Originally Posted by bsd107
Good point about the number limitation on mp3's. Personally, I don't like lossy compression, and the iDrive hard drive does not support non-lossy compression formats. Therefore, I'm planning on using a 64GB USB memory stick, which will hold ~100 CD's worth of uncompressed PCM audio. The car WILL play uncompressed PCM in WAV format from 6FL, but will NOT do so from the iDrive (including from DVD-ROM discs in the drive slot).
You wouldn't see any appreciable increase in speed from a 7200rpm drive, IMHO. Those drives will give a faster sustained throughput rate, but we are talking really small file sizes here, so I don't think there would be a significant impact on speed (see the web on Playstation 3 upgrades to 7,200rpm drives as an example of how there is no speed improvement in some applications). Plus keep in mind that the 7200rpm drive will run hotter....
I'm aware that only the 6Fl option will play PCM audio and for the few that need that high of fidelity will be limited to the method you mentioned. But for me, and most people, a mp3 encoded at 320kbps sounds excellent. I personally can't tell the difference between a CD and 320kbps mp3, not when played in car at least.
You're probably right about their not being much speed increase, we'll know for sure once someone tries it. 7200 rpm drives have a much fast random seek time which I though would help when calculating routes.