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      01-18-2013, 09:23 PM   #23
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Hi Lifted;
OK, I have an '08 328 Coupe with I-Drive. I also have an iPhone 4s.
To get audio and control of the iPod part of the iPhone I needed a Y-adapter.
One end goes to the iPhone. The other end has a USB connector and a 1/8 inch stereo plug. Plug the iPhone in and both of the other connectors into the plugs in the center console. The USB plug is for control, the 1/8 inch stereo plug is for audio. BOTH must be plugged in to work.
Hope this helps.

It is my understanding that '09 and new will work with only the usb cable. Not positive on this though.
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      01-18-2013, 09:54 PM   #24
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Is the sound quality good?
And do I go to AUX still?
does your USB light up like the AUX does? Because mine wont even let me select USB I can select AUX but again it does nothing

So youre saying I need this?
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...tchlink:top:en
And then the other adapters to get it to work with the iphone 5
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      01-18-2013, 10:43 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by skeee1 View Post
When I use the Iphone 5 in my car I just use the cable that came with the phone plugged into the USB in the car. Trick is the phone has to be plugged into the cable before you put the key into the ignition and start the car.
Your car is a later 2011. Same with mine, which was built in July '11, I can plug in my iPad mini and it works just fine with the Lightning to USB cable. I believe the change came in March '11. I don't even have iDrive.
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      01-19-2013, 02:25 PM   #26
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Hi Lifted;
I have a real BMW iPhone adapter from Ebay so I can not speak as to the worth of the Ebay item. I will say this though; I would not buy this item as the description contradicts it's self.
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"Suitable for Car:
BMW E82,E87,E88,E90,E91,E92,E93,E60,E61,E70 & E71 OR MINI Cooper R56,R55 (after the launch January 2004)
Notice: item is not work in BMW 3 series"
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That would make me nervous.

Just went out a looked. When iPhone is plugged in, I see AM FM CD AUX.
I have no mp3 files on a thumb drive so I can not check for USB.

The sound out is very good.
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      01-19-2013, 04:06 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skeee1 View Post
When I use the Iphone 5 in my car I just use the cable that came with the phone plugged into the USB in the car. Trick is the phone has to be plugged into the cable before you put the key into the ignition and start the car.
You have a Combox-equipped car, which allows you to use that solution. OP doesn't, we already covered that earlier in the thread. And even in Combox cars like mine, it's completely untrue that you have to have the device plugged in before starting the car.

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Originally Posted by iSerge View Post
Another solution would be to copy all your music to a flash drive and plug it directly into the USB port. then you'll have a complete control of your music (iDrive and non-iDrive) and don't have to mess with cables.
This would work, but you'd lose the ability to use playlists, and the navigation isn't so hot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lifted07Duramax View Post
I went to best but to buy those two items in those two links and the apple guy told me the lightning delivers music thru USB so I walked out without one.

Why would I need the y adapter? I just need the USB to 30pin and 30pib to lightning adapters right?
No offense OP, but we've already told you at least twice what you need to buy to get audio in your car and why you need those things, so why is this still so difficult? The Best Buy/Apple guy is correct that Lightning provides audio through USB, but only DIGITAL audio, which your model year car doesn't accept. You need Combox for that. That's also the reason why for your car you need the Lightning to dock adapter as well as the Y-cable, because the former has a digital to audio converter that converts the iPhone 5's digital audio output into analog format which your car CAN accept, and the Y-cable takes that analog audio and feeds it into your car's AUX port. That's all already been covered in earlier posts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lifted07Duramax View Post
Is the sound quality good?
And do I go to AUX still?
does your USB light up like the AUX does? Because mine wont even let me select USB I can select AUX but again it does nothing
Yes the sound quality is good as long as you have a decent cable. I believe you choose USB, but I'm not sure. Selecting AUX won't do anything at the moment because you don't have the headphone connector from the Y-cable connected to the AUX port. And USB probably doesn't light up because the car can see an iPhone there but also DOESN'T see a plug in the headphone jack, so it knows it can't get audio from it. Again, once you actually buy what myself and techy1 have been telling you to rather than constantly doubting what you're being told here (which makes me wonder why you even bothered to ask us) and trying to do things another way that we've already explained is unsupported on your car and why, this will all start working.

