Anyone having trouble with Slacker recently?

Anyone having trouble with Slacker recently?

For the last 2 days, the best feature on Slacker isn't doing its thing. I use the voice command and ask to play a certain song, it prompts me to that particular song but it doesn't play that exact song. It'll play a different song from the same artist. I've saved several songs on my Favorites and before, every time I would go to that song, it would play that exact song first. Now it plays a different song. For example, I added "Dance with my Father" by Luther Vandross onto my Favorites, so it would show up as "Dance with my Father Radio". So every time I choose that selection, it would play that song first. Since yesterday, when I choose the same selection, it would play a different song.

Has anyone experience this lately?

Anthony H | April 27, 2013

Yes! We've experienced the exact same, "lack of accuracy" over the past few days when using voice- or keypad-search. Correct song shows up (usually), but that's not the one that plays.

Suprkar | April 27, 2013

I too am having this issue. Called Customer care, they had no clue. It was nice while it lasted......

Robert22 | April 27, 2013

Yep, tried the same song several times, close but no cigar every time. Definitely not functioning as usual. How could customer service have no clue? It's the only thing that separates them from Pandora.

Other minor annoyances:

No Beatles catalog
Half of The Cars catalog unavailable.

riceuguy | April 27, 2013

Ditto, plus CNN not working on TuneIn

JDster | April 27, 2013

I tried rebooting the screen but that didn't work either...

Tâm | April 27, 2013

According to, $3.99/month gives you Unlimited song Skips (because it keeps yielding you a wrong song for your seach),

$9.99/month gives you "Play Songs On Demand"

May be its accuracy begs your $9.99/month :)

Robert22 | April 27, 2013

Perhaps we're being weaned and they're a bit late with the memo.

TikiMan | April 27, 2013

Yup, me too! When I ask for a specific song, it shows the correct artist and song, however, ends up playing something else.

PBEndo | April 28, 2013

I noticed it too

ssarker | April 28, 2013

Same here. Occasionally locates the song. Plays correct song maybe once every 10 attempts. I just picked up my car 2 days ago and was told by the DS that I should have free Slacker service for a few months at least.

teslabruin | April 28, 2013

same thing has happened to me over the past couple of days, bummer!

DouglasR | April 28, 2013

Yes, it finds the song, but then plays only the artist's "radio" station. I checked, and I am logged in. I'll bet it's a licensing issue: the license level TM purchases for us does not support individual tracks on demand, and Slacker recently discovered this.

Maestrokneer | April 28, 2013

Same here....just noticed it over the past 2-3 days. What a drag. I used to show that off to everyone when I first game them the "tour" of the car.

eltonf | April 28, 2013

I'm having the same issue. I hope they fix it because it was one of my favorite features in the car.

I signed up for Slacker Premium and at least I'm able to access songs directly via playlist. Not as convenient as searching for them on demand though.

kyleket | April 28, 2013

Just received my Model S two days ago, and thought I was going nuts. Having this same problem, dammit. Was really looking forward to taking turns requesting specific songs with the family on road trips.

Otismyman | April 28, 2013

Yes! I was really disappointed. Took delivery Friday and I can't request a specific song. What's the deal?

sftesla | April 28, 2013

I just experienced this problem for the first time last night. That's too bad, I loved that feature and it was great to show off to people when I was giving them a tour of the car - even though it really has nothing to do with Tesla. Maybe we have all been downgraded to Slacker standard since we aren't paying for it.

@eltonf, you say that you are paying for Slacker Premium but you still don't get to pull up a song on demand? If that's true, that seems to contradict the description on Slacker's website. I might have even been willing to pay $10/month for the on-demand listening.

Tâm | April 28, 2013


Did you enter your $9.99/month Premium private e-mail and password into the slacker app in the 17" console?

