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F30 / F31 / F32 / F33 (2012 - current)
The sixth generation 3 series, chassis code F30. 2013 model year 328i and 335i sedans now in production. Read the F30 frequently asked question thread for all your basic question and dive into all the details in the ultimate F30 information thread.

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  #76  
Old 09-14-2012, 09:55 PM
codog24 codog24 is offline
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Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post

The iDrive UI For iPod/iPhone Is Damn Good: I really wanted the Apple designed music app because it looked just like my beloved Apple TV. But then I found out that it isn't full screen and it doesn't allow split screen with nav intersection overtakes and that was the end of that. Now, I'm thinking the BMW UI is going to suck because, after all, it's not Apple but guess what- it's really good. I'd argue it's better than the Apple designed one because it simply is better integrated with the rest of iDrive.

A lot of typing to simply say: "Don't buy the cradle."

BJ
OK, I have a 2013 328xi on the water now, and have a couple of questions about this setup. Here's what I want to be able to do:

Use an old iPhone 4 as essentially an iPod touch, with the ability to navigate through a large music library by drilling down through the category structure (eg "Artists>The Beatles>Abbey Road>Here Comes the Sun" or "Podcasts>Fresh Air>10/24/11 - David Carr: The News Diet Of A Media Omnivore"). I want access to at least the "Artists", Podcasts" and "Audio Books" categories on the iPhone. I don't care if it looks just like the iPod app on the phone, as long as I can get to the stuff I need to relatively easily. Note that the iPhone 4 will not have a sim card installed, so I don't intend to use it as a phone at all; I'll have a current iPhone in my pocket which I hope to connect to the car via Bluetooth for address book integration and handsfree phone calls.

Here are my questions:

1. Given what I want to do, will I need the cradle? I've tested the USB port in the console with an iPod Classic and the media navigation options were limited to the playlists on the iPod, which is untenable (some of my playlists have more than 700 songs in them, and I couldn't get directly to Podcasts at all). I know the iPod Classic doesn't use the iOS OS, but instead an older traditional iPod UI; will the iPhone 4 give me better access to my audio content?

2. Assuming that I need the cradle to get the sort of media navigation I'm after (via iPod Out), can I have an iPhone 4 plugged in to the cradle and use another bluetooth phone to load an address book into the car and make handsfree calls?

The lack of clear information from BMW and the (apparently) limited functionality of the iPod interface are a real drag, IMO. I'm disposessing a 3-year old Audi A4 in a few weeks that gives me exactly what I'm after with my iPod Classic, which is vastly preferable to using the setup outlined above, as the Classic is the only iPod big enough to hold my entire library. The BMW is a far better car, but the iPod integration in the Audi is much more functional.

Thanks,

Adam
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  #77  
Old 09-15-2012, 07:10 PM
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boltjaM3s boltjaM3s is offline
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codog24 OK, I have a 2013 328xi on the water now, and have a couple of questions about this setup. Here's what I want to be able to do:

First off, welcome aboard. I'll be happy to help.

Use an old iPhone 4 as essentially an iPod touch, with the ability to navigate through a large music library by drilling down through the category structure (eg "Artists>The Beatles>Abbey Road>Here Comes the Sun" or "Podcasts>Fresh Air>10/24/11 - David Carr: The News Diet Of A Media Omnivore"). I want access to at least the "Artists", Podcasts" and "Audio Books" categories on the iPhone.


You can do that. "Artists" is built in. You'll have to use iTunes and check that the Genre's for Podcasts and Audio Books are there. If not, it takes seconds to get that right.

I don't care if it looks just like the iPod app on the phone, as long as I can get to the stuff I need to relatively easily. Note that the iPhone 4 will not have a sim card installed, so I don't intend to use it as a phone at all; I'll have a current iPhone in my pocket which I hope to connect to the car via Bluetooth for address book integration and handsfree phone calls.


Look at the post right after this one with photos showing the difference in the UI between the cradle (iPod Out) and the USB port. My opinion, you don't want the iPod Out UI because you sacrifice really good navigation functionality with split-screen and 'overtakes' by the navi arrow display and lane assist display.

Here are my questions:

1. Given what I want to do, will I need the cradle? I've tested the USB port in the console with an iPod Classic and the media navigation options were limited to the playlists on the iPod, which is untenable (some of my playlists have more than 700 songs in them, and I couldn't get directly to Podcasts at all). I know the iPod Classic doesn't use the iOS OS, but instead an older traditional iPod UI; will the iPhone 4 give me better access to my audio content?


No, no cradle needed. In iTunes, you need to select all the Podcasts and give them the Genre of "Podcasts" and then iDrive can find it quickly. Same for Audiobooks.

2. Assuming that I need the cradle to get the sort of media navigation I'm after (via iPod Out), can I have an iPhone 4 plugged in to the cradle and use another bluetooth phone to load an address book into the car and make handsfree calls?

You don't need the cradle. Yes, the iPhone 4 can have it's carrier radio turned off (Airplane Mode) and the iDrive will see it as an iPod Touch essentially. Bluetooth will work just fine with another phone for handsfree operation.

The BMW is a far better car, but the iPod integration in the Audi is much more functional.

BMW's is very good too, just needs a bit of getting used to. BMW's navigation outside of Playlists is good, once you get used to it it's superior in some ways.

