Slacker & xm notes

Slacker & xm notes

Here's a summary of my experience so far with slacker and xm.

Slacker: I signed up for slacker premium in an attempt to be able to play any artist and their full albums. This does not work on the model s for some reason. Seems like slacker is not fully implemented within the car itself. However, if you pair your phone via Bluetooth and use the slacker mobile app, you can just use your phone to use the complete service.
When I realized the car wouldn't work in premium mode, I found out that the car automatically logs in with the tesla free account if you log out of your personal account and restart.

XM: I was a Sirius user in my old car and a Howard Stern listener. You can't simply add the model s to your account or switch radios from old to new. They make you cancel your Sirius account and apply the balance to a new xm account. This would be fine except that on Sirius the cost for channels that include Howard stern costs 14 dollars per month and the cost for xm is 18 dollars per month. They don't offer the same packages even though they are the same company now. If this bugs you as it does me, the work around is to simply use their Internet plan and once again use your phone on Bluetooth to listen for less money. Plus you can pause the live radio, or listen on demand across all your devices, like computer,iPad,or even your home stereo if it is Internet equipped.

I think it's a bit of a shame when your phone is a better gateway to slacker and xm than the car itself but in reality, the car is just using a 3G connection(for Internet), same as your phone or worse. It would be nice if the phone's controls would come up on the big screen. I guess maybe that is what you pay extra for with xm.

I think slacker needs to be updated to be fully functional on the car. That would at least make slacker worthwhile.

Would love to hear others experiences.

olanmills | December 31, 2012

Interesting about the Slacker account getting reset. Seems like they could fix that later.

Also dissappointed to here about the XM account issue. I was planning on moving my old account over to the Model S as I never renew with XM unless they give me a good deal (so sometimes I end up going without it for some months until they send me a "come back please!" letter, lol.

MandL | December 31, 2012

I changed the slacker login on the Model S to use my own account and was able to play specific songs, etc. I agree it's not as good as the PC/Android apps. Not sure if I'm really putting it through its paces and I haven't checked the account it's using since I changed it a couple of months ago. I almost always listen to NPR so I will have to check it out this afternoon and see if it's still using my account.

Desai | December 31, 2012

Thanks for the update LorenS. They did the demo where Elon (or someone else in the video) spoke out something like "Play by " and it was using Slacker to play it. Odd that it isn't working for you besides the phone route. It would be very useless to not have voice controls

I just checked the Tesla Model S Manual and on page 19 (bottom right) it has this exact way that I mentioned above for using the voice commands with Slacker.

You may want to contact Tesla about this.

EDH AL | December 31, 2012

Can anyone explain this? Received my Model S last night (no delivery specialist) and on the screen was this note: "Do not use Slacker, Maps or Tune-In Radio."

The tune-in radio seemed fine, the GPS seemed trouble free, I didn't go to Slacker.

Go figure. (I'll follow up with Tesla).


p.s. ILTC! (I love this car!)

Brian H | January 1, 2013

Probably a warning to the driver of the truck.

docdac | January 1, 2013

Mine had this same sticker. I was told it was for Tesla employees to let the know the radio has been configured. Was told I can remove it. Notice, there is a two layer plastic protective sheet covering the screen. There is a plastic tab in the Left Lower Corner that you can pull to remove screen cover. This is intended to be removed; this is not like a screen protecter for your iPhone or iPad

MandL | January 2, 2013

My S is still configured to use my personal Slacker premium account. While I have in the past had success with the Play %song% by %artist% voice command, not so much today. The song shows up in the search result, but when I choose it I get %Artist% %Song% Radio, which may eventually play that song, but not necessarily.

Desai | January 2, 2013

MandL - some songs on Slacker aren't available to play on demand due to rights not being worked out either between Slacker and the label and/or artist. Therefore, it will default (or option) to play the radio of the selected song to find similar songs.

MandL | January 2, 2013

It may just be that I was lucky before, but I know I was successful playing a specific song in the past that it won't play now.

Desai | January 2, 2013

Yea - I have had that happened to me too. I believe someone at either the label company or artist itself recognizes if they are using Slacker and notify Slacker to disable it. Sad but I was hoping that paying $9.99/month for this premium service that Slacker can get an agreement sorted. I also have Spotify premium service and some songs on there I can play that aren't available on Slacker and vice versa.

kidalex | January 2, 2013

I don't even see an XM radio in mine. Where do I go to check it out?

olanmills | January 2, 2013

On the Media app, presser the upper-right-most icon. It should give you a list of sources, including XM.

Candy J. Lee | January 2, 2013

I still do not understand why a car that has full internet access does not allow you to simply go to Pandora or Slacker or whereever else and log into your own account with full audio functionality. There is no reason for the separate apps. ...Or am I missing something??