If you want music in your car, your options are:
  1. Use a Y-cable AND a Lightning to dock adapter -- yes, you really, REALLY do need both.
  2. Use a Bluetooth media gateway like the one mentioned earlier.
  3. Import your music from a flash drive and put up with inferior media management and navigation.
  4. Get a Combox retrofit for your car so you can use the regular Lightning to USB cable you've got now (as well as album art, Bluetooth audio streaming, and text messages and emails displayed on the iDrive display).
  5. Get a newer car with Combox to get the above benefits.
  6. POSSIBLY use your existing Lightning to USB cable and ADD a regular headphone cable to go from your phone to the AUX port, but even if this works it has drawbacks I already mentioned twice earlier.
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      01-19-2013, 05:32 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lifted07Duramax View Post
I went to best but to buy those two items in those two links and the apple guy told me the lightning delivers music thru USB so I walked out without one.
Here's the thing you need to understand about Best Buy: 1 in 1000 employees actually know what the hell they're talking about on any given subject. The problem is the ones that DO know what they're talking about are a paygrade above Best Buy, and are almost certainly looking for new work. Apple Store employees are generally much, much more knowledgable and helpful (and paid much better, which might explain that), but this is a relatively unique situation even for your average apple employee. What they MIGHT be able to tell you is that most cars before late 2009/2010/2011 have a proprietary iPod (and thus iPhone) interface, where newer cars than that often work simply over USB. The short answer why is that the iTunes Music Store went fully DRM free by April '09. Before that, you couldn't play DRM'd songs via USB output, thus most cars wouldn't support it. If you want a long, detailed answer fit for an engineer, search the forums for 'alexwhittemore y cable,' I've posted on it before. But you don't want that answer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lifted07Duramax View Post
Why would I need the y adapter? I just need the USB to 30pin and 30pib to lightning adapters right?
For one, USB>30Pin>lightning adapter is totally silly - that's functionally equivalent to a lightning USB cable.

The reasons you need a Y cable are touched upon above. If you REALLY want to know the gory technical details (you don't) I can write it up in a blog post and provide the link. But it really is that complicated a topic.
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      01-19-2013, 09:17 PM   #29
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lol ok well it makes a lot more sense now that I noticed the headphone jack by the usb plug in. Sorry I did not notice this before. It all makes perfect senese now.
But Im going to look into the combox for sure
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      01-20-2013, 09:12 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexwhittemore View Post
What they MIGHT be able to tell you is that most cars before late 2009/2010/2011 have a proprietary iPod (and thus iPhone) interface, where newer cars than that often work simply over USB. The short answer why is that the iTunes Music Store went fully DRM free by April '09. Before that, you couldn't play DRM'd songs via USB output, thus most cars wouldn't support it.
This isn't actually accurate. First of all, even cars that have regular USB inputs rather than a built-in dock connector cable have software that allows access to iPods/iPhones over a proprietary API since those devices don't allow you to just browse the stored media as if it were a flash drive. The "Enable disk use" option that was available on older iPods hasn't been available on newer devices for quite a while.

But the far greater misinformation in the quoted post is the claim about DRM audio output restrictions. As long as the DRMed audio files are being hosted on an Apple device authorized to play them, DRM has nothing to do with the ability to play those files on an external device, be it a car or a boombox. The reason is that the iDevice is doing the decryption and (usually) conversion to analog audio, so ANY device that accepts its audio via a headphone jack (or Bluetooth streaming, which is digital but decoded on the device) will be able to play any file on the device, regardless of encryption. If the device attaches purely via a dock connector built into the car, chances are it's outputting analog audio there too since the dock connector spec assigns pins for that function. And if it's using the dock connector's digital output (or the Lightning connector's digital output without an adapter that includes a DAC), even THEN it should be possible to play back DRMed files because here again the iDevice would be removing the encryption. When it comes to iOS devices and even the newer non-iOS devices, Apple doesn't even give third parties the ability to access files stored in the device's media library directly, never mind the ability to decrypt them externally; they simply provide an API to browse the library and control playback, and the iDevice does all of the decoding and output.

The ONLY case where DRMed songs not being playable via USB output would be true is if you put a bunch of DRMed files onto a USB flash drive (or some other device that allows mass storage access) rather than an iDevice and tried to play them directly. Or if you had your music on an older iDevice that supported direct file access and the external accessory chose to access the files that way rather than through Apple's APIs. That would indeed fail since in that scenario you don't have the iDevice decrypting them for you, but that also wouldn't apply to the vast majority of people who use iTunes and therefore most likely use a (likely more current) iDevice to play their music in their cars.

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Originally Posted by alexwhittemore View Post
The reasons you need a Y cable are touched upon above. If you REALLY want to know the gory technical details (you don't) I can write it up in a blog post and provide the link. But it really is that complicated a topic.
I'm sorry, what? I already covered the reasons a Y-cable is necessary above -- twice. It's not THAT complicated an explanation, and considering the incorrect information you posted above, maybe you should hold off offering to write blog posts and long, detailed explanations "fit for an engineer" until you've made sure you've got your facts straight.

