If a Tesla driver chooses not to purchase the Tesla Premium Connectivity Plan, they can stream audio via Bluetooth from their cellphone.

Audiophiles would point out that the act of streaming via Bluetooth degrades the quality of the music to compress the data stream for wireless transmission. A physical connection with a USB cable connected to a cellphone is not currently supported by Tesla.

Hotspot

In addition, drivers can use their cellphone as a hotspot, allowing the vehicle to stream audio such as Spotify using their device's data connection.

When using your device as a hotspot, you'll have access to almost all of Tesla's features included in Premium Connectivity. These include audio and video streaming services like Spotify and Netflix (accounts with these services are still required), Caraoke and more.

The only options it doesn't include are live traffic visualizations and satellite-view maps.

Available Tesla Music Streaming Services

Like many modern vehicle manufacturers, Tesla has focused on developing an infotainment ecosystem that relies on streaming services to deliver music and podcast streams to the driver via Wi-Fi and cellular connections.

Many of these services are premium services not routinely found in standard car software. Currently, Tesla offers a direct stream from Slacker, Spotify, TIDAL, and TuneIn. This is in addition to FM radio and SiriusXM for the Model S and Model X.

Tesla Streaming (Slacker Radio)

While branded as a Tesla streaming service, Tesla has partnered with Slacker Radio to provide a free Slacker Plus account (ad-free) to Tesla Premium Connectivity customers. In the US, this music service shows up in the vehicle simply as "Streaming."

This account mirrors the features of a Slacker Premium account, enabling drivers to search for songs using voice commands, create and stream playlists, and enjoy curated streaming stations for their enjoyment.

Spotify

Arguably the most well-known of the streaming options, Spotify has built a reputation for exclusive high-quality podcasts and playlist management that makes them one of the most popular streaming services in the world (current market share of 31% of the global streaming market). While not known for its audio playback quality, Spotify’s streaming service offers an industry-leading catalog of material that is popular with Tesla drivers.

Although Spotify offers the ability to stream songs with a higher bit rate (HQ), it is currently not available in Teslas.

TIDAL

Tidal’s ad-free music streaming service is billed as a premium lossless music stream (indicating a higher quality audio experience when compared to other Tesla streaming partners).

Tesla users with a TIDAL HiFi subscription can stream audio files at 1411 Kbps using a lossless codec that doesn’t sacrifice quality for streaming bandwidth speeds.

However, users have noted that streaming these lossless files over an LTE connection can cause frequent buffering issues due to the large file sizes.

TIDAL does offer the ability to download songs via Wi-Fi to prevent buffering issues.

TuneIn

A lesser-known subscription-based streaming product, TuneIn offers Tesla drivers ad-free streaming of music, news networks (CNBC, CNN, FOX News Radio, and MSNBC), and live play-by-play sports with no blackouts from the NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL.

There is a free tier for TuneIn users interested in listening to their curated playlists and sports radio products.

You can simply navigate to TuneIn and start listening; no need to create an account.

SiriusXM

Popular for its large selection of curated music stations, talk radio catalog, and sports streaming, SiriusXM is a leading subscription and semi-ad-supported streaming solution for the U.S. and Canadian markets.

SiriusXM is only available in the Model S and Model X using a satellite receiver which is not available in the Model 3 or Model Y.

While there have been rumors of an internet-based SiriusXM streaming solution for other models, that solution has yet to appear in the Model 3 and Model Y.

Caraoke

Tesla Caraoke is Tesla’s version of the popular karaoke format. The free service (requires Premium Connectivity or Wi-Fi) allows drivers to play and sing popular karaoke songs directly from their car's infotainment system.

USB Drive (Downloaded MP3s)

For owners who prefer to play their own downloaded music collection, Tesla also allows you to plug in a USB drive and play MP3s directly from your device.

This feature can be useful if you don't subscribe to Tesla's Premium Connectivity or sometimes drive in areas with poor reception.

Your USB drive will need to be formatted using exFAT for this to work. Once the drive is plugged in you'll be able to access your music via a new USB icon available in the launcher.

Tesla will then let you view your music by artist, album, song title, or even search for your favorite songs.

Missing Streaming Services

Apple Music, the second most popular music streaming service in the US, remains absent from Tesla's streaming lineup.

Amazon Music, a close third-place finisher, also remains absent from Tesla’s audio streaming options. Pandora is also not yet available from Tesla’s infotainment system.

While a YouTube video app is available in the Theater section of the Tesla infotainment system (while parked), YouTube’s music streaming service, YouTube Music, is currently not supported.

It should be noted that workarounds exist for playing content from excluded streaming services like Pandora, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Youtube Music, etc. through the use of Bluetooth streaming.

FM & AM Radio

Tesla's also offer traditional FM radio. The Tesla interface will automatically show you all the available stations around you so that you quickly start listening to a station without having to use a dial.

Although older Model S and Model X vehicles had the ability to listen to AM radio, that capability is no longer available in newer cars. However, TuneIn has many stations available for streaming, so your favorite AM station may also be available to stream for free on TuneIn.

Apple AirPlay & CarPlay Rumors

Recently, Elon Musk indicated in a tweet that Tesla was considering the addition of AirPlay connectivity. While short of an Apple CarPlay integration, Apple Airplay would allow for improved audio streaming from iPhones when compared to current Bluetooth solutions.

