Music streaming

Music streaming

Model 3 owners, I saw a video where a Model 3 driver used voice activation to play any song. Do you need a subscription to a music service to use that? If so, is it a Tesla-branded service? Or is it pulling songs from your phone?

Carl Thompson | 09. März 2018

The Model 3 comes with Slacker music streaming which allows you to play music using voice commands.

Carl Thompson | 09. März 2018

If you already have a Slacker account you can use your own account instead including any playlists you've created. (I haven't tried this but I've read it.)

You can also use voice commands to play from other sources such as Tune-in radio and USB (I think).

dgstan | 09. März 2018

I thought you could only use your own account if you had the premium (paid) service. Free accounts were locked out. I hope I'm wrong.

Carl Thompson | 09. März 2018

"I thought you could only use your own account if you had the premium (paid) service. Free accounts were locked out. I hope I'm wrong."

The account that comes for free with the car is better than the free account. So not sure why you'd want to set the car up to use a less capable account.

But I didn't try using a different account so I don't have first hand knowledge of what types of accounts work and which ones don't.

TheOx | 09. März 2018

Pretty sure voice commands only work with Slacker. I do hope someone can prove me wrong though.

Carl Thompson | 09. März 2018

"Pretty sure voice commands only work with Slacker."

OK, thanks for the correction!

EVRider | 10. März 2018

You can use your own Slacker Plus or Slacker Premium account. The free basic Slacker account won’t work. I think the one provided by Tesla is Slacker Plus.

Tesla-David | 10. März 2018

The voice activated music on demand is fantastic, same as our MS. We are still waiting on the USB music option activation for the M3. I have all our CDs on our USB, and hope they have that working soon as in our MS.

nwfan | 10. März 2018

@Tesla-David sat in a m3 in TX. I was able to play my music off USB stick I brought along. The Tesla sales staff was surprise it worked. Said 1st time they had seen and heard on a 3. OTA update?

Tesla-David | 10. März 2018

@nwfan, the USB stick I took out of our MS, doesn't work in our M3. A Tesla Mobile Service Technician out at our home last week to fix our HPWC told me that they were working on that as a future M3 OTA upgrade. Not sure why it worked for you in Texas??

Cabassi | 10. März 2018

So by default you get Slacker Plus that lets you play songs on demand using your voice, and you don't have to pay a monthly subscription for that?

gadgetware | 10. März 2018

So for the "Slacker Plus" that is included with the car can you edit playlists online, or only in the car, or both/neither?

Carl Thompson | 10. März 2018


Music over USB has been working since 2017.12.x I thought?

dgstan | 10. März 2018

> So not sure why you'd want to set the car up to use a less capable (Slacker) account.

Because I've used Slacker before and have numerous customized stations I have fine-tuned over the years. I like very specific music and can't imagine listening to random songs picked by someone/something else. That would be my worst nightmare.

I'm weird like that. That's why I would never bother with satellite radio. I need more control over what I listen to.

Carl Thompson | 10. März 2018


Makes sense!

ColonyGolfer | 11. März 2018

Picked up car yesterday and listened to radio. I voice ordered "Pink Floyd" ant "Money" played....great...the next song came up was "Cream" next was "Led Zeppelin" then another Pink Floyd. You simply push the left scroll wheel to the right to go to the next selection if something comes up you don't want to hear. What could be easier?

Tesla-David | 11. März 2018

@Carl Thompson, not in our M3 and as I said above, Tesla Mobile Service Technician indicated to me that to his knowledge this will be future OTA update. I keep assessing, but it is not working, and I am using the USB out of our MS, which works fine.

EVRider | 11. März 2018

The Slacker account provided by Tesla does not support playlists, and is free for 4 years. I don’t know whether you can keep the same account and start paying for it, or you need to start using your own Slacker Plus or Premium account. Although some Model S owners have owned their cars for more than 4 years, I haven’t read anything in the Model S forum about having to pay for Slacker, so I’m guessing the old Slacker accounts are still working.