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      01-20-2013, 09:29 AM   #31
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I bought:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B004E5...sr=8-1&pi=SL75

And

http://m.bestbuy.com/m/e/product/det...=1218803450090

And iPhone 5 plays music through the iDrive. The BMW adapter feeds through the center console and the cable gives a few more inches of cable to the phone so it's easy to plug in without opening up center console or anything.

/thread
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      01-20-2013, 11:33 AM   #32
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My iPhone 5 works fine with the USB cable. All the same functionalities as with the previous 4. However now and then it will only play music on the phone despite still controlling with the idrive. I just restart the phone and it works again.
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      01-21-2013, 03:41 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jphughan View Post
This isn't actually accurate. First of all, even cars that have regular USB inputs rather than a built-in dock connector cable have software that allows access to iPods/iPhones over a proprietary API since those devices don't allow you to just browse the stored media as if it were a flash drive. The "Enable disk use" option that was available on older iPods hasn't been available on newer devices for quite a while.
There's nothing proprietary about what's happening either over the USB-only connection or the BMW Y cable. If the connection is USB (normal apple USB-Lightning or USB-30pin) the car is employing the USB Audio Class (http://www.usb.org/developers/devclass_docs/audio10.pdf). If you're using the Y cable (in the case of BMW, lots of other cars have their own connector for adapters to third-party connectors like the 30pin, for example, the Golf and GTI), the car is using the iPod Accessory Protocol on the RS232 pins of the 30pin connector to control play (send play/pause/skip/etc commands, receive data about current song, playlist, library, etc). As far as I'm aware, no car with an 'iPod' interface has ever used disk mode (i.e. accessing the raw library data via the Mass Storage Class), and I'm not even sure it'd work. Would be an interestring experiment, though, maybe it would.

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Originally Posted by jphughan View Post
But the far greater misinformation in the quoted post is the claim about DRM audio output restrictions. As long as the DRMed audio files are being hosted on an Apple device authorized to play them, DRM has nothing to do with the ability to play those files on an external device, be it a car or a boombox.
It does ONLY in the case of USB Audio Class output. Because the output format in that case is digital (running over USB) and unencrypted (you seem to be confusing encryption and encoding, they're quite different), it violates the terms of the licensing agreements that cover DRM. In theory, you could build a USB Audio Class host device which could copy the exact digital original of a previously DRM'd song played by an iPod, which is exactly the vector DRM tries to curtail.

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Originally Posted by jphughan View Post
The reason is that the iDevice is doing the decryption and (usually) conversion to analog audio, so ANY device that accepts its audio via a headphone jack (or Bluetooth streaming, which is digital but decoded on the device) will be able to play any file on the device, regardless of encryption. If the device attaches purely via a dock connector built into the car, chances are it's outputting analog audio there too since the dock connector spec assigns pins for that function. And if it's using the dock connector's digital output (or the Lightning connector's digital output without an adapter that includes a DAC), even THEN it should be possible to play back DRMed files because here again the iDevice would be removing the encryption. When it comes to iOS devices and even the newer non-iOS devices, Apple doesn't even give third parties the ability to access files stored in the device's media library directly, never mind the ability to decrypt them externally; they simply provide an API to browse the library and control playback, and the iDevice does all of the decoding and output.
Some of this is true, some isn't. The iDevice WOULD BE (IS) doing the decryption/DRM removal. Since apple doesn't license FairPlay to third parties under any circumstances, BMW definitely couldn't license it and do the De-DRM in-headunit. Of course, that's only assuming USB Audio Class supports encrypted (DRM'd) transfer, which it doesn't. There's the problem. Apple isn't allowed to (wasn't allowed to then, presumably is now considering they'll let you get updated DRM-free copies of your previously-protected content) decrypt a song then transmit it digitally under any circumstance, so USB Audio Class would have been out.

Now, you're totally RIGHT about the dock connector being analog (or at least, having an analog line out, and the lightning adaptor having a built-in DAC). That's EXACTLY why the Y cable and other manufacturers' proprietary cables USE the dock connector, but DON'T support a pure USB solution. In DRM parlance, this is referred to as the Analog Hole (or A-Hole, if you're generally opposed to DRM). This is, fundamentally, why DRM was always a broken and stupid system to begin with. Sure, you couldn't make a perfect digital copy of the original, but you COULD ALWAYS make one of perfectly equivalent analog fidelity.

