The 6fl is gorgeous
It allows full control of your iPod and/or USB device by iDrive and MFL buttons. Playlists, Genres, Artists, Albums and Titels (and for USB directories) will be shown on the car display. The selection of these categories works similar to the iPod, e.g., if the Genre Rock is selected all Artists of this Genre are displayed etc. The complete function including the audio is fully integrated, i.e., when there is a call coming in the audio will be paused etc.
To connect the iPod a special adapter cable is necessary. The reason is that the iPod won't allow control and/or music streaming over an USB interface (unless you build in a stupid authentication chip made by Apple and then it would only work with iPod Nanos and the Video). Therefore this cable converts USB to serial. Audio comes to the car via an audio jack.
When an USB device is connected the directories are shown in first place (similar to the explorer view in windows). When all metadate of the audio files is analyzed also Genre, Artist, etc. are shown. Then the USB device "looks" like the iPod. To analyze the metadate takes some time. However, the information is stored and when connecting the device again everything should happen much faster. In principle any USB device can be connected. But it cannot be guaranteed that any device works, e.g., USB sticks typically work fine. MP3-Players also work when they support the USB mass storage profile. However, the protocol "media transport protocol" (MTP) is not supported and thus "PlaysForShure" devices do not work (Zune does not work either). With USB audiofiles in the formats mp3, wma and aac can be played. Playlists in the m3u-format are supported. The filesystem has to be FAT.
6fl will ship starting March 2007 with the 1-series, 3-series, 5-series. In April X5 is added. In August the Mini and in September the 6-series. It works togther with all iDrive models and with Radio Professional.