If you did not, then the app defaults to a preset Tesla-email and password which is absolutely NOT $9.99/month Premium for "Play Songs On Demand"

alsettesla | April 29, 2013

Same here. It's been a little embarrasing when I ask someone to "pick a song, any song" and Slacker ends up playing something different. Has anyone switched their account to the $9.99 premium and if so, do you have full functionality?

christurbeville | April 29, 2013

It did this once before and repaired itself. However this has gone on longer than previous.

Brian H | April 29, 2013

Maybe a TM issue, not Slacker. Seems to be rather general.

eltonf | April 29, 2013

I purchased the $9.99 premium account and entered that login info into my Model S, replacing the default account. Even with that account I am unable to play songs on demand when using search. I am able to play songs on demand from playlists I create via the web or my iPhone though.

Robert22 | April 29, 2013

TM looking into it.

fraleigh | April 29, 2013

I have the same issue and the kiddos don't understand why the car no longer plays "Gangnam Style" on demand. While I see this particular use case as a minor win for me, I would like to get the overall feature back. :-)

Robert22 | April 29, 2013


You may be one of the extreme few for which the loss of service is a blessing ;)

(Gangnam more time!)

Brian H | April 29, 2013

TM did it. Slacker is innocent!

Robert22 | April 29, 2013


Brian H | April 29, 2013

Logical deduction. All are affected, and account upgrade doesn't work.

scriptacus | April 30, 2013

@Brian H: Actually quite the opposite I suspect. Searches return the correct results, which come from Slacker, and the request to play the selected track goes back to Slacker via an API, but Slacker (the authority on which song plays) is ultimately deciding not to play the requested song. There's about zero chance that the Model S is requesting a song that is not the one selected from the list of search results.

dsecrist | April 30, 2013

We are all speculating, of course, but there is logic to what scriptacus is saying. I suspect it is a licensing or account profile change on Slacker's side. They are "slacking"!

I hope this gets resolved quickly. My multi-coat red is scheduled for delivery in <2 weeks, and this is the second most exciting and anticipated feature for my young kids (the rear facing seats are on the top of the list).

RZitrin1 | April 30, 2013


I thought Slacker created a STATION, which when you ask for that song a second time played the station, not necessarily that song.


MandL | April 30, 2013

I signed up for a Slacker Premium account months ago but never got better access to specific songs than with the Tesla created account. I emailed ownership to get the original account info and they said slacker premium is not supported, that it's designed for slacker radio plus. So with either account I've had hit and miss success since October playing specific tracks. Now my Model S always says "unknown command" when I ask it to play anything, so it's even worse.
Tune In sometimes shows up when I'm browsing but usually it doesn't. It's all slightly annoying when I want to show off, but 99% of the time I'm listening to FM, and reception on that front has noticeably improved since I first got the car. It's now just about exactly the same as my Infiniti. And I love having HD radio built in.

fmezz | April 30, 2013

I have the same issue. I contacted Slacker Radio and gave them the email address in the setting menu and they looked up the account. They said I have the Radio Plus account so I can't ask for a specific song and the account was always that service. By the way each Car seems to have a unique account.

All I know is I was able to select specific songs before last week. Maybe Slacker has a intro offer to get you to upgrade. I was hooked on requesting songs so maybe I'll buy an upgrade account...

JaneW | April 30, 2013

It worked the first time. Never since. I say, "play ABC by XYZ " and Slacker creates the ABC Station, playing similar songs from that genre, but not the song requested. Strange. Elon can do it. Saw the video. But then, Elon has done some other things I haven't. ;)

DouglasR | April 30, 2013

Has anyone asked Ownership about it?

appljd | April 30, 2013

Same issue. Some weird stuttering constant white noise.

DouglasR | April 30, 2013

I just called the local Service Center, and he said there were a bunch of audio problems that were introduced with 4.4. These will be addressed by a software update VERY soon, according to the service manager.

Robert22 | April 30, 2013

Ownership is working on it. Emails to Slacker customer support have gone unreturned. I'm back to my flash drive.

