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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > AUDIO/VIDEO + BLUETOOTH + Electronics/Alarm/Software > Factory fitted USB module vs iPod interface



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      01-15-2007, 07:30 AM   #1
Catscratch
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Factory fitted USB module vs iPod interface

I just got a call from my dealer. I can change the iPod interface option to something new with USB. He told me it's better, cheaper and factory fitted ... you can even play memorysticks with music.

When I asked him if the USB-module has the same functionality as the iPod interface on the idrive screen, he couldn't answer me.

I got the feeling a USB-module just searches audio files on the available space and plays them. How can it know of playlists etc?

Somebody has more information on this? I have time to change my option till tomorrow.
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      01-15-2007, 08:29 AM   #2
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This is exactly what I'm trying to say about the ipod interface. A USB-module will scan the HD faster eliminating the load period on the interface. Why wouldn't it show playlists?? The ipod is essentially a very small expensive external HD with nice buttons on it. When you plug a external HD into a computer via USB it reads everything and displays it for you, i.e. folders, playlists, songs, pics, movies.. whatever. The USB should be able to just search for specific items, like music files. And as long as you have everything named properly why wouldn't it pull up your playlists?

I dunno, this is what I think. I'm just frustrated with the performance of the ipod interface and believe BMW can do a hell of a lot better.
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      01-15-2007, 08:44 AM   #3
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Where is the USB port located? inside the armrest like the AUX port, or inside the glovebox like the iPod interface?

I certainly would prefer a USB port over the apple specific iPod interface. But speaking of playlists, what format would they be in?
I suspect that MP3 files on a USB device would be handled like MP3 files on a CD-R/DVD-R are right now, basically a collection of directories with music files that you can play random or in order, either all the files or by directory.
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      01-15-2007, 08:50 AM   #4
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If you browse your iPod like an HD you won't find your music sorted in albums, or whatever. It's a mess ... I'm not quite sure the BMW system is smart enough to find and sort everything.

(iTunes) playlists will be saved probably in an Apple extension, same question .. can BMW read this info?

It will probably be faster then the iPod interface, but I want everything organised on the iDrive screen (sorted by albums, compilations, artist, ...) not a list of 4578757878757 mp3's that the USB module has found on the HD.

I need to decide by tomorrow, I can't find anything on the internet and my dealer doesn't know it either ... way to go BMW!
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      01-15-2007, 09:03 AM   #5
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I agree. So far BMW has sucked with the so called USB connection and Ipod interface which is an 80% complete product that needs more work.

Both are promissing but BMW has to make them work properly.
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      01-15-2007, 10:17 AM   #6
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The USB connection sounds like the elusive white unicorn....
I would love it if they came out with a cheap way to connect via usb to the factory stereo. But, I really don't think it will happen. If they do, I very much doubt the factory stereo will have much control over whatever device you have. How could they program your stereo to work with a multitude of USB devices?
I hate to be the pessimist here, I just see people getting their hopes up and it will suck when they're dashed.
I would love it if the USB interfaced worked with something like a USB hard drive and you could search folders. But the stereo would have to work with Fat32 or NTFS and it would need some form of playlist management.
More likely is the'll have a USB connection but you'll have to control your music from the actual device.
Still, it might be a better option if it's way cheaper than the ipod interface. I have an ipod and there's no way I'd spend $400 plus to buy the ipod interface and have it installed. Just not worth the money.
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      01-15-2007, 01:06 PM   #7
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I'll definitely get it if it can play & show mp3 files on the screen like a mp3 cd... It should just be a plug and play retrofit.. .
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      01-16-2007, 07:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catscratch
I just got a call from my dealer. I can change the iPod interface option to something new with USB. He told me it's better, cheaper and factory fitted ... you can even play memorysticks with music.

When I asked him if the USB-module has the same functionality as the iPod interface on the idrive screen, he couldn't answer me.

I got the feeling a USB-module just searches audio files on the available space and plays them. How can it know of playlists etc?

Somebody has more information on this? I have time to change my option till tomorrow.

You say cheeper. How much is it??
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      01-17-2007, 09:20 AM   #9
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bump...
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      01-19-2007, 11:27 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brocken View Post
I would love it if the USB interfaced worked with something like a USB hard drive and you could search folders. But the stereo would have to work with Fat32 or NTFS and it would need some form of playlist management.
More likely is the'll have a USB connection but you'll have to control your music from the actual device.
I *strongly* suspect it's the same as other aftermarket and OEM USB connections, which are just USB hosts that support mass-storage devices (and FAT32). Basically what you'd get is the ability to use a USB flash drive instead of an mp3 CD or DVD. I'd be really surprised if there were any functions more advanced than what you currently get with mp3 disks, or any sort of knowledge of USB devices beyond mass storage mode.

The only scenario where this would really come in handy is if you have one of the non-iPod mp3 players (Sandisk?) that keeps all the tracks named in a nice orderly fashion and presents itself as a mass storage device over USB.

I wouldn't give up my ipod adapter for this feature, but it could be handy if I weren't an ipod user.
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      01-19-2007, 02:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tintivilus View Post
I *strongly* suspect it's the same as other aftermarket and OEM USB connections, which are just USB hosts that support mass-storage devices (and FAT32). Basically what you'd get is the ability to use a USB flash drive instead of an mp3 CD or DVD. I'd be really surprised if there were any functions more advanced than what you currently get with mp3 disks, or any sort of knowledge of USB devices beyond mass storage mode.

The only scenario where this would really come in handy is if you have one of the non-iPod mp3 players (Sandisk?) that keeps all the tracks named in a nice orderly fashion and presents itself as a mass storage device over USB.

I wouldn't give up my ipod adapter for this feature, but it could be handy if I weren't an ipod user.
I thought we were talking about the new factory install Ipod/USB adaptor that they are offering in the E93 in March. I figured it would be offered in the E92 at the sametime and I was wondering how the cost compared to a dealer installed unit.
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      01-19-2007, 04:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoonToBimmer View Post
I thought we were talking about the new factory install Ipod/USB adaptor that they are offering in the E93 in March. I figured it would be offered in the E92 at the sametime and I was wondering how the cost compared to a dealer installed unit.
Sure we are. My understanding is that you can get either USB or iPod adapters... could be wrong. I sure wouldn't mind having both. I haven't heard anything about there being a dealer-installed version of the USB adapter yet.

Update: so it *is* listed as "USB/iPod Adapter". my bad. I'm really not sure what to expect then.
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      01-19-2007, 04:27 PM   #13
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      01-21-2007, 02:45 AM   #14
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the USB interface price is about 250 in Europe
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      01-22-2007, 12:31 PM   #15
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wonder if it can be retrofitted...humm
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      01-22-2007, 02:08 PM   #16
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Quote:
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wonder if it can be retrofitted...humm
According to those in the know, not at present. It's being looked at for the future but may well never happen.
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      01-24-2007, 08:01 PM   #17
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Has anyone got any news on the Dension Gateway 500 - http://www.dension.com/icelinkgateway500.php - it was orignally to be launched last June for BMW's but was only released for Audis, Mercs and Porsches. This has an ipod interface and a USB port to read hard drives like an mp3 cdrom. Does anyone know what the hold up is for the BMW version?
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