New Spotify beta adds looping videos to music discovery as part of major updates

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Spotify has announced two major updates: a slew of new features coming to its Car Thing device and the launch of Canvas looping videos on its mobile app. 

Both updates have begun rolling out to Spotify users. The Car Thing features will be limited to the U.S. and iOS users will get the update first. Android owners will get everything at a later date. 

Canvas has a greater reach as the videos will release in beta across the U.K., Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada for the Spotify mobile app.

More hands-off control

Car Thing was designed as a more convenient way to control Spotify while you drive and that core functionality is being expanded. Owners will now be able to see incoming calls on their screen where they can either answer the call or dismiss it.

Another big change is “Add to queue” which Spotify claims is one of its most requested features. It’s essentially the same feature on the mobile app where you can add songs or podcasts to a tracklist, but now you can use your voice.

There’s also going to be a new “Add to queue” icon on the touchscreen to add the song to a playlist or you can press and hold the dial to do the same thing. Other features include the ability to use your voice to ask Spotify for a personalized playlist and to control other media.

Looping recommendations

Canvas videos appear to have been inspired by Tik-Tok as a way to help people discover new types of music. Every day, Spotify will recommend you 15 Canvas loops based on the music that you like. You can scroll through the personalized selection to hear a preview and the Canvas for each song.

If you like what you see and hear, you can add the song to a playlist or follow the artist straight from the Canvas loop. The feature will also allow you to post the Canvas onto a social media app and have it loop in the background of a Story.

Canvas will be right on the mobile app’s home screen and will be created by the artists themselves to offer a sneak peek into the creative process. The full list of artists that will be in the Canvas section is unknown, but Spotify did reveal singer-songwriter Olivia Rodrigo as one of them.

Spotify didn’t say how long Canvas videos will be; whether it’s a 30-second loop or up to a 3-minute stream like TikTok.

Cesar Cadenas

Cesar Cadenas has been writing about the tech industry for several years now specializing in consumer electronics, entertainment devices, Windows, and the gaming industry. But he’s also passionate about smartphones, GPUs, and cybersecurity.