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mcewen98 08-31-2009 08:10 PM

2006 X3 ipod adapter
Hello, I recently got a 2006 X3 and had my BMW dealership install the iPod adapter. I'm fine with the BMW1, BMW2, etc playlists. Reading about this online, it sounded like only older iPods that can charge over Firewire would work, and my iPhone 3GS definitely would not. This is actually what I wanted since I planned to use these in the glovebox:

iPod 3G 20GB (firewire charging & syncing, usb for syncing only)
iPod 5G 30GB (firewire charging only, usb charging & syncing)
iPod mini 4GB (sync and charge over usb and firewire)

After a longer than normal install process due to an "incorrectly ordered part", I got it back several days later. I plugged in the ipod 3g and to my dismay it wouldn't work. I tried the newer 5G, the iPod mini, an iPhone 2G, and a new iPhone 3GS and they all played and charged just fine. The iPhones displayed an 'unsupported device' message but it went away after a few seconds and worked fine.

Looking at the BMW compatibility page again ( , I notice it says that only 4G and up, or ipod nano or mini's are supported, so maybe I just answered my question and my original assumption about the 3G being supported is incorrect.

Strangely enough - the dealership service rep said he knew nothing about ipods and didn't know how it worked, and I didn't give us any instructions either.

I'm wondering if perhaps they installed an updated version of the adapter since the iPhone 3GS charges and plays. I know I've seen dock adapters to make the iPhone 3GS and newer ipods work with older firewire chargers. Does anyone know of a dock adapter to make the ipod 3g compatible with the bmw ipod adapter?

Thanks a lot!

boinzo 08-31-2009 08:33 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Hi mcewen98.
I had the OEM adapter removed from my brand new X3 2 weeks ago. BMW actually gave me a partial refund. I have 4 and 5G iPods and both worked OK.

My problem was that the adapter only supports 99 tracks in each of those 5 "BMW" playlists. When it finishes track 99 it goes back to track 1. This meant I could only access about 495 songs out of the 5000 on my iPod.

I would check it if I was you.

I have since bought and installed a Dice Silverline. It too has plenty of problems but at least it can access all my music.

Funny they ordered the wrong part for you. I had the same thing happen - resulted in a 2 day delay in the delivery of my new vehicle.

I have the OEM Adapter instructions here still. I have attached a picture of the compatability page for you. It says G3 are supported from firmware 2.3 up.

Good luck.

mcewen98 09-09-2009 12:28 PM

Thanks for the reply and the image of the manual. I'm pretty sure the 3G ipod has the latest firmware available but I'll double check again tonight and try restoring it again. That's interesting about the 99 song limit.. I wonder what happens when you shuffle a playlist with more than 99...

It's weird that the 3G acts like it wants to work.. It will start to play 1 song on 'CD7' when it's first plugged in, but then you can't switch to the next song. It kinda recognizes the BMW1, etc playlists too. If all I have on the ipod is 'BMW2', presets 1,3,4,5 will all show the error message when it can't find the corresponding "BMWx" playlists, but preset 2 acts like it tries to play something but can't.

boinzo 09-09-2009 02:11 PM

Yeah - I wondered about shuffle too. It's hard for me to be sure (because it's hard to remember all of the songs in 4000 track playlist) but I think it would only randomly pick from the first 99 tracks. This seemed to be what it was doing.

Others here who have the adapter may be able to help. I only had it for a week - I just couldn't stand the limit any longer.

That sure sounds strange about the 3G. I would definitely try upgrading the firmware.

enamoured 09-09-2009 02:35 PM

The display on radio says 99 songs but it can actually play all the songs on the playlist (my playlists have been up to 500 songs BTW). Its just the display which is problem here. When the playlist switches from 99th to 100th song, the display goes back to track 00. Give it a shot, that's how it works at least on my adapter. Another thing, by pressing the "m" button on radio and then pressing left or right arrow, skips or moves back by 10 songs respectively, may help you reaching the 98th/99th song faster :D

Having said that, I do not like this adapter for just 5 playlists.

mcewen98 09-09-2009 03:00 PM

The 3G iPod has the newest 2.3 firmware and I also did a complete restore. I created a BMW1 and BMW2 playlists, plugged it in, and it doesn't even look like it's getting charged. It does say "BMW" on the screen, and "Ok to disconnect". Presets 3 through 5 say "no disk", 1 and 2 do nothing. Sometimes I do get audio but can't change songs or select a playlist. :dunno:

The 3G iPod only charges over Firewire, so I think it's strange that ONLY my devices that can charge over USB are working in the BMW, the original iPhone and 3GS included.

It still makes me wonder if this is a newer version of the ipod adapter that only works with USB charging devices.

boinzo 09-10-2009 04:58 AM

Hey enamoured! If my adapter did that I would have kept it.
Mine would get to 99 then the next song would display track 0 (like you say) but it would be the first track in the playlist again. I could just keep tapping the up arrow and it would go round and round the same 99 songs! Up or down. Really frustrating. Might be because I use a 5G ipod - i dunno.
Glad yours works for you - but yeah the 5 playlist thing is a bit of a dud.

mcewen98 - does sound like a there's some variability in these things. I guess it is possible they installed the wrong one. What does preset 6 do? It is supposed to play all tracks I believe ...

smaglik 01-22-2013 06:49 PM

I am going to bump this up to the top....I am picking up an 07 X3 later this week with the BMW Ipod adapter...I don't have an Ipod, but want to pick one up. My question is whether or not hte newer ipods, i.e. something brand new, will work. Otherwise, I can head to craigslist to find a used unit. Any help would be much appreciated!

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