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Did you change out the ancient OEM radio in your car for an aftermarket unit in recent years? If so, then you may have noticed that the Spotify function no longer works on it. That’s a bummer, considering many drivers and music lovers alike use the app on the daily basis. Don’t worry, there’s a simple reason that it’s not working and as well as a simple fix.

The Spotify Connect app is no longer in service

Spotify app on a phone
The Swedish music streaming service Spotify is displayed on the screen of an iPhone. | Chesnot/Getty Images)

If your aftermarket head unit has the Spotify Connect app, which allows it to connect and control the music app easily, it’s been “deprecated” by the company, says Review Geek. Many users posted their connection issues with the app in recent months and the company finally responded to them. According to Spotify, the support for many aftermarket head units made by JVC, Kenwood, and Pioneer is no longer in service.

However, there’s a simple workaround for using the app – play it from your phone via the Bluetooth connection or a USB cable. That’s right, you’ll have to use Spotify the “normal” way and actually look at your phone to use the app and toggle through your playlists and songs. It’s a bummer, but there are other ways to circumvent this first-world problem.

The Spotify Car Thing can make your life easier

In case you don’t want to use the Spotify app on your phone and would rather keep it in your pocket or out of sight while driving, then the Spotify Car Thing can help. What’s the Spotify Car Thing? It’s a mobile touchscreen that connects to your phone via Bluetooth and allows you to view and utilize the app as it if were built into your car’s audio system.

The best part is that it’s easy to set up and store away when needed and it even costs less than $100. In some ways, it’s really not that much different than using the app directly from your phone, but the whole point is that it makes the process easier. Also, it can upgrade the look of your older car’s interior by giving it a modern touchscreen to play with.

It could be time to update to a newer aftermarket head unit

The Alpine TUA–T020XM XM radio tuner module with remote control, shown on top, and the XM–ready Alpi
The Alpine TUA–T020XM XM radio tuner | Al Schaben/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

In case you don’t want to try the previously mentioned methods, then you can always upgrade that old aftermarket head unit to a newer double-DIN one. Many of the newer head units from Kenwood, JVC, and Pioneer have better phone integration software like Apple Carplay and Android Auto. Both of which support the use of Spotify.

Of course, this method could be a little overkill, especially since many of these head units can cost around $300 to $800. However, if you don’t want to be stuck in the dinosaur age of car audio equipment, then it may be time for a much-needed upgrade. After all, it’ll be a lot better than the tape deck or CD player that the car most likely came with from the factory.


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