Slacker Radio Question

Slacker Radio Question

I just got my MS last month. I called service and they confirmed that told I have Slacker plus but I am unable to select a specific somg to play...only the music genre. For example, I select "Help" by the Beetles and it delivers "Help Radio" and plays songs in this genre. This is the case for all songs I select so I don't think it is due to certain songs having copyright / license restrictions. I knew this to be the case with the free version but didn't think this to be the case for the plus version. Am I wrong? Additionally, I am unable to set 'custom stations' in Slacker. Any thoughts/tips would be appreciated. Thx.

201w77 | 02. oktober 2013

Any thoughts/ advice would be appreciated.

SCCRENDO | 02. oktober 2013

I have used voice commands to name an artist. When the artist comes up I save it. It then plays the artist and similar artists. You can then go back to the artist in your favorite list. I have no idea how to find artists without voice command.

MandL | 03. oktober 2013

Beatles music is still not licensed for digital sale. You can't even buy them on iTunes or Amazon. Slacker, Pandora, etc. get around this by playing songs in "radio" format as opposed to on demand specific songs. There are a number of other artists in this situation. It's not really Tesla or Slacker's fault. Keep trying.

elguapo | 03. oktober 2013

Sounds like you definitely have an issue. Slacker works about 90% of the time, based on prior threads, when you request a specific song and artist. Sometimes, there are aberrations, but in large part it is awesome.

As it relates to the Beatles, I know for certain you can buy their music on iTunes and have been able to for quite some time. I am not sure if that's exclusive. I do believe other companies now have access to it.

Get Tesla to check out your car - Slacker is definitely not working right.

PBEndo | 03. oktober 2013

@MandL The beatles music is now available, and has been for some time.

ridacl | 03. oktober 2013

If you subscribe to premium Slacker (as I did), you need to change your login in the settings for the app in your Tesla. This will then allow you to play your playlists (with specific songs) and to have broader access. The free account that is automatically setup is more limited.

bfranks273 | 03. oktober 2013

Works OK for me, in that I get the song and then get the genre follow ons. An example that works for me: "Play ... Joe Cocker ... Feelin alright". I think they made a change recently where if I leave it on the 'channel' the next morning starts off with the selected song again.

MandL | 04. oktober 2013

Interesting. I wonder when they got that. Amazon still doesn't. I just assumed Apple still didn't either. Since I despise them, I didn't bother to check. :-) Maybe when the Green Apple USB collection was released.

mrspaghetti | 04. oktober 2013

I was surprised to learn how many 'artists' refuse to license their stuff for streaming/download. Don't really understand that as a business decision... guess they don't want people to buy their stuff? Would rather have them download it illegally?

redacted | 04. oktober 2013

@mrspaghetti, I guess they don't think they are paid enough.

@ridacl, you've used it with a Slacker Premium account 4 sure? I thought it only supported Slacker Radio Plus.

Thomas N. | 04. oktober 2013

iTunes has had the Beatles for a number of years now. They made a big hoopla out of that fact when they released the Boxed Set and there were commercials everywhere about it.

christurbeville | 04. oktober 2013

My theory on this is that the tesla default slacker accounts have a pseudo-premium status. Seems certain times they stop going direct to songs. Then it will work again. Like slacker is rationing the account (netflix did this in the DVD days). I suspect if you skip and ask for expensive songs a good deal then they decrement your status. It seems to reset on a monthly basis. I even bought a premium account and used that for a while but the Tesla one works just as well IF it hasn't been rationed; although playlists are a plus for your own account. IMHO AFAIK YMMV....

shs | 04. oktober 2013

According to the Steve Jobs Biography getting the Beatles on iTunes was very important to Steve and one of the last things he accomplished...

201w77 | 05. oktober 2013

I have heard there are some licensing issues around Beatles songs. When I called service, they reinforced this and told me my account is set up correctly and I should try other song selections. I have but none work. Before I call service again, can someone provide a title of a song that when requested, plays immediately in your car? I will then test this song (to ensure no slacker license issues). If it doesn't work in mine (which I believe will be the case), I will call service back and point this out. Many thanks!

Doogerman | 05. oktober 2013

I created a number of custom stations on the Slacker website using the login and password details, which I received from Tesla Ownership. Unfortunately, I'm not able to view these stations on the custom station tab in my car. Does anyone know if this is possible?

