4 Ways to play Apple Music on Tesla

coco's user avatar
December 6, 2023

Tesla’s 2022.44.25 Software Updates was a major event for Tesla owners, as it brought a host of exciting new features to both new and existing Tesla EVs. Perhaps the most anticipated feature was the native Apple Music app, which was something that Tesla owners had been waiting for eagerly.

The availability of Apple Music support in Tesla cars is a significant milestone for Tesla, which had previously only worked with other streaming services like Spotify and Tidal. This new feature provides Tesla owners with a new level of convenience and ease of use, allowing them to easily access and stream their favorite songs and playlists while driving.

The Apple Music experience in a Tesla is as seamless as you would expect, with the full range of Apple Music features available. The navigation experience is notably superior to Spotify, with options for tapping into songs from a playlist to get to the entire album, along with improved interface interactions.

While navigation is straightforward, it is worth noting that access to iTunes Match content is not currently available. Lossless and Dolby Atmos functionality also do not appear to be available at this time in Teslas, and it is unclear if these features will be enabled in the future.

If you’re a Tesla owner, you’ll need to have the 2022.44.25 Tesla Holiday Update to access Apple Music. With this exciting new feature, Tesla owners can now enjoy the full range of Apple Music features while on the road, making driving an even more enjoyable experience.

Besides the Apple Music app, there are also other ways to listen to Apple Music on Tesla.

Option 1 Tesla Apple Music app

To access Apple Music, tap the Apple Music icon in the Application Launchers. scan the QR code with yout mobile device, and login with your Apple ID. Now you can stream over 100 million songs and 30,000 playlists ad-free. Listen to your entire library, discover more music, and tune into live radio stations.

The Tesla uses its own 4G cellular connection to stream music/video. Unless your Tesla is connected to WiFi or you are using your phone as a personal hotspot.

However, there are still some limits:

  • Lossless and Dolby Atmos are not supported.
  • Can’t download songs to the car like Tidal.
  • It also doesn’t even seem to buffer the next track.
  • It doesn’t seem to remember any ‘clean’ filters on playlists which may cause embarrassment, you need to apply the filter in the car.
  • Explicit content is blocked.
  • Only shuffle based on the pages.
  • Need to sign out and back in because it often doesn’t load.

Apple Music divides the large playlist into several pages. If you want to shuffle play the playlist, it will only shuffle the songs on the page you’re on. Besides, you can’t add or remove a song from the playlist with the Apple Music for Tesla app.

When you use the voice command to play something in Apple Music it only displays a choice of songs, albums ect. on the screen but does not actually start playing the song until you select it whereas Spotify will start playing immediately.

If you want to get lossless music on Tesla, you may switch to Tidal.

If Apple Music keeps loading on your Tesla, try these solutions:

  • Sign out and then sign in again.
  • Go to Audio Settings (slider icon top right of the audio window), tap sources, and turn off Apple Music. Turn it back on.
  • Make sure that your Apple Music is not playing on any other device before getting into your car, unless you have Apple Music family subscription.
  • Restart the touchscreen, (Hold in both scroll wheels).
  • Switch to Tesla streaming and then back.
  • Reinstall Apple Music app from your iPhone.

If you are getting tired of the Apple Music for Tesla, there are other alternatives:

Option 2 A workaround to play Apple Music on Tesla via CarPlay

Tesla at some point discussed the possibility of adopting Apple CarPlay, but the automaker finally decided to keep its customers in its own software ecosystem.

However, playing Apple Music on Tesla via CarPlay is not completely impossible. A Tesla Model 3 owner has resorted to a workaround to implement Apple CarPlay in his vehicle. The workaround involves using a Rasberry Pi with an LTE modem and a Wi-Fi access point, running a custom Android-based firmware, as well as a micro-HDMI to HDMI cable and Ethernet cable, as demonstrated in a YouTube video.

If you are not technical to complete above workaround. Don’t worry, there are still many other ways to play Apple Music on Tesla.

Alternatively you can purchase a Wireless Apple Carplay Car Stereo and connect your smartphone effortlessly and bring the features and apps to the portable car device. You can make calls, send texts, navigate with maps, and listen to music such as Apple Music with ease. Regardless of your vehicle’s age or model, enjoy a safer and smarter driving experience with this advanced technology.

