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E36/7 Z3 (1996-2002)
E36/7 Z3 Roadster, Z3 coupe, Z3 M Roadster and Z3 M Coupe talk with our gurus here.

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  #1  
Old 10-25-2010, 01:35 PM
Fen Wolf Fen Wolf is offline
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Mein Auto: Fj cruser, 2003 z4 3.0i
z4 To Dice or not to Dice!

So my 2003 Z4 has the stock BMW Business Radio CD. DSP, The TOP-HIFI system. 10 channel AMP in the back. No CD changer.


The Pro's :
Sound is good.
The look of the Radio head flows with the rest of the interior of the car.
The Cons:
Visibility is near un readable with the top down.
No blue tooth.
No aux hookups
No I-pod.

So, What to do to take care of this ? Dice it? put in a new Radio? Any ideas? Any opinions? Any suggestions as to a good Radio?

If I Dice it then I will still have the problem of not being able to see anything with the top down...
Did the boys at BMW ever turn on the Radio when test driving the Z4 with the top down??
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  #2  
Old 10-25-2010, 02:40 PM
Psygnosis Psygnosis is offline
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it's probably easier to just add the AUX input, the official kit puts it in the ashtray, or you can get it with out the ash tray and put it in the panel under the climate controls like it is on 07+ cars
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  #3  
Old 10-25-2010, 02:53 PM
Fen Wolf Fen Wolf is offline
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Thanks! and
very true, But! then there would be no Bluetoof! ... Want bluetoof! must have blue toof! Just think of the cool factor! =) lol...

Installing would not be a prob, it's more the look verses having updated features... sigh.. what to do... what to do...
At this point I guess I'm bending in the dice direction.
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  #4  
Old 10-25-2010, 04:52 PM
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madurodave madurodave is offline
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I had a lot of issues with Dice on my X3. I returned it. I just use the AUX jacks now with my Iphone. My Iphone has MP3, Satellite and Internet radio. I could not ask for more.

Bluetooth would make it cleaner, but I do not think the sound would be as good.

Good luck in your decision!
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  #5  
Old 10-25-2010, 05:42 PM
zhan zhan is offline
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imo, i just went and looked at the clarion navigation radios.. 7" screen, navi, back up camera all together for $700 + installation
so assume that you get dice unit $150 + $250 for a good navigation unit + dice installation = thats $400 + installation
so with a bit more, you can get a 7" screen, navi, back up camera, good radio, mp3 and ipod connectivity ...
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  #6  
Old 10-25-2010, 06:43 PM
Fen Wolf Fen Wolf is offline
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Ok Madurodave... now you have me wondering... What kind of prob's?. =-O

HUm... good point Zhan, I have the cost down to 340.00 with shipping (dice and dsp converter only) and I can do the install my self.
The Clarion nav would be pimp, If just opening and closing it a few thousand times in front of the lady's... did it have Blue toof?
Just got Her a few weeks ago, so don't know if I could afford somthing THAT cool just yet... hum...

Thanks for the input gang! =)
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  #7  
Old 10-27-2010, 03:30 PM
reidconti reidconti is offline
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I'd do whatever solution doesn't involve using DICE.
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  #8  
Old 10-27-2010, 06:48 PM
Fen Wolf Fen Wolf is offline
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OK... um, I'm working on it tonight.
BUT i'm going to need more then a thumb down icon.
Can you please tell me why you feel this way so I can avoid what ever prob you came across?
Thanks! =)
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  #9  
Old 10-27-2010, 06:59 PM
reidconti reidconti is offline
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It's been the general consensus that nobody on the forum likes the DICE. Someone posted a video of themselves smashing it or setting it on fire or something, to great applause.

I wasted $150 or something like that on the predecessor, the IceLink which was simply an unholy piece of crap that crashed constantly if you tried to display text, and was impossible to navigate. It never came remotely close to living up to what it was supposed to do. I tried to see if Tom would give me a break on the Dice for this reason, nope. After using a friend's Dice on an E46, I finally gave in and decided it was better than nothing, so I paid ANOTHER $150 or $200 or whatever it cost at the time. This was with the understanding that it would probably just do what the IceLink was supposed to do all along. So I got to pay twice for the privilege of a very marginal product. Maybe the first one was my "beta tester" fee.

