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!