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      11-28-2012, 04:58 PM   #1
kaigoss69
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iPhone Music Playback through Head Unit, Digitally

Any way to do this? - i.e. connecting iPhone via synch cable to USB port, and having the files decoded within the head unit instead of using the stupid y-cable and AUX input. There probably are iPhone apps out there to emulate a USB drive, but to take it a step further, how can you accomplish this with Spotify or Pandora?

I'm pretty sure I know the answer, but I thought I'd ask anyway!
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      11-28-2012, 05:16 PM   #2
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You need a media interface adapter from alekshop or modmynav
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      11-28-2012, 05:31 PM   #3
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If you get something like a parrot or the two devices mentioned above, you can enable usb sync cable input (at least, I think - I think the Parrot MKi series has both a USB input AND an iPod 30 pin input, so perhaps it doesn't support sync cable attachment). That's your only option, though. That or get a new model BMW with 'advanced bluetooth' (which supports the USB-only digital audio streaming).

It's a shame BMW didn't get on the USB streaming bandwagon sooner and stuck with the Y cable so long, it really is a silly interface.

Also, you definitely CAN'T get an app to emulate a USB drive, apple doesn't allow the kind of low-level hardware access that'd be required to make the phone present as a USB mass storage class device. All the "thumb drive" apps use other means of getting files onto the phone, like wifi or itunes' file transfer interface.
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      11-29-2012, 07:36 AM   #4
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Okay so I'm no audio expert, but other than eliminating the awkward cable, what are you hoping to accomplish? The digital files still need to be converted to analog and fed into the amplification circuits.

Why do you feel a DAC located in the head unit would be inherently superior to the one inside the phone?
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      11-29-2012, 08:49 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gpb View Post
Okay so I'm no audio expert, but other than eliminating the awkward cable, what are you hoping to accomplish? The digital files still need to be converted to analog and fed into the amplification circuits.

Why do you feel a DAC located in the head unit would be inherently superior to the one inside the phone?
noise and signal degradation by the AUX circuitry. don't try to argue, I speak from experience!
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      11-29-2012, 08:53 AM   #6
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I assume that you're referring specifically to your '08 system, as in my '11, there is no AUX required. I connect iPhone to sync cable, connect to USB port and playlists, control, etc. is via steering wheel or radio controls. Haven't tried Pandora or other, as the system (MusicarNW Stage 1+) sounds so much better with 320k MP3s or CDs, rather than any other source.
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      11-29-2012, 10:04 AM   #7
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Your '11 has the 'advanced Bluetooth' option. That's not standard equipment.
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      11-29-2012, 10:14 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gugs View Post
You need a media interface adapter from alekshop or modmynav
It seems - from what I found - those are for NAV systems. I don't have NAV.
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      11-29-2012, 10:30 AM   #9
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I don't think this is possible because of apple policy not allowing you to use phone you bough as you wish.

I have installed parrot because of hands free and anoying thing is that this is streaming music directly to radio unit, ignoring any sound adjustment made on radio. There are few predefined equaliser in parrot and no one of them is even close to basic "low" and "high" adjustment you can made in the car, also, speed related increasing volume is nice thing once you set all as you wish (CD73).

I've tryed same MP3 streaming from :
- CDC
- Parrot USB
- Parrot iPhone

and CDC is way better than any other.

That for, I understand what you want to do but my guessing is that with 6 disks in CDC + 1 in the car better buy some recordable CD and put it in the car, I would not waste time on some alternative.
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      11-29-2012, 11:26 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaigoss69 View Post
Any way to do this? - i.e. connecting iPhone via synch cable to USB port, and having the files decoded within the head unit instead of using the stupid y-cable and AUX input. There probably are iPhone apps out there to emulate a USB drive, but to take it a step further, how can you accomplish this with Spotify or Pandora?

I'm pretty sure I know the answer, but I thought I'd ask anyway!
The only OEM module that decodes full digital (without any AUX/analog audio connection) is the Combox. Anything else -MULF, OEM HU with built-in USB- uses analog audio inputs with the iPod/iPhone.

USB sticks are 100% digital regardless of OEM module.
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      11-29-2012, 11:51 AM   #11
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Ideal solution will be to CIC + Combox, will be OEM too.
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      11-29-2012, 03:21 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Technic View Post
The only OEM module that decodes full digital (without any AUX/analog audio connection) is the Combox. Anything else -MULF, OEM HU with built-in USB- uses analog audio inputs with the iPod/iPhone.

USB sticks are 100% digital regardless of OEM module.
Which is super annoying. If your embedded system has the horsepower to decode a bunch of arbitrary audio/video file formats on a USB drive, certainly it's not a stretch to implement USB audio. Friggin' BMW.
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      11-29-2012, 03:46 PM   #13
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So what about the mobridge and dension gateway 500

I would think those give you digital ipod + usb + another possibly better
aux.
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      11-29-2012, 04:05 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaigoss69 View Post
noise and signal degradation by the AUX circuitry. don't try to argue, I speak from experience!
There's no way I would argue against your personal experience, it is what it is. I might wonder how you've specifically isolated the AUX circuitry as being the source of noise and signal degradation (i.e. how you've eliminated all the other potential sources in the path), but that doesn't mean it isn't the source.

Not to defend BMW, I dislike the Y cable, but I believe the original reason to do it the way they did is to get around Apple's DRM. Remember that Apple didn't drop DRM until sometime in 2009 (after the major labels agreed). Combox came out in late 2010, allowing direct USB playback.

I do hope you fine a decent solution. I guess I'm lucky to be tone deaf enough not to notice a difference.
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      11-29-2012, 04:06 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexwhittemore View Post
Which is super annoying. If your embedded system has the horsepower to decode a bunch of arbitrary audio/video file formats on a USB drive, certainly it's not a stretch to implement USB audio. Friggin' BMW.
It was not BMW, it was Apple DRM implementation back in the day.
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      11-29-2012, 04:13 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Technic View Post
It was not BMW, it was Apple DRM implementation back in the day.
Yeah, that's something I hadn't thought about. Still kind of annoying that they didn't simply offer a firmware upgrade for the MULF2, but then that's hardly unexpected, and the hardware requirements vs. implementation MAY be tight enough that it's not quite doable, I suppose.
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