ReD eXiLe ms us | 11. März 2018

A lot of today's TSLA shareholders seem in favor of Tesla employing 'nickle and dime' subscription strategies so as to reach profitability sooner. A lot of the early Model S owners expected that Supercharger access would be a monthly subscription or per use Debit and were surprised that it was instead 'Free... for LIFE!' In early 2014 Tesla announced they were making internet access for the Model S 'Free, for the first four years'. It's now been four years since then, and I'm not aware of anyone being charged either for internet access, data transfer, or Slacker at all, not even those who took Delivery in 2012 or 2013. Tesla will probably be using the internet connection far more often than most owners, both to do OTA Updates and to gather data from the Autopilot hardware. So, chances are they would not think it 'fair' to pass along data fees to end users at this time or the near future. Should NetFlix, Hulu, Skype, and YouTube applications arrive for their cars at some point, then some fees might be applied. Of course, I figure that a TeslaNET LEO Satellite Internet service (enabled via SpaceX) would end up being an all-in-one option for data transfer services (home, mobile, internet, multimedia broadband ISP) at a low monthly subscription rate instead.

Carl Thompson | 11. März 2018


Do you know what type of USB thumb drive you're using? What size? How is it partitioned / formatted? What format music are you trying to play?

Some people have said that if you have a lot of music on a thumb drive or if the thumb drive is slow the initial indexing the car needs to do to access it can be very slow. Did you try leaving the thumb drive plugged in for a while?

You also may want to try getting a smaller thumb drive to test. Reformat it as FAT32 / VFAT and only put a few fixed bitrate MP3 files on it.

Tesla-David | 11. März 2018

@Carl Thompson, the USB I transferred from our MS to the M3, where it is worked for past 5+ years to listen to our music is a SanDisk 32 GB. It seems to me if it works in the MS it should work in the M3. I plugged it in more than 3 weeks ago, and the light is on in the USB, so the car senses the USB. I used this USB to transfer all the music to another 32GB USB which is now plugged into our MS and working. A Tesla Mobile Service Technician will be out tomorrow to service our MS (fix stuck door handle), and I will ask him again about this issue. He is familiar with the M3 issues, as he is a reservation holder (waiting on the AWD).

Carl Thompson | 11. März 2018

"It seems to me if it works in the MS it should work in the M3."

I wouldn't necessarily make that assumption. Your Model 3 likely has a different build of Linux than you Model S and it's possible Tesla doesn't include all the same drivers (and versions) on both cars. So I'd break it down and try multiple things since others are saying it works for them.

Tesla-David | 12. März 2018

@Carl Thompson, thanks for the advice. Success at last, I moved everything to Lexar 32GB USB, and everything loaded and is now playing in our M3.

Carl Thompson | 12. März 2018


Glad to hear it!

dgstan | 12. März 2018

TD - I've heard it takes a little while for the Model 3 to recognize and index a USB drive. Do you remember if it took a noticeable length of time for the stereo to be able to access the files?

If so, does it need this time to access the files every time you start your car or only when you replace the USB drive?


Tesla-David | 13. März 2018

@dgstan, once I loaded the USB, it started loading right away, took several minutes due to volume of music. Once it is loaded you can access the USB from touchscreen anytime you want to play your music from USB and you have options to play either songs (alphabetized), albums, artists, or by genre or favorites, so you have lots of ways to listen to your music.

finman100 | 14. März 2018

how about "super shuffle" (my term)? Can u hit shuffle all and it plays everything in a random manner? I know, it sounds like dgstan's worst nightmare, sorry, haha.

boodasmurph | 14. März 2018

They need to expand the list of music streaming services, not just through BT streaming.

Tesla-David | 14. März 2018

@finman100, not that I am aware, it will play songs, albums, etc, in alphabetic order, so song selection is random but alphabetized.

