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Spotify will block all ‘cars’ it has sold

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Spotify will block all 'cars' it has sold

Owners of Spotify’s soon-to-be-locked Car Thing device are pleading with the company to open-source the devices to save some of it from landfill. Spotify has not responded to calls to salvage the hardware, which was originally intended to plug into car dashboards and auxiliary outputs to allow drivers to listen to and browse Spotify.

Spotify announced this week that it will block all Car Things purchased on December 9 and will not offer refunds or exchange options. In a Support pageSpotify says:

We are discontinuing Car Thing as part of our ongoing efforts to optimize our product offerings. We understand it may be disappointing, but this decision allows us to focus on developing new features and improvements that will ultimately provide a better experience for all Spotify users.

Spotify has no further guidance for device owners beyond asking them to reset the device to factory settings and “safely” dispose of the locked device “following local e-waste guidelines.”

The company also said it does not plan to release a sequel to Car Thing.

early death

Car Thing came out to limited subscribers in October 2021 before launching to the general public in February 2022.

In its second quarter 2022 earnings report released in July, Spotify revealed that Stopped making Car Things. in a talk with TechCrunch, cited “several factors, including product demand and supply chain issues.” A Spotify representative also told the publication that the devices would continue to “work as intended,” but this was apparently a temporary situation.

The halted production was a warning sign that Car Thing was in danger. However, at that time, Spotify also reduced the price of the device from $90 to $50, which could have encouraged people to buy a device that would be useless a few years later.

However, Car Thing’s usefulness was always dubious. The device has a 4-inch touchscreen and a knob for easy navigation, plus support for Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and voice control. But it also required users to subscribe to Spotify Premium, which starts at $11 a month. Worse yet, Car Thing requires a phone that uses data or Wi-Fi connected via Bluetooth to work, making Thing seem redundant.

In its Q1 2022 report, Spotify said abandoning Car Thing hurt gross margins and had a €31 million (about $31.4 million at the time) impact on the business.

Open source pleas

Spotify’s announcement has sent some Car Thing owners to online forums to share their disappointment with Spotify and beg the company to open-source the device rather than, at best, condemn it to the centers. recycling. At the time of writing this article, there are more than 50 publications in the Spotify Community forums showing concern about the disruption, with many demanding a refund and/or calling for open sourcing. There are similar discussions elsewhere online, like on redditwhere users have used phrases like “completely unacceptable”to describe the news.

A member of the Spotify community who goes by the name AaronMickDee, for example, saying:

I would prefer not to get rid of the device. I think there is a community that would love the idea of ​​having a device that we can customize and use for other uses besides a song playing device.

Would Spotify be willing to unlock the system and allow users to write/update third party firmware on the device?

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