DJ Frustration | May 1, 2013

Something changed with Slacker. Period. Tesla needs to know about ticked off many of us are. Elon touted this feature as one of the neat tech features of the car. Many of us demo this feature when we show off our Model S'es (and possibly sell others on owning one). Now either Slacker just went and made him a liar or something broke. We all should be calling into the Ownership team to express our displeasure at having this feature disappear.

I spoke to Ownership on Monday. They are aware of the issue via numerous reports from other Model S owners. They suspect it may be something that changed with the Slacker Radio Plus subscriptions. Didn't get the warm and fuzzy that it would be fixed any time soon though since it was on the Slacker side and not Tesla. Opened a case and hope to hear back on the eventual solution.

Suggest others do the same. Ownership can be reached by dialing (877) 798-3752 x4. It takes two minutes.

w.williams | May 1, 2013

I just got off the phone with Tesla Support and they confirmed that this IS a Slacker issue. Slacker is aware of it and they are working to resolve it. No timeframe was provided to Tesla for a fix.

derek | May 1, 2013

I, too, loved that feature, and it was also one of the best "show off" features of the car (after the g forces). I, too, have lost that feature, and I too have suffered from backseat requests for Gangnam Style.

Here's a question, though. Some of the songs I request are present and titled correctly on my USB stick. Why is that not included in the search?

Robert22 | May 1, 2013

Slacker doesn't search your USB stick as far as I know, it only searches a remote server.

ETA on the fix by ownership is by this weekend, which after mandatory technology correction factors means by next weekend. Props to Tesla for getting up to speed on this issue quickly.

JDster | May 1, 2013

Glad to hear problem will be fixed. Makes driving the car so much more enjoyable. Thanks for the update on the fix.

lotusracer | May 3, 2013

Hallelujah, Slacker is working again! It's a great start to my weekend!

mdennick | May 3, 2013

+1 Was able to bring up the song the my daughters requested tonight. I hope we get to keep this feature. It's very cool.

Jeff and Randy | May 19, 2013

It's broken for us. Ours is a 40 kWh with 4.5. Got it just a few days ago. At the walk-through we told it to play New York New York by Frank Sinatra. It found that and we selected it but it played something else. Today I tried the same thing and this time when I selected it from the list it did play the correct song, but then I asked for Beethoven's Fifth Symphony and it found two versions by different orchestras. I selected the first one but it played something else by that orchestra. I can't get it to reliably do the right thing.

Robert22 | May 19, 2013

@ Jeff,

Annoying isn't it ? Ownership is still working on it. No estimate for fix.

riceuguy | May 19, 2013

With the exception of a handful of songs that seem to be likely licensing issues, mine is working flawlessly now. Remember that just because a song is in the search results doesn't necessarily mean Slacker has the rights to play it on demand. About 1 in 10 songs seems to have this problem.

bp | May 19, 2013

At least with the Slacker on my car - it prefers to play random songs - than what I request. When requesting to play an album - it might play one song from that album - and then start playing songs from other artists. Same is true for playing by artist.

When requesting to play a single song - it might play that song - before starting the random alternate artist mode.

If this is the way Slacker is supposed to work - it's not very useful.

Or could this just be a problem with the software implementation on the Model S?

For now - it's free - so it's hard to complain. But when it comes time to start paying for the service - as of right now, it would be hard to justify spending anything - again, at least with how it is working on my car, using the Tesla default account.

riceuguy | May 19, 2013

BP, yes, that's how Slacker works; the idea is that Slacker pays a much lower fee for that approach because once you've listened to your "on-demand" song, they can play other music that you might eventually be tempted to go buy (this is the record industry's hope). Services like Rhapsody, Spotify, etc. that let you play any song on demand as well as entire albums on demand charge $10-15/month, versus Slacker's $4/mo. (Slacker does have a $10/mo. option that is more in line with this approach, but it is not yet compatible with Model S.