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Spotify’s ‘Car Thing’ is Exactly What it Sounds Like

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Might as well name it what everyone’s gonna call it.

“Buffy Speak” is a colloquial term for language or terminology that uses very simple chains of words to describe something more complex, named as such for its regular use in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. One of the most common hallmarks of Buffy Speak is the word “thing.” It’s an all-purpose word that can pretty adequately describe an object or concept as long as it’s paired with some kind of descriptor. Case in point, if I said “Spotify’s Car Thing,” you’d probably assume I’m talking about a Spotify music player for cars. And you’d be right!

Earlier in the week, Spotify released their new Car Thing streaming device in a limited rollout across the United States. This is just a test-release; certain invited members of Spotify Premium can receive one for free (provided they can pay for shipping and handling). When the time comes for the full release, it’ll retail for around $80.

So what exactly is the Car Thing? Well, it’s a thing for your car. To be more specific, it’s a streaming device that you can plug into your car’s dashboard and sync up to your smartphone that can be used to quickly and easily scroll through Spotify playlists and songs. To make it easier to use while driving, it features a big, chunky, easily-turned dial, and also responds to voice commands.

The big catch to the Car Thing is that, even when the test period ends, you’ll only be able to use it if you’re subscribed to Spotify Premium. If you only have regular Spotify and were playing music in your car from your phone, well, I guess you can just keep on doing that. I suppose it’s helpful for those who are in the car a lot and don’t want to fiddle with a phone touchscreen while they’re driving, but otherwise, it’s kind of just a neat novelty.