Cybertruck to be waterproof and serve as a boat briefly, may also appear in Cyberpunk 2077

By Kevin Armstrong
Cybertruck may appear in Cyberpunk 2077 game
Cybertruck may appear in Cyberpunk 2077 game
Cyberpunk

Cybertruck deliveries will start next year, but if you can't wait that long, you may want to head for Night City. Cyberpunk 2077 has teased that the highly anticipated vehicle in the real world may appear in the popular video game. But, if that's not enough, Elon Musk announced another exciting and unique feature for the futuristic-looking truck - it will be waterproof.

Let's start with the floating Cybertruck, which should not be a shock to anyone following the Tesla CEO. He bought the Lotus Esprit that James Bond used to jump off a pier and transform into a submarine in The Spy Who Loved Me. He purchased the movie prop for just under $1 million in 2013 and told USA Today, "I was disappointed to learn that it can't actually transform. What I'm going to do is upgrade it with a Tesla electric powertrain and try to make it transform for real."

In 2016 he tweeted that the Model S "floats well enough to be a boat," but he did not recommend trying it. Now he has claimed the Cybertruck could be used as a boat — briefly. Musk tweeted: Cybertruck will be waterproof enough to serve briefly as a boat, so it can cross rivers, lakes & even seas that aren't too choppy.

Cybertruck may appear in Cyberpunk 2077 game
Cybertruck may appear in Cyberpunk 2077 game
Cyberpunk

In a later tweet, he gave some idea of the distance he has in mind: Needs be able to get from Starbase to South Padre Island, which requires crossing the channel.

Twitter user @Erdayastronaut shed some light on why Musk would be singling out that area and distance. The tweet reads: "One of SpaceX's biggest problems is attracting talent to work at Starbase, which is extremely remote. South Padre is an awesome place to live, but it's almost an hour drive to Starbase despite being only 5 miles from Starbase because of the shipping channel." A quick check of Google Maps demonstrates what the user is describing.

South Padre is only five minutes from Starbase if you cross the channel
South Padre is only five minutes from Starbase if you cross the channel
Google

Musk's tweet also caught the attention of the Washington State Department of Natural Resources. Officials there seem to be a little concerned about the wording. The official account tweeted: Our derelict vessel crews are begging you to understand that anything that "serves briefly as a boat" should not be used as a boat.

CD Projekt RED also noticed Musk's tweet, and the makers of Cyberpunk used the opportunity to show two concepts of the Cybertruck as it would appear in Night City. Musk and Cyberpunk have had an ongoing relationship for a few years. Most recently, he demonstrated the power of the onboard computer's gaming system by playing Cyberpunk in a Tesla. However, CD Projekt RED did not mention if the Cybertruck in Cyberpunk would float.

Cyberpunk 2077 will be playable in the new Model S

Tesla hints at 'Reverse Summon' being available this year

Future Feature
By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla now mentions 'Park Seek' or what we know as reverse summon on its website'
Tesla now mentions 'Park Seek' or what we know as reverse summon on its website
Tesla

Tesla's team of Autopilot engineers is validating significant advancements to Full Self Driving Beta, including parking lot improvements. While Smart Summon and Reverse Summon were not specifically mentioned during the 3.5-hour AI Day 2022 event, parking lots were discussed, and Elon Musk gave a timeline of when enhancements are expected.

Reverse Summon or 'Park Seek' as Tesla appears to be calling it, is the opposite of Smart Summon. Whereas Smart Summon drives to you from a parking spot, users who activate Reverse Summon would have their Tesla drop them off at a location, perhaps closest to the entrance of a mall, and then find a parking spot. This feature was described by Musk on July 1, 2020, when he gave it a two to a four-month timeline.

Ashok Elluswamy, Tesla’s director of the Autopilot program, started the FSD portion of AI Day, saying, “FSD beta software is quite capable of driving the car. It should be able to navigate from parking lot to parking lot, city street driving, stopping for traffic lights and stops signs, negotiating with objects at intersections, making turns and so on.”

Several team members described how FSD has advanced and soon will be an integrated stack, meaning one code base that includes everything the program needs to navigate the car in a parking lot or on a busy highway. Musk is currently using this new stack, “it works quite well for me, but we need to validate it in all kinds of weather, like heavy rain, snow, dust and make sure it is working better than the production stack across a wide range of environments.”

Paril Jain, the Manager of Autopilot Motion Planning, expanded on what else will be included in the integrated stack, “we do expect to also include the parking lot stack as a part of the FSD stack before the end of this year. So, that will basically bring us to you sitting in the car in the parking lot and drive till the end of the parking lot, at a parking spot, before the end of this year.”

It has been previously reported that Reverse Summon would have three different modes to find parking spots that the owner prefers. The methods would include closest to the entrance, nearby a cart return, and the end of the parking lot for those who like to avoid tight spots that cause door dings. Musk said that the integrated stack is on track for release before the end of the year and maybe as early as November.

Tesla has also updated it's website to reflect this news, although no timeframe is given. The Autopilot section of Tesla's site now has a section titled "To your Destination." The description reads "When you arrive at your destination, simply step out at the entrance and your car will enter park seek mode, automatically search for a spot and park itself. A tap on your phone summons it back to you."

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View the release notes for the upcoming version 2022.36.

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Take a look at features that Elon Musk has said will be coming soon.

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