The Dice DOES work better than the IceLink, and the real killer 'feature' is that it allows iPod and deck control at the same time. At least on the Z3, trying to change playlists or shuffle or any of the functions via the deck is an exercise in utter futility, it's simply too slow to come even close to useful functionality. But at least you can pick up the iPod and select your playlists and whatnot.

What it *does* is play my iPod tunes thru the factory system, allows me to change tracks forward and back with the deck controls, and displays the ID3 info on the display. That's about all it does. Better than nothing, but fairly lousy. It crashes quite often, which requires digging around in my trunk (always at the most inopportune times), unplugging everything, and plugging it all back in, then trying the ignition again to see if the Dice has decided to work.

In recent months (after a few years of Dice ownership) I've noticed that it only seems to 'crash' if I leave it playing when I shut off the car. so to avoid this, I hit the CD button on my deck every time before I shut the car down. Seems to do the trick.

So, at least on the Z3, it's a very marginal product that just barely does what it's supposed to. It technically allows you to navigate thru playlists on the deck, but only if you have 5 minutes to spare. This is likely down to the limitations of the deck's interface, though. For all I know it can't accept data any more quickly.

I have no interest in spending more money to replace the whole system with something that works better, so here I am.

Hope it works better on the Z4. It likely does, since your deck should be more advanced.
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  #10  
Old 10-27-2010, 07:31 PM
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wildag wildag is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reidconti View Post
It's been the general consensus that nobody on the forum likes the DICE. Someone posted a video of themselves smashing it or setting it on fire or something, to great applause.
Enjoy...

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  #11  
Old 10-27-2010, 07:55 PM
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johnsock johnsock is offline
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Fen Wolf: are you referring to the DICE MediaBridge or the Silverline?

I can confirm what others here are saying about the DICE Silverline being being very flaky and requiring reboots. I had one for a while and it was terrible! I have the Mediabridge now (without bluetooth since I didn't need it) and it is a definite improvement over the Silverline. I haven't had to reboot it once and it charges my iPhone 4 properly, unlike the Silverline or the OEM BMW iPod interface.
My big complaint about the DICE Mediabridge is that the nav display sucks just like it did on the Silverline. I suspect it is better on the Business Radio display, but I can't confirm it.
So far, I've tried three different iPod/iPhone interfaces and none of them are perfect. Here is my take on all of them:

OEM BMW iPod interface
----------------------------
PROS: Excellent use of navigation display and flawless integration with factory stereo
CONS: Will not charge newer iPods/iPhone, locks iPhone/iPod Touch display screen

DICE Silverline
-----------------
PROS: None
CONS: Integration with navigation display sucks, crashes frequently, not upgradeable

DICE Medaibridge
--------------------
PROS: Charges newer iPods/iPhone, firmware upgradeable, bluetooth option available
CONS: Integration with navigation display sucks (albeit less than Silverline)

I can elaborate on more if you like, but I'd recommend you decide exactly what you want out of this upgrade. If all you need is AUX input, get that only, as Psygnosis suggested. If you just want an iPod stashed away somewhere that you only control from the stereo, get the OEM interface and an old iPod or get the Mediabridge. If you absolutely must have bluetooth, you don't have much of a choice, go with the Mediabridge.
Of course, you could solve all these problems with a custom install of a new head unit that includes everything here and might be more readable, but it will not retain that stock look and feel.

Last edited by johnsock; 10-27-2010 at 07:56 PM.
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  #12  
Old 11-09-2010, 08:23 PM
Z4Bryan Z4Bryan is offline
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Mein Auto: 2005 Z4 3.0i
My Dice works great

I have had no issues whatsoever with the Dice Silverline Pro (and DSP adapter) installed in my 05 Z4 a couple months ago, albeit is the newest model with the latest firmware, so past issues have like were resolved with current F/W update (but user can't download any future updates like the Mediabridge can). Install went flawlessly (very easy and straight forward, but I had it done by Best Buy for $45, just in case there were issues).

The Dice connects to my new and very small 6th gen iPod Nano (I waited to buy it until Dice had validated the 6th gen Nano is fully compatible). It hides in the ashtray along with a couple feet of wire This makes it easy for close-up ipod control, or can be controlled from the radio/steering wheel. I use the ipod to select a playlist, album, or an artist, then click through songs using the steering wheel. (it is recommended for safety to create playlists prior to driving, then you just start it up, hit the road, and never look down). Some have mentioned using the radio controls to switch tunes caused a few second delay to sync up, but that is not the case with my unit. The Dice recognizes when the ipod is connected, and immediately switches the radio to CD mode.

