Mossberg: “BMW iPod adapter works, but in a pretty crude way” | iLounge News

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Mossberg: “BMW iPod adapter works, but in a pretty crude way”

“I’ve been testing the system in a $54,000 BMW 330Ci convertible, lent to me for a few days by BMW. I have tried several different iPods in the car, including a brand-new, fourth-generation model. My conclusion: The BMW iPod adapter works, but in a pretty crude way that will likely leave the iPod cult hungering for more. It’s a decent first step, but that’s all. [...]

A couple of times, in several days of tests, I’d start the car and the system would freeze up. I had to switch to a different playlist to jolt the iPod into action. And once, when I increased the volume, it suddenly skipped a song.”

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Comments

21

I did the install myself. It’s dead easy. Took an hour and a half. The dealership wanted $300 to install which is a crock! It says right on the instructions that it should take .75 hrs. I told them I’m not paying for their mechanic’s learning curve. BTW, BMW HAS TO PROVIDE YOU WITH INSTALL INSTRUCTIONS. It says so right on the integration box.

I routed the wire to sit in my center console unit. No jiggling in the glove box. No reaching across to pull it out of the car.

The one thing is that I wish it displayed song info on the car’s display. Hopefully there will be some sort of firmware update to provide that functionality.

Posted by Machard on September 24, 2004 at 9:42 AM (PDT)

22

I installed the BMU Ipod kit in my Z4… It was really quite easy.  It works fine but I get alot of back ground static.  Any ideas?

Posted by ETEaster on September 25, 2004 at 10:12 AM (PDT)

23

Just had the iPod kit installed in my M3.  Paid $275 for installation (in addition to $150 for the adapter kit itself).  Installation at the dealer took less than half of a day.  The following are observations, not complaints:

1.  Navigating within a selected playlist without availability of song title/artist info will require more effort as the number of songs within a given playlist increases.  On average, I have about 50+ songs on each of my preset playlists.  My left thumb gets a good workout (the likes of which I haven’t felt since the 1980s, when I played a lot of Atari!) pressing the PREVIOUS/NEXT (N/P) buttons on the steering wheel in order to access a track.  Thankfully, the system allows you to jump to track numbers in multiples of 10 by holding down the N/P buttons rather than pressing it singularly, thereby saving you from developing “Atari thumb”.  I now guesstimate track numbers based on alphabetical order.  (e.g., songs beginning with A or B are tracks 1-35 or so).  With this feature however, the ability to fast-forward/rewind within a song is consequently lost.  Legal considerations regarding patents aside, it would be great if BMW incorporated Click Wheel controls into its steering wheels!!

2.  Tentatively speaking, I was rather surprised that sound quality differs from the in-dash CD player.  As a baseline, I compared a given song downloaded from iTunes onto my iPod with that EXACT song file converted (likewise by iTunes) to CD-audio format. At a given volume level (with the iPod’s EQ feature set to “Rock” and Sound Check disabled, the CD audio verion is noticeably louder than its iPod counterpart.  Subjectively (I’m no audiophile), the CD format also sounded richer than the iPod.  (NOTE: I have the HK sound system option).  BTW, you cannot change EQ settings while the iPod is connected.  Additionally, detaching the iPod, subsequently adjusting the volume level, and re-attaching the iPod to the car has no effect on volume levels.  Don’t get me wrong though:  Audio quality is still great and superior to FM tuners and cassette adapters. 

In conclusion, I am thrilled to have thousands of songs at my disposal in my car.  Bear in mind however, that it will cost over $400 in labor and parts (plus iPod unit itself) to “iPod your BMW” but this price is comparable to having a dealer install the factory CD changer.  And wouldn’t you rather have an iPod than a 20th century CD changer? 

Posted by erayser in Los Angeles, CA on September 29, 2004 at 10:42 PM (PDT)

24

Where do you order the IPOD accessory.

Posted by khoa on October 6, 2004 at 5:35 AM (PDT)

25

Khoa:

The parts department of most BMW dealers can order it for you…be warned though, the average wait time for the part to arrive is about 1.5 -2 months.  (I ordered my in early August and didn’t get it until early October).

You might want to check eBay as well.

Posted by erayser in Los Angeles, CA on October 7, 2004 at 8:13 AM (PDT)

26

Got $50 off (cost-$117.00)adapter- talked my friend into getting a bimmer:)
If you live in the LA area..the cheapest instalation I could find is Century City BMW in north hollywood, over by Universal studios..they are charging $169.97+tax to hook it up saturday for me:) Let you know how it all works out

Posted by WillyD on January 6, 2005 at 2:20 PM (PDT)

27

Got $50 off (cost-$117.00)adapter- talked my friend into getting a bimmer:)
If you live in the LA area..the cheapest instalation I could find is Century City BMW in north hollywood, over by Universal studios..they are charging $169.97+tax to hook it up saturday for me:) Let you know how it all works out

Posted by WillyD on January 6, 2005 at 2:20 PM (PDT)

28

I’ve got the same problem as ETEaster.  Some background static w/ the BMW kit installed in a Z4.  Anyone have an answer for this?

Posted by Willis S. in DC on January 17, 2005 at 10:55 AM (PDT)

29

Can someone tell me where to order the adapter?

Posted by allforcarrie on May 9, 2005 at 4:18 AM (PDT)

30

I went through as many comments/reviews of the various iPod integration systems before choosing one for my X5 SAV and eventually decided on having an male-male Aux cable installed at the dealer which comes out between joints in the dash near the CD player (only about 4” stick out). I mounted my Pod on the adjustable padded Proclip mount so I can see it, scroll easily within reach and it charges off the lighter in the ashtray. It’s not as integrated as the glovebox solution, but it’s accessible, visible and convenient. Until Apple/BMW come up with a much more integrated solution, this method is one of the most convenient.

Posted by iPod mom on June 21, 2005 at 9:26 AM (PDT)

31

I have a 04 BMW 330 with the Ipod adapter.  Has anyone evr had any issues with the ipod NOT comunicating with the bmw.  The adapter seems to be working - charging the ipod, but the iopd will not play through the radio.  There is some type of synchronization issue.  Is there a quick fix?

Posted by ta on July 6, 2005 at 7:34 PM (PDT)

32

“The adapter seems to be working - charging the ipod, but the iopd will not play through the radio.  There is some type of synchronization issue.  Is there a quick fix?”

It plays throught the CD not the radio. Press Mode and you select a track/playlist.

Posted by Eric on July 18, 2005 at 6:18 PM (PDT)

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