EVRider | 14. März 2018

Unless the Media Player in Model 3 is different from Model S, you can play selections in random order using shuffle. That’s what I do when I listen to music on my USB — select songs, and select shuffle mode. You do have to pick a song to start with.

randy | 17. März 2018

Can anyone tell me if there's a way to see the full name of a song if it doesn't fit in the allotted space on the display? When streaming on the Model 3 sometimes a song with a longer name comes on and I can only see the first few words - I'd like to know the whole name!

Tesla-David | 18. März 2018

@EVRider, you comment is perplexing to me. I have never been able to play music from my USB randomly in my MS or now our M3. I can play alphabetically, but do not see an option to shuffle play my music randomly, unless I am missing something. I just tried to play our USB music in our MS and M3 as you suggested, but do not see any shuffle option in my cars.

EVRider | 18. März 2018

@Tesla-David: When playing from USB, the shuffle and repeat icons are displayed under the album art, in the same place the thumbs up/thumbs down icons are displayed when playing from Slacker. The shuffle icon is the one on the left.

In fact, if you search for threads in the forums about "random," you'll find a lot of discussion about the fact that random playback didn't work correctly, because the player would always repeat the same random sequence. Fortunately, that problem seems to have been fixed in more recent releases.

EVRider | 18. März 2018

@Tesla-David: Note that the Media Player has to be expanded to see the icons under the album art. Looking at the first two images in, the first one is expanded (you can see the thumbs up/down icons), the second is minimized (no icons). When minimized, touch the song display to expand it.

Tesla-David | 18. März 2018

Thanks @EVRider, still haven't figured it out yet but will follow the threads discussing you referenced. Five+ years in and I am still learning new stuff.

chrismarois | 19. April 2018

What is the max size of the usb that it can read?

kola | 19. April 2018

Can you play music from your iPhone and stream Apple Music? If so, does album artwork show up?

EvrGrn | 02. Mai 2018

I have a Slacker question I didn't see answered anywhere: Tesla provides 4 years of free Slacker Plus. It's just automatically activated, I assume. My question: Can I access this account on my home computer / phone, tweak stations, etc. And if so, do I log on using my Tesla app credentials? Or did you have to create new credentials in the car when you start using Slacker? If I want this kind of 'slacker everywhere' functionality, do I need to buy a Slacker Premium account and log the car onto that? (I just cancelled my iTunes Music subscription in anticipation of my car delivery.) Thanks!

jrlevy | 02. Mai 2018

@evrgrn - it seems the things you want to do are only available at the premium level of Slacker. The Tesla enabled account does not uniquely identify you (no unique username or login). It’s embedded into the UI of the music so no ability to port your music to the desktop.

MarylandS85 | 02. Mai 2018

Yes, you can. And yes, you’ll get album art.

mattjpeterson | 02. Mai 2018

Tesla has previously provided the login to Model S and X users so they could login on their home computers. Recent reports are that they are not giving that info out any more, or at least not to Model 3 owners.

EVRider | 03. Mai 2018

@chrismarois: See this article:

EVRider | 03. Mai 2018

@goto10: I don’t think Tesla ever had a policy about giving out the credentials for the Tesla Slacker account; some people got the credentials, others didn’t.

wdgate | 05. August 2018

Why dont they just charge 5dollar a month for internet so we can use any streaming service. Slacker suckes

800.3kyhpefbcgb | 10. Oktober 2018

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peldor427 | 10. Oktober 2018

I have not tried with a USB yet, but some voice commands work without slacker. For example, I can say "Play 96 point 1" and it will switch to the radio station 96.1

jamesnicholson | 16. September 2019

slacker is broken for me today. I can listen to the radio but no streaming service. I completed a soft reset of the screen but that didn't fix. anybody else?

lbowroom | 16. September 2019

When did you order your car?

gballant4570 | 21. September 2019

amusee12, you feelin OK?