Spotify, the Swedish streaming audio juggernaut, is hoping to spend more quality time with you. Think about how much of our lives are spent in the car. We commute in the morning, we commute again in the evening, and weekends are for road trips. That’s a lot of your time.
So Spotify and its vast, ever-expanding universe of content are trying to remove any barrier to said library and your ears. And their latest play is the ‘imaginatively’ dubbed Car Thing. Dumb name? Maybe not. Notice they didn’t call it ‘Spotify Thing’…it’s just generically ‘Car Thing’. Perhaps they’re hoping it becomes so ubiquitous, that turning on the Car Thing (and tuning into Spotify) becomes a reflex. You get in the car; you turn on the Car Thing.
So what is the Car Thing, exactly? In simple terms, it’s a smart interface between your phone and car audio system, navigated via a big knob, a smaller button, a touchscreen, and/or your voice. It mounts on your dashboard, in a CD player slot, or even on the air vents (a full mounting kit is included). And yes, it’s for Spotify content only. If you already have Apple Carplay or Android Auto, the Car Thing may not be for you, but my stereo does not.
It does, however, have Bluetooth, and since we’re Spotify subscribers, we do listen to an awful lot of their content on the road here at The Coolector. And a big, dedicated touchscreen is much simpler to navigate than your smartphone. You can even connect with an auxiliary cable, if you’re really old school. So let’s play some tunes.
You can twist the knob, swipe the screen, or just say ‘hey Spotify’, and Car Thing will do its …thing. In addition to the aforementioned controls, there are 4 preset buttons on top, to make your access to ‘Death Metal Bluegrass’, or the Scottish Watches podcast that much simpler. And Spotify is really coming for terrestrial radio, investing in more car-centric programming than ever, like ‘Your Daily Drive’, a commute-sized mix of news and info, along with music from your own favorite playlists. Spotify’s content library is staggering, and growing every day. Personally, I’m just as likely to fire up a podcast as I am to crank music. It all depends on the day. The Car Thing just makes it that much simpler.
How To Get Your Hands On One
So where can I buy one? Well, you can’t, not just yet. But, if you’re a Spotify Premium subscriber, you can get on the list, and with a little luck, you’ll get one for free (you only pay $6.99 shipping). Now the offer is currently US-only, but that (and the suggested retail of $79.99) are subject to change.
If you’re looking to spend more time listening, and less time fiddling with your phone (you do that enough already), the Car Thing may indeed be your thing and the icing on the cake is the fact you might just get one in your car for free. What’s not to like?