iPod Adapter Installed - Yuch!!!
Well, I finally got the iPod adapter installed for my 2007 750i. It has limitations and initiates very slowly. Great sound quality, but I may have the dealer un-install it and get my $539.00 back.
Here's the deal:There are things you don't find out about until after it's installed, like the fact that it only loads the song info for 1,000 songs, or that there is a limit of 250 artist names. Not very good considering that my iPod (30 GB iPOd with video) holds more than 10,000 songs.
Now for the really irritating part. Every time you start the car, the iPod has to re-load all of the song and artist info, which is understandable, but the problem is that it takes so long. It was taking 20 minutes! And it only loads the information for the first 1000 songs! (You can listen to more, but they have to be on playlists)!
Another major annoyance is that it starts playing the first song on the iPod, alphabetically by artist, so you have to wait for it to finish loading before you can switch artists, playlists, or albums. If this takes 20 minutes, you have to listen to the same 5-6 songs every time you get into the car! Ridiculous! I even reduced the number of songs from 3700 down to about 1600 and it still takes 8-10 minutes to load. I still have to listen to the same 2-3 songs at start-up, or switch over to SAT, FM, or CD while it loads.
Now for the really bad part. If I do switch over to SAT or FM, while the iBus is loading all of that song info, the entire iDrive system is very slow. Sometimes taking 20 seconds between screen changes. For example, while I am waiting for the song info to load, I switch over to SAT and attempt to change stations using the iDrive. The iDrive wheel sometimes just spins freely without the 'tactile' feedback it usually has, or when it does feel normal, when I change stations, the audio responds, but the display does not update for 15-20 seconds. Again, very annoying if you are trying to use the NAV to negotiate unfamiliar areas.
Once everything is loaded, it all works and sounds great, but either the tech that installed it totally hosed it up, or the design is so bad that I will probably remove it from the car and get my money back.
If anyone else has had this installed in an E65, please let me know if you experience the same issues or slowness. That will at least help me to determine if it's a bad design or a bad install.
Too bad about the iPod adapter. I was hoping to get one...
My own experience with MP3 CDs in the 750 in some ways sounds very similar to your experience with the iPod. First, when switching, via the iDrive, between MP3 CDs, it loads all the information from the CD before the playlist displays. Second, it will begin playing the first song on the CD before the playlist is displayed. Switching between MP3 CDs (the player holds up to 6) is definitely not fast -- with about 30 songs on a CD, I think it takes about 60 seconds or more -- the iPod may be faster given it's using a disk or memory vs. a CD-ROM. I guess an advantage of the iPod adapter, over the MP3 CD setup, is it's easier to create iPod playlists and upload/download music to the iPod than burning new MP3 CDs (which can be a time consuming process too).
One question: is the loading from the iPod all or nothing? meaning, it loads everything, up to the max of 1000 songs and there is no option to load only one or two playlists?
This is a real shame. On my Mercedes E320 CDI, the iPod adapter is very fast. The song information (albeit limited to about 30 characters) shows up in the main display in the speedo and switching between songs and playlists, is straightforward and, again, fast. No loading of info/playlists before you can access the iPod just switch to iPod and you're off and playing.
Seems one option with the BMW iPod adapter is keep fewer songs/playlists and use a mac/pc and iTunes to update/replace periodically. Not making excuses for the limitations here, just thinking of alternatives (of course, one alternative is to not buy the BMW iPod adapter).
Let us know if BMW let's you return it and refunds your money.
Thanks for the post!
You are correct, the functionality is almost identical to the 6-disc changer. In fact, you have to remove the 6-disc changer to install the iPod adapter. When you access the iPod, you are actually picking CDC from the iDrive and it displays 6 'discs':
Disc 1 Playlists
Disc 2 Artists (Alphabetical and limited to 255)
Disc 3 Albums (Alphabetical and limited to 255)
Disc 4 Genres
Disc 5 Podcasts
Disc 6 Tracks (Alphabetical and limited to 1000)
You can't only synch selective playlists - It is 'all or nothing'. Also, when switching between 'discs', the entire loading process starts over again.
Oh, and one more annoyance - let's say that you actually wait for the entire loading process and use the iDrive wheel to spin all the way down the list of songs to a song that starts with the letter 'S' (it can take a while). Then, if you want to select a song that starts with the letter 'T', you have to start back at the beginning and scroll all the way back down through the list.
I am a CIO by profession and head up a large technology group, comprised mostly of software developers and systems architects. I don't know who designed this interface and system but it's clear to me that usability and performance were not priorities.
typical of idrive interface!
They entire design of the idrive interface is really bad.
I find having to start at the first channel in the sirius satellite everytime I go to it very annoying. Why can't it start with the channel I am currently listening too? It is not so annoying on am or fm, as there are only 10 channels. They need to work on this!
That does really suck...my $150 Dension adapter for my e46 lets me access all my songs and there's no load/initialization time.
I was wondering if it were possible to get an iPod adapter for my 2005 745i but after reading this I think I'll just use the little FM transmitter I bought for it for about $60 at Best Buy. The sound is pretty good unless I'm around a lot of power lines then I get some static.
I think BMW would be better off just putting a little audio input in the dash and let us plug in our iPods using the headphone adapter. iPods are so easy to use it's really no big deal changing songs/playlists on them while in the car.
Gman - I'm a bit late to this post, but sorry to hear about your problems. Although I did laugh (sorry...) when you mentioned that you always had to listen to the same song when you start car. Torture.
For me, the best thing to do was simply burn MP3s - and I can put 170 - 180 songs on one CD. The inital challenge was figuring out how to burn MP3 from my itunes purchases. All I had to do was burn my downloaded itunes songs to a CD - then rip them back into itunes as MP3. I keep the MP3 files in different folders than my itunes downloads.
So I've got 1,000 songs at any time and the idrive shows album name, artist, song name. And the sound quality is great.
Edit: One other thing, I don't have any of the delay issues with my CD changer that 7Heaven mentioned.
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