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I'm sorry, what? I already covered the reasons a Y-cable is necessary above -- twice. It's not THAT complicated an explanation, and considering the incorrect information you posted above, maybe you should hold off offering to write blog posts and long, detailed explanations "fit for an engineer" until you've made sure you've got your facts straight.
By that which I've just responded to, the Y cable shouldn't be necessary at all, nor should it ever have been so long as iDevices supported USB Audio Class (which they have for a surprisingly long time), so I'm not sure I follow your logic. Anyway, read the USB Audio Class spec document I posted a link to above, then design me a functional Y cable (no buying online, that's cheating!), and let me know if you still think it's not complicated.

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Originally Posted by Bulldog_335xi View Post
My iPhone 5 works fine with the USB cable. All the same functionalities as with the previous 4. However now and then it will only play music on the phone despite still controlling with the idrive. I just restart the phone and it works again.
You have a newer model car with a combox.
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      01-21-2013, 08:56 PM   #34
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So with the Y connector set up do you still get the same crappy amplified audio as you do when you go from headphone jack to aux port?
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      01-23-2013, 01:01 AM   #35
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So with the Y connector set up do you still get the same crappy amplified audio as you do when you go from headphone jack to aux port?
No, you get unamped, line-level analog audio -- as I mentioned twice already in this thread.
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      01-23-2013, 01:11 AM   #36
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No, you get unamped, line-level analog audio -- as I mentioned twice already in this thread.
Out of the 6 options you gave which ones would have the best sound quality and which ones would be the worse?
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      01-23-2013, 10:08 AM   #37
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Out of the 6 options you gave which ones would have the best sound quality and which ones would be the worse?
The Combox options give you maximum quality sound and would be the most convenient (once you have the Combox) since you also have the option for Bluetooth Audio streaming with that, but it's definitely the most expensive option. I don't know exactly how much a retrofit is, but if you PM a vendor like Mike Benvo I'm sure he'd be happy to tell you.

Importing media to iDrive would also give you maximum quality sound since your car gets digital audio that way just as it would with Combox, but it's far less convenient both to get the music in (have to put it on a flash drive, can't just get it from your iPhone) and navigating your music going forward (no playlist functionality, etc).

After that, the Y-cable would be the next best option in terms of quality, and it's also very convenient and a very low-cost option.

Next step down would be the Bluetooth gateway. Bluetooth Audio does sound very good, but if you have even somewhat high-quality audio files (160+ Kbps MP3s or 128+ Kbps AAC), you'll probably be able to tell a difference between that and a direct connection, even an analog Y-cable one. Bluetooth Audio only has limited bandwidth so audio often has to get downsampled to stream that way, and the gateway itself will still be connecting to your car via an analog connection after the downsampling, which is why I think a Y-cable would sound better. That said, I personally use Bluetooth Audio the majority of the time because I hate having to connect my phone every time I get in the car and I also tend to forget to bring it with me when I arrive where I'm going -- but on longer trips I'll connect it to enjoy somewhat fuller sound. The gateway would probably also be more expensive than getting a Y-cable plus the Lightning to dock connector, but I'm not certain about that.

And the worst option (if it even works) would be to just add a headphone cable to the cable you've got now and run it from your iPhone's headphone jack to the car's AUX in.
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      01-23-2013, 12:26 PM   #38
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And the worst option (if it even works) would be to just add a headphone cable to the cable you've got now and run it from your iPhone's headphone jack to the car's AUX in.
For my ears, I'd swap the last two, bluetooth gateway and normal aux-in. The built-in DAC isn't BAD (at least not as long as you leave the volume down around 75% on the iPhone), whereas bluetooth devices almost always are.
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      01-26-2013, 04:28 PM   #39
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Got my Y-connector from Amazon yesterday plus a 30pin to lightning adapter. Works great and IMHO sounds better than music imported to the HDD. I was most impressed in that it even displays track info from Spotify on iDrive. Money well spent.
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      05-26-2013, 02:29 PM   #40
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When I use the Iphone 5 in my car I just use the cable that came with the phone plugged into the USB in the car. Trick is the phone has to be plugged into the cable before you put the key into the ignition and start the car.
My audiobook plays thru the car about every 3rd time that I do the trick of connecting my iphone to the USB port in the center console BEFORE I start the ignition. Other times it plays through the phone. Clearly, I don't need any special cables, just the right sequence of connecting and starting the car/app.

Anyone else found the exact right sequence?
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      05-28-2013, 11:53 AM   #41
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My y-cable doesn't display any track information on the idrive display. I can only control the music through the iphone...I have to select Aux in mode. Is that correct? I do not have a combox.
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      05-28-2013, 11:54 AM   #42
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My y-cable doesn't display any track information on the idrive display. I can only control the music through the iphone...I have to select Aux in mode. Is that correct? I do not have a combox.
No, it means your Y cable is either broken or incorrect.
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