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View Full Version : Unawared Question: How come there are no iPod connector in front of the head units?


caylan
07-17-2005, 11:42 AM
Sorry but I am not an audio expert of any sort but a logical question is: how come there has never been a design in a head unit where the iPod (or walkman be4 that) can be plugged into the FRONT of the faceplate?

It would be line level & retain all the functionality wanted by the users? :dunno:

Alex Baumann
07-17-2005, 12:25 PM
Good question. I've thought about this too. It would be a lot easier to plug an Aux unit, instead of taking the whole dash apart and fumbling with all the cables, connectors etc.

But what do I know? It took BMW years to put a CD player behind the NAV screen. It is no secret that BMW is a bit behind the years, when it comes to in-car electronics. The japanese manufacturers are the best in that regard.

ObD
07-17-2005, 12:37 PM
IMHO, in the future, there will be a removable memory slot similar to how a USB key works today. The world will become more digital. The A/D and D/A conversions cost fidelity and space.

Technic
07-17-2005, 12:38 PM
Sorry but I am not an audio expert of any sort but a logical question is: how come there has never been a design in a head unit where the iPod (or walkman be4 that) can be plugged into the FRONT of the faceplate?

It would be line level & retain all the functionality wanted by the users? :dunno:

Sound interesting until you realize that not all your customers would like to have an iPod, and having different faceplates for each MP3 player out there is not economicaly feasible for anybody.

The current AUX port accomplish 90% of your idea without the manufacturing, marketing and compatibility complications. And if car and audio manufacturers embrace the Bluetooth connectivity between their products then there will not be any need for audio ports or plugs anywhere. :D

Alex Baumann
07-17-2005, 12:52 PM
Sound interesting until you realize that not all your customers would like to have an iPod, and having different faceplates for each MP3 player out there is not economicaly feasible for anybody.

The current AUX port accomplish 90% of your idea without the manufacturing, marketing and compatibility complications. And if car and audio manufacturers embrace the Bluetooth connectivity between their products then there will not be any need for audio ports or plugs anywhere. :D

Why different faceplates? Just place it on the front and cover it with a plastic lid (like on the digital cameras, camcorders), the problem is solved. If anyone wishes to plug an external player etc., pull off the lid, plug the player and enjoy

Technic
07-17-2005, 01:51 PM
Why different faceplates? Just place it on the front and cover it with a plastic lid (like on the digital cameras, camcorders), the problem is solved. If anyone wishes to plug an external player etc., pull off the lid, plug the player and enjoy

Are we talking about the regular AUX jack, but in the faceplate? Because that's not what I got from the initial post. I thought that this idea is to plug the player itself to the faceplate, because the AUX jack in the front has been available for a long time in other manufacturers HUs (OEM and aftermarket) just not in BMWs.

Personally, I do not like it there because of the wire hanging all over the console and shifter. :confused:

Alex Baumann
07-17-2005, 02:05 PM
Are we talking about the regular AUX jack, but in the faceplate? Because that's not what I got from the initial post. I thought that this idea is to plug the player itself to the faceplate, because the AUX jack in the front has been available for a long time in other manufacturers HUs (OEM and aftermarket) just not in BMWs.

Personally, I do not like it there because of the wire hanging all over the console and shifter. :confused:

Hmm, then I think I misunderstood the initial post.

The E90 and E87 has the regular AUX-in in the center console.

caylan
07-17-2005, 04:11 PM
Sound interesting until you realize that not all your customers would like to have an iPod, and having different faceplates for each MP3 player out there is not economicaly feasible for anybody.

& yet they (Pioneer, Alpine, & Kenwood etc) have spent particular time & money to develop an adapter for one particular brand??!! I know you are going tosay they charge you $100+ for it but they can also charge $100+ for a direct line in plug into the front no?

Also, they still produce a Head Unit for every particular wants & needs currently. iPod or not.



The current AUX port accomplish 90% of your idea without the manufacturing, marketing and compatibility complications. And if car and audio manufacturers embrace the Bluetooth connectivity between their products then there will not be any need for audio ports or plugs anywhere. :D
I agree with your statements.
But my question was based entirely on the plug & play premise. If I want to play the iPod on my computer I just plug it inot the USB slot in the front. Why can't it be that simple withou having to remove the HU or raer trunk ? :dunno:

Since I don't have any bluetooth devices, I still wonder how clearly the wireless signals from an iPod like device can get transferred to the HU for sound quality?