Option 3 Play Apple Music on Tesla via Bluetooth

You can play audio files from a Bluetooth-connected device (like a phone, iPod Touch, an iPad, an Android tablet, etc.).  

Once a phone is paired, Tesla can connect to it whenever the phone is within range.
To pair a phone, follow these steps while sitting inside Model 3:

  1. Ensure both the touchscreen and the phone are powered on.
  2. On your phone, enable Bluetooth and ensure it is discoverable.
  3. Touch the Bluetooth icon located at the top of the Controls screen.
  4. On the touchscreen, touch Add New Device > Start Search. A list of all available Bluetooth devices within operating distance displays on the Bluetooth settings screen.
  5. Choose the phone with which you want to pair. Within a few seconds, the Bluetooth settings screen displays a randomly generated number. Your phone also display a number.
  6. Check that the number displayed on your phone matches the number on the Bluetooths settings screen. Then, on your phone, confirm that you want to pair.
  7. If prompted on your phone, specify whether you want to allow Model 3 to access your personal information, such as calendar, contacts and media files.

Paired and connected your phone to Model 3, play Apple Music songs on your phone and the sounds will come from Tesla’s Media Player. When Apple Music songs begins to play, you can then use Media Player’s next and previous icons (or use the left scroll button on the steering wheel) to play other tracks.

How about AirPlay?

Tesla’s audio system is impressive, but it is limited by the quality of audio that can be transmitted via Bluetooth when playing music from a phone. Elon Musk said that Tesla is going to consider adopting Apple’s AirPlay protocol to improve audio quality over the current Bluetooth. AirPlay is a proprietary wireless communication protocol stack developed by Apple that allows streaming between devices. Tesla currently supports TIDAL lossless audio, but it is limited to downloaded songs on WiFi. Learn how to play TIDAL lossless on Tesla.

Option 4 Play Apple Music on Tesla from USB device

Tesla Model S, 3, X, Y all have two USB ports located in the front compartment of the center console. These ports can be used to:

  • Connect and charge USB devices.
  • Play audio files stored on a phone or USB device (see Playing Media from Devices).
  • For saving Sentry Mode and Dashcam video footage, use the USB port located in the glove box. Doing so increases security and minimizes power consumption.

You can play audio files from a Bluetooth-connected device (like a phone) or a USB-connected flash drive. When you connect a USB device, Media Player includes the device as a media source. Insert a flash drive into a front USB port (see USB Ports). Touch Media Player > USB, and then touch the name of the folder that contains the song you want to play. After you display the contents of a folder on the USB connected flash drive, you can touch any song in the list to play it. Or use the previous and next arrows in Media Player to scroll through your songs. You can also scroll to next/previous songs using the left scroll button on the steering wheel.

Note: Media Player supports USB flash drives with exFAT formatting (NTFS is not currently supported).

You can also store download Apple Music songs on iPhone and iPod and then connect them to Tesla with Bluetooth. To play media from a USB connection, Tesla recognizes flash drives only. To play media from other types of devices (such as an iPod), you must connect the device using Bluetooth.

So you can save Apple Music songs to USB device and then play them on Tesla. However, keep in mind that the M4P songs you downloaded from Apple Music are not supported. To play them on Tesla from USB device, you need to download Apple Music songs to MP3. All you need is Pazu Apple Music Converter.

Step 1 Launch Pazu Apple Music Converter

Download, install and run Pazu Apple Music Converter on your Mac or Windows. Pazu Apple Music Converter features a built-in Apple Music web player for you to download Apple Music songs, it doesn’t need Apple Music or iTunes app. Follow the on-screen instructions to log in your Apple Music account.

Apple Music Converter

Step 2 Choose output format

Click the gear icon on the top right corner to change output settings. The default format is M4A in 256kbps. Apple Music Converter also supports MP3, AAC, FLAC, WAV and AIFF. Click the gear icon if you want to change output format or output folder.

Apple Music Converter settings

Step 3 Choose a playlist, artist or album you want to download

Follow the on-screen instructions to choose a playlist, artist, or album that you want to download. Click the red icon and Pazu Apple Music Converter will load all songs in the album or playlist, uncheck the songs you don’t want to download if there are any.

add Apple Music songs

Step 4 Start to download Apple Music songs

Click “Convert” button to start downloading Apple Music songs to mp3. After downloading, transfer them to USB device and play them on Tesla without CarPlay.

convert Apple Music to MP3