Hey Netflix let me listen to shows in my car

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Review || Boss BV9370B SD USB BlueTooth Stereo
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Podcasts and audiobooks are great ways to pass the time on long car trips, but there are plenty of shows, comedy specials, and other content on streaming services that could do the same thing. Why can’t I hear (not see) them in my car too?

listen don’t look

There are a few ways to play videos from YouTube, Netflix, and other platforms in cars, but they are mostly designed to be used while the car is parked. Netflix is ​​available on the dashboard screen of Tesla cars, a useful feature for when the battery is charging at a station or you’re waiting to pick someone up. The Vivaldi web browser in Polestar’s electric cars can play from streaming services, and some other cars have similar capabilities.

There’s also an ecosystem of accessories that can provide streaming services to other cars, such as autonomous Android devices that send a video signal through a car’s Apple CarPlay or Android Auto mode. A simple car vent phone mount would also do the job. Although those options they can can be used legally in some areas (with the car parked or turned off), the potential for misuse means they are not officially endorsed by companies like Google, Apple, Netflix, or Disney.

Photo of a Tesla screen with games
Tesla cars can play videos and games in real time when parked. Tesla

I’m not too keen on watching videos on my car’s onboard screen, partly because my current vehicle is a gasoline-powered Hyundai Kona, which can’t sit idle without spewing carbon monoxide and other emissions into the atmosphere. However, I do I want to listen to the audio of content from streaming services while driving, without streaming video. Ideally, apps like Netflix and Hulu would appear on my Android Auto home screen like Spotify and YouTube Music. Having an audio-only mode in phone apps could also work without any video source, as it would still reduce distractions while driving and mobile data usage relative to regular video streaming.

The best use case for a feature like this might be stand-up comedy specials, where the visual component is usually simply someone walking on a stage. Other media categories would be more hit or miss, but many comedies and dramas could be enjoyed a bit without a screen, especially if it’s something you’ve seen before. Think of how many times you’ve had a TV on while you were checking your phone or cleaning your house – it’s the same principle.

Would most content be less entertaining without the visual element? Definitely! Would directors like Martin Scorsese be upset that I’m not enjoying their hard work the way it was intended to be seen? Possibly! However, if I’m already paying for access, I should be able to play it wherever and however I want. Listening to the audio of an episode of the next generation either scrubs I’ve already seen can be a nice break between binge-watching podcasts or listening to Spotify playlists.

a better solution

It is technically It’s possible to listen to streaming audio from shows and movies with Bluetooth audio or an auxiliary cable, and simply not look at the connected phone. However, that still uses the same amount of mobile data as if you were watching the content normally, and most streaming apps don’t have hands-free controls. YouTube can switch to background audio playback if you have a Premium subscription, but there’s no easy way to start a certain video without reaching for your phone. Netflix was also testing an audio-only mode at one point on Android.

The only service that comes close to car audio integration is YouTube Music, which is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. YouTube Music can play content from record labels and YouTube channels, but the latter apparently only works if the person who uploaded it marks a given video as music.

The next time I’m driving six and a half hours to visit family, I’d appreciate the option to pass the time with my favorite TV shows…without watching them.