DouglasR | January 2, 2013

I don't believe the car's browser will support audio (or video). At least I've never found any site that can cause sound to emanate from my car's speakers. That's why TM has separate apps to do this.

If they modify the browser to support audio, you might then be able to log in to those sites and hear your music.

Rfgray11 | January 2, 2013

Just configured last week and was told that I needed the upgraded audio package even to get satellite radio. It sounds like I will have to cancel my current subscription to Sirius and start with XM???

Also, are people just using bluetooth via the internet app on their iPhone and streaming that way?

Then do I even need the upgraded audio package?

Brad Holt | January 3, 2013

DouglasR: I believe the audio/video block in the web browser is for legal reasons. The government seems pretty adamant about keeping audio/video capabilities out of a car's web browser. But I guess READING is safe enough, huh? :P

Desai | January 3, 2013

@Rocke: I read on this forum that to get a higher safety rating Flash and HTML5 were disabled in the browser. I am not sure if this is accurate, but this could probably be the reason you can't visit the website and just listen to any service.

DrTaras-BreastCar | January 4, 2013

On 12/30/12 I received this e-mail from Tesla:
"Slacker access will be pushed to all Model S cars instead of the manual setup method that was previously used. The process change is taking longer than anticipated, but we expect it will be resolved within the next few weeks. You do not need to do anything to receive the Slacker update."
I sent him some follow-up questions, but have yet to hear back

nickjhowe | January 5, 2013

@Rocke - don't know the reason for the separate app, but you can go into the settings and use your own Slacker account if you want to instead of the TM supplied one.

TiburonTesla | January 5, 2013

@rfgray11 - Ive been using my Sirius app bluetoothed to the tesla screen. It's been working really well. The biggest drawback is there's not really anywhere convenient to put the phone. So when you need to switch fom Howard to cnbc you have to fish around to find your phone as it swims around the giant console space

But it does work well

Robert22 | January 5, 2013

Prevent swimming iPhones....

Robert22 | January 5, 2013
lightly | January 6, 2013



LorenS | January 8, 2013

Desai, you can say play (artist) and you will get a station based on the thing you said. I was looking for full albums, like in the normal app. The bummer about using my phone for stuff is you have this great screen going to waste. Maybe they can integrate phones better so your phones screen gets is mirrored on the tesla screen. Not sure of best solution. Would like apps o work on big screen exactly like on the iPad or phone app version.

DouglasR | January 8, 2013

@LorwnS, while the touch screen does not mirror the phone, it does have play-pause-skip controls and album art when I run the Rhapsody app on my phone.

olanmills | January 8, 2013

If you have a premium Slacker account, can you play music from just one artist? In the Model S? In other Slacker apps (desktop, mobile, etc)?

LorenS | January 13, 2013

@olanmills, with premium slacker you can play one artist and full albums, but not in the s. on your phone, iPad, computer...yes.

olanmills | January 15, 2013

@LorenS, thanks. If that functionality ever makes it to the Model S, then I would be willing to pay for a premium Slacker account. Tesla should try works some deal where they earn a commission if I subscribe via the touchscreen in the car (or their mobile app or website).

FYI for everyone else, I was able to transfer my existing XM account over to my Model S, but they wanted to charge a $15 fee for it. I said then I would cancel my account, and then so they decided to waive the fee.

I will probably cancel when it's renewal time anyways, unless they give me a very cheap rate. I always felt XM was overpriced for what I personally get out of it, and now that I have the Model S, I like using TuneIn and Slacker a lot more.

ginsbergr | April 6, 2013

I have read through the forum notes and did not see any answers to if you have to buy a Slacker Subscription to enjoy this in the Tesla. Does the Tesla Model S come equipped with Slacker radio and we can just use it, or, do I need to buy a subscription first. Thanks for your input.

christurbeville | April 6, 2013

My MS with premium sound came with a tesla premium slacker account which can play MOST songs directly but it will construct a station around it and does not rewind or replay (although if you hit the search again you can play as many times as you want). I've never used slacker premium outside the MS so I don't know how this correlates to iPhone or browser use.

ginsbergr | April 6, 2013

Thanks christurbeville

Robert22 | April 6, 2013

What added features do you get with a MS Slacker premium account that you don't get with a MS non-premium slacker account?

DonS | April 8, 2013

I like the fact that Slacker does not have commercials, but I can't believe how many songs have explicit content. I used to listen mostly to FM and was unaware how bad a lot of popular songs are. Slacker supposedly has filtering, but I can't figure out to access the settings. Does anyone know how to setup the Slacker preferences?