So far, I haven't had to power off/on the ipod to get it to start playing. I have had no lockups, but if I do, the Dice unit is hidden in the panel below the radio for easy access to reset it). I read many many forums dating back a couple years, and noted the issues to watch out for, but I must say I have yet to find any reason to complain. I like the Dice and I recommend it. Sound quality is excellent and I love not having to pack a pile of CDs.
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  #13  
Old 11-10-2010, 10:18 AM
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tom @ eas tom @ eas is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Z4Bryan View Post
I have had no issues whatsoever with the Dice Silverline Pro (and DSP adapter) installed in my 05 Z4 a couple months ago, albeit is the newest model with the latest firmware, so past issues have like were resolved with current F/W update (but user can't download any future updates like the Mediabridge can). Install went flawlessly (very easy and straight forward, but I had it done by Best Buy for $45, just in case there were issues).

The Dice connects to my new and very small 6th gen iPod Nano (I waited to buy it until Dice had validated the 6th gen Nano is fully compatible). It hides in the ashtray along with a couple feet of wire This makes it easy for close-up ipod control, or can be controlled from the radio/steering wheel. I use the ipod to select a playlist, album, or an artist, then click through songs using the steering wheel. (it is recommended for safety to create playlists prior to driving, then you just start it up, hit the road, and never look down). Some have mentioned using the radio controls to switch tunes caused a few second delay to sync up, but that is not the case with my unit. The Dice recognizes when the ipod is connected, and immediately switches the radio to CD mode.

So far, I haven't had to power off/on the ipod to get it to start playing. I have had no lockups, but if I do, the Dice unit is hidden in the panel below the radio for easy access to reset it). I read many many forums dating back a couple years, and noted the issues to watch out for, but I must say I have yet to find any reason to complain. I like the Dice and I recommend it. Sound quality is excellent and I love not having to pack a pile of CDs.
Appreciate the feedback, we're been very happy with the DICE systems.
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  #14  
Old 11-10-2010, 04:30 PM
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madurodave madurodave is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fen Wolf View Post
Ok Madurodave... now you have me wondering... What kind of prob's?. =-O

HUm... good point Zhan, I have the cost down to 340.00 with shipping (dice and dsp converter only) and I can do the install my self.
The Clarion nav would be pimp, If just opening and closing it a few thousand times in front of the lady's... did it have Blue toof?
Just got Her a few weeks ago, so don't know if I could afford somthing THAT cool just yet... hum...

Thanks for the input gang! =)
Constant crashes of the system where it locked up and needed to be powered off to work correctly. It was difficult to work the controls on the Business Radio.

If you only want it for Ipod music, and you can get by the crashing, it might be ok.

I use the Ipod function, Pandora and Pocket Radio (these 2 did not work on Dice, except through the AUX jack so no real gain). I have had better luck using the standard BMW AUX jack and holding my Iphone 3 with a Magellan windshield mount. That way I can access the music to change if I want (while still looking out the windshield at traffic) and use multiple sources for music and entertainment. I even have Netflix on the Iphone so my wife can watch a movie download if she wants to. The Magellan windshield mount holds the phone, charges it, plugs into the AUX jack and has no electrical "hum" as I have with the standard car plug. It also has a GPS chip built in to help with my Iphone navigation programs (Navigon and TomTom). So I love its versatility.

That's my input! I have a lot of multi-source needs. Even if the Dice worked correctly with Ipod, it would not help with the other music and entertainment sources.
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Last edited by madurodave; 11-10-2010 at 07:13 PM.
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  #15  
Old 11-10-2010, 07:09 PM
Z4Bryan Z4Bryan is offline
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Dice has both iPod & AUX inputs

The Dice Silverline Pro also has an Aux input connector for connecting any other device besides an iPod. It works great for other mp3 players and music on my droidx. If you are looking for USB as well, then the Dice MediaBridge is your best choice.
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  #16  
Old 11-11-2010, 07:48 PM
wrh3 wrh3 is offline
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I had my Dice unit in for about a week before I pulled it out, sold it for half price, and ordered the Intravee II/Alpine KCA-420. The Dice functionality reminded me of the two cups on a string that I used to play with as a kid

I have some screen shots on my website that compare both with my reviews, should offer more insight. If I had to choose between Dice and AUX-IN, AUX-IN would win every time.
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