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Spotify just turned Car Thing streaming hardware into a $90 paperweight

Spotify Car Thing

Spotify announced it's pulling the plug on the Car Thing streaming hardware "as part of our ongoing efforts to streamline our product offerings." In other words, Car Thing will essentially become a paperweight as it "will be discontinued and will no longer be operational" after December 9, 2024.

Car Thing was Spotify's first hardware product designed to play music, internet radio, podcasts, and more. The device initially had a limited product launch in 2021, when it was offered on an invite-only basis in the US for free (excluding shipping charges).

Its general launch happened in the US in 2022 with a price tag of $89.99, which again required a premium subscription to stream music in cars. However, just five months after the launch Spotify announced it had decided to stop manufacturing Car Thing.

The audio streaming device offered a touchscreen display and a physical dial to perform tasks such as browsing and controlling music playback. Users could also activate its voice assistant by saying "Hey Spotify" to find albums, songs, and podcasts on the streaming service.

What's next for Spotify Car Thing?

Spotify won't let users operate its audio hardware after December 9. In a support document announcing the decision, the company recommends users reset their Car Thing devices and dispose of them as per their local waste guidelines. It doesn't offer trade-in options or compensation to users who purchased the device.

The streaming giant added it has no plans "no plans to release a replacement or new version of Car Thing." Moreover, it's not known if users can repurpose the Car Thing hardware in some way instead of throwing it in the dustbin.

Spotify's decision to make Car Thing inoperable invited negative feedback on social media. Several users on Reddit suggest the company should at least open-source the device and let the community tinker with it.

With that said, there are other ways users can listen to Spotify in their car, for instance, by connecting their phone through Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth, or AUX cable.

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