I mean I still download songs through a cable from the wall to the back of modem hardwired to the back of my desktop.

I told you I was still a 20th century person.

caylan
07-17-2005, 04:13 PM
... The A/D and D/A conversions cost fidelity and space.

Can you expand on this? I am not sure what you mean. Thanks!

Bob Clevenger
07-17-2005, 05:08 PM
The A/D and D/A conversions cost fidelity and space. Audio is an analogue phenomenon. There will always be at least an A/D conversion from the microphone to the electronics and a D/A conversion from the electronics to the speakers.

ObD
07-17-2005, 05:09 PM
Can you expand on this? I am not sure what you mean. Thanks!

MP3 - digital
IPOD MP3 output - analog
Headunit input - analog
Headunit processing - digital
Headunit output analog

Everytime you convert between analog/digital it costs parts (thus space for the conversion) and noise since there is no "perfect conversion" (hence a loss in fidelity). The longer the original source is kept digital, the better.

ObD
07-17-2005, 05:11 PM
Audio is an analogue phenomenon. There will always be at least an A/D conversion from the microphone to the electronics and a D/A conversion from the electronics to the speakers.

True, but if you had a complete digital medium between those 2 events it would yield the best fidelity and use less parts getting to you. :D

JSpira
07-17-2005, 06:16 PM
But what do I know? It took BMW years to put a CD player behind the NAV screen. It is no secret that BMW is a bit behind the years, when it comes to in-car electronics. The japanese manufacturers are the best in that regard.




How do you figure BMW is behind? BMW was the first car maker (in the world and in the U.S.) to offer Bluetooth in its cars. It was also one of the first to offer sat. radio, and very early (one of the first again) to offer Nav. They were also the first to offer an iPod link (albeit for only a few models at first).

Naturally, when you offer something early on, you get bested by newer offerings but you can't fault BMW for that. :angel:

Technic
07-17-2005, 06:52 PM
& yet they (Pioneer, Alpine, & Kenwood etc) have spent particular time & money to develop an adapter for one particular brand??!! I know you are going tosay they charge you $100+ for it but they can also charge $100+ for a direct line in plug into the front no?

Also, they still produce a Head Unit for every particular wants & needs currently. iPod or not.

I agree with your statements.
But my question was based entirely on the plug & play premise. If I want to play the iPod on my computer I just plug it inot the USB slot in the front. Why can't it be that simple withou having to remove the HU or raer trunk ? :dunno:

Since I don't have any bluetooth devices, I still wonder how clearly the wireless signals from an iPod like device can get transferred to the HU for sound quality?

I mean I still download songs through a cable from the wall to the back of modem hardwired to the back of my desktop.

I told you I was still a 20th century person.

I think that what you are seeing with the iPod is a push in the direction of your idea of having one universal "plug" for music in your car... but by Apple only. And with their iTunes they got it covered in your computer too. So they are in the car, the computer and in the person carrying it and making it easy to interconnect to each other; no other player have done this... yet.

The issue that I see with your idea is that there is a lot of manufacturers out there that really do not like the universal way of connectivity in the level that you really are talking about (full control in the vehicle). Sony is the biggest culprit on this (Beta, Mini Disc)... the suckers do not want anything universal unless they are forced to.

So far we have the AUX jack to meet part of your idea, the actual control of the different devices, each one with a different software and hardware, by different manufacturers is the difficult proposition. Just take a look at CD Changers: the car manufacturers have forced customers for years to buy their OEM for three times the price of a better aftermarket unit, that is if you want to keep your sound system stock. They do not like universality, either...

I got your idea, it just that it seems that is going to take a long time -and money- to get everybody involved together to accomplish something like this. :D

Tanning machine
07-21-2005, 07:39 AM
Hmm, then I think I misunderstood the initial post.

The E90 and E87 has the regular AUX-in in the center console.

This seems like a very good, relatively low-cost, and universal solution. It may not please audiophiles, but if you're that into your music in your car, you probably want to upgrade the whole system.