KirkP | 07. oktober 2013

All of these worked on the first try (as do about 95% of any other songs I try):

Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen
Sympathy for the Devil by the Rolling Stones
Radar Love by Golden Earring
Black Betty by Ram Jam
Smoke on the Water by Deep Purple

201w77 | 07. oktober 2013

So I looked on the slacker website and it states that they have three offerings with the following (has commercials), plus (no commercials), or premium (no commercials AND direct song selection). I called Tesla service and they said the cars get shipped out with plus. (The Signature cars came with Premier). They told me that when they offer connectivity packages (no timeframe yet), Slacker radio subscriptions will be a bundled feature. Sounds like you all with direct song selection (Slacker Primier) must have the Signature Model S???

jnb | 07. oktober 2013

i don't have a sig but use slacker premium. direct song selection works only about 25% of the time. direct album selection works 100% of the time. playlists and custom radio stations sync fine, but anything that is "bookmarked" on the slacker website, either a station or an album, is listed under the "favorites" menu, not under the "internet radio" menu where you find the playlists and custom stations. you also can't directly access your favorite songs, but there is a favorite song mash up station under "favorites" as well. if you create something on the slacker website and don't see it in the car, log out of slacker in the car, and log in again. they should appear.

KirkP | 08. oktober 2013

My understanding is that all Model S versions (including the Signature) come with Slacker Plus, but with the addition of the Premium feature of direct song selection. This offering is not listed as an option on the Slacker website, and I do not know how Tesla managed to arrange it. You do not get any other Premium features such as direct album selection or playlists unless you individually sign up and pay for a Slacker Premium account and then use your personal subscription in the Model S rather than the factory-supplied version.

201w77 | 08. oktober 2013

KirkP (et al.)- Can't thank you enough! Your posts caused me to contact Tesla service again and ask them to re-investigate this. Upon review, it turns out that the direct song selection feature was turned off in my car!! The Tesla service rep had never seen this feature set to "off" before and if it were not for the info shared here in this thread, I would have never called to challenge the first answer I got from service. My kids will be thrilled to have Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez songs at their fingertips! (Though I won't!!).

Seriously...Thx again!!

DouglasR | 08. oktober 2013

When I enter my Tesla Slacker credentials on my computer, I am able to play specific tracks. The funny thing is that I get a pop-up window stating that they will play a radio station based on the track I selected, but if I want the specific track, I need to upgrade. But then it plays the specific track anyway.

ralsagoff | 08. oktober 2013

I have always had a Rhapsody subscription that allows me to listen to my music playlists on three separate devices. We have it on the Sonos home theater system, my office desktop to provide custom muzak & my iphone. All I have to do is turn on Rhapsody on my iphone when I get into the car and the blue tooth picks it up and plays it with the artist details on the MS big screen Check it out as an alternative to Slacker.

KirkP | 08. oktober 2013

Cool, glad you got it working! Slacker is a fantastic feature to include with the car, and I doubt I'll ever activate my XM subscription.

Slacker does have some idiosyncrasies, some songs just won't play directly, like your original example of "Help" by The Beatles. It'll show it, but when you select it, it'll play a different Beatles tune. If you keep skipping forward enough times it may eventually play Help.

Also Slacker in the Tesla doesn't like contractions (apostrophes), so if you ask for "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey, you'll get no matches. If instead you ask for "Stop Believing" by Journey, it'll show "Don't Stop Believing" as a choice, and you can play it from there.

Passengers (and me too) love to try to stump Slacker, and it usually does amazing well with some of the most obscure songs you can come up with.

201w77 | 09. oktober 2013

Great info to know. Thx again Kirk.

Brian H | 09. oktober 2013

In general, computers are lousy guessers.

TimmyG | 26. oktober 2014

Great info Kirk, jnb, et al. I contacted Tesla & got my ID/password, then went online & created a custom station with my favorite 20+ artists (as I didn't like the standard Slacker stations), and bookmarked it online. Then I went to the car, rebooted my screen, went to favorites, & Boom, there was my new custom station.

I assume that I can continue to customize the station in the car as I hear songs I like, I can hit the "+/music symbol" logo.

Thanks again. I'm stoked to have my custom Slacker station in my Tesla!

Captain_Zap | 26. oktober 2014


I tried to get a premium account for Slacker. I wanted the ability to play albums in their entirety. It turned out that it wouldn't work. But things may have changed since I tried a year and a half ago.

At least we have the Slacker Plus!