Spotify’s delayed Car Thing finally gets US release
Spotify’s much-delayed standalone smart player for cars is finally on the mass market – but only in the United States for the time being.
Last November TMN gave Australian premium subscribers the bad news – that it would be delayed even further.
Spotify’s first legit hardware was struggling to cope, after it invited the premium privileged to go on its carthing.spotify.com waiting list and was totally overwhelmed when 2 million rushed to sign on.
In the US it is equipped with the latest “Hey”-based voice command and costs $89.99.
Spotify’s entire catalogue of 82 million tracks, including 3.6 million podcast titles, is available on Car Thing.
“During our exploration phase, we discovered a lot about how people listen in the car, and for many users, how Car Thing can help improve that experience,” Spotify said.
“We learned two major things from device owners.
“First, users were listening to Spotify in the car more than they had before.
“Second, Car Thing made it simpler to play exactly what they wanted, thanks to both the product interface (which they enjoy more than their previous in-car media) and the ease of using ‘Hey Spotify’ to control what they wanted to listen to.”
Car Thing comes with a four-inch touch screen, a large spin dial (to browse, select, play and pause content) and buttons galore on a “sturdy unibody” with “matte-textured rubber details” throughout.
Weighing in at three ounces it can mount to a dashboard, air vent or a CD player.
The mounts use magnets, and can be removed and taken by the driver, or hidden.
It has a charging cable to plug into the car’s USB socket or an included 12V adapter.
It doesn’t have a rechargeable battery, so it needs to be plugged in constantly for power.
There’s still no hint of an Australian release. But when it comes, the device might have two new features Spotify says is coming.
One is a ‘Night Mod’e feature and the other an ‘Add to Queue’ command so that users can organise their faves by simply using their voice.
“This exploration and innovation is part of our ongoing commitment to building a truly frictionless experience for users across devices—in the car, at home, or on the go,” the company said.