BJ
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  #78  
Old 09-15-2012, 07:15 PM
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codog: This may help you understand the key differences between the Cradle approach and the USB approach:

This is the iPod Out full screen display:



This is the standard BMW full screen display:



This is the iPod Out menu structure:




This is the standard BMW menu structure:



This is what the standard BMW display looks like when you're navigating somewhere (map on left, split-screen album art on right):



This is what the standard BMW display looks like as you approach an exit (album art is overtaken by arrow display):



This is what the standard BMW display looks like as you get closer to the exit (the arrow display changes to a lane assist display):



You lose the last three functions while navigating somewhere (split-screen with LP art, arrow display, and then lane assist display) when you're using the iPod Out feature (via snap-in cradle). They only display when using the standard iPod feature (via USB). There is no split screen with the cradle and iPod Out. It takes over the whole display.

For me, this was a dealbreaker. Not interested in giving up split-screen for sexy Apple album art and menu screens. Too much to sacrifice no matter how much I love my Apple TV and all my iOS devices. It's great to take a drive, see your map on 70% of the screen, see your LP art and song name on 30% of the screen, and every time you are nearing a turn milestone having iDrive overtake the LP art for a moment and give you the arrow display and the lane assist. After the turn is over, the LP art pops back in place. None of this happens with the Cradle and iPod Out. You're either looking at the iPod on the full screen or you're not. Can't have both. I don't recommend giving that functionality up for the sake of an Apple TV looking UI.

The Good About the Cradle + Snap-In Adapter:

Apple's UI
Video Out (only when the car is not moving)
Other Stuff (non-critical like antenna, charging, fan tweaks)

The Bad About the Cradle + Snap-In Adapter:

Can't do split-screen with Nav map, just a big photo of the LP art when playing.
When navigating to a destination, no overtakes of the screen with lanes or arrows.
Inconsistent look/feel with Satellite, FM, and AM functionality especially in split-screen.
Traps your phone in the armrest (doesn't apply to your situation)

BJ
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Last edited by boltjaM3s; 09-25-2012 at 11:40 AM.
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  #79  
Old 09-15-2012, 07:22 PM
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great post bj
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  #80  
Old 09-15-2012, 07:50 PM
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great post bj
Thanks. I can't tell you how confusing that all was back in June, was the single biggest mystery in the entire ordering process. Lots of help here from Technic and others, just passing it back to those in need...

BJ
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  #81  
Old 09-15-2012, 07:57 PM
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Good info,why do you call it iPod out full display when it is in the cradle and why do the pics look fuzzy when you show the iPod out full display?
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  #82  
Old 09-15-2012, 08:26 PM
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boltjaM3s boltjaM3s is offline
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Good info,why do you call it iPod out full display when it is in the cradle and why do the pics look fuzzy when you show the iPod out full display?
"iPod Out" is Apple's brand name for "enhanced display". It's a bad name, confuses people. In BMW's implementation, the only way to get this sexy Apple-designed display is if you buy the expensive BMW snap-in adapter. If you don't, you connect through the USB port and the white cable and it doesn't look as nice.

The two fuzzy iPod Out pics I found online, I didn't take them. The rest of the shots are mine.

BJ
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  #83  
Old 09-15-2012, 09:08 PM
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OK,thanks.So when you are using Nav in your car you use the standard BMW display to get all the Nav info?
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  #84  
Old 09-15-2012, 09:24 PM
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OK,thanks.So when you are using Nav in your car you use the standard BMW display to get all the Nav info?
The BMW nav only comes one way. The only variable for anything in iDrive is iPod Out which is an alternative Music presentation; all else is the same.

The 3 nav images I posted earlier are standard for the professional navigation. The split-screen and split-screen content merely isn't available if one chooses to pull music from the cradle.

BJ
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  #85  
Old 09-15-2012, 09:46 PM
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OK,thanks again for all the great info.
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  #86  
Old 09-19-2012, 06:11 PM
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I came back 2 weeks ago from ED and one of the very few things which majorly annoyed me about the car was the iPod integration ...
I apologize in advance if I confuse this whole thread, if I ask the question about actual iPod (so far most of the discussion revolved around iPhone ...)

1. Nowhere I can find a picture or direct reference that there is a snap-in adapter for iPod (iPod classic in my case) ... it always talks about iPhones and shows iPhones 'snapped-in' ... which is kind of funny given the name 'iPod Out' ... but anyways ... is there a snap-in adapter for iPods or will the iPhone adapter work with iPod too?

2. All I am trying to get directly on the iDrive screen is the basic Artist, Album, Genre, Playlist ... menus ... All I get through the USB is direct access to Playlists and absolutely abysmal Search menu that is simply a joke: my old 2007 E92 iPod integration was better and gave me all these options directly without any cradle. So if I want to see the iPod Out menus like in example picture above the only option is a cradle? No iTunes trick or something like that ... ?

3. This one is definitely not directly related, but I will ask anyway:
Imagine following situation - get in the car, turn in on and start driving ... all audio is off ... then decide to listen to something (from iPod or radio) ... navigate to the desired item (song, radio station, etc.) and click on it ... and ... nothing happen ... you must turn the whole audio on by reaching out to the main volume on/off button. NUTS!! Please tell me that make sense!!! Again I have to compare with 5 years old model, because that was not the case then and, to me, it makes absolute no sense now ....
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  #87  
Old 09-19-2012, 07:34 PM
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I came back 2 weeks ago from ED and one of the very few things which majorly annoyed me about the car was the iPod integration ...
I apologize in advance if I confuse this whole thread, if I ask the question about actual iPod (so far most of the discussion revolved around iPhone ...)

1. Nowhere I can find a picture or direct reference that there is a snap-in adapter for iPod (iPod classic in my case) ... it always talks about iPhones and shows iPhones 'snapped-in' ... which is kind of funny given the name 'iPod Out' ... but anyways ... is there a snap-in adapter for iPods or will the iPhone adapter work with iPod too?

2. All I am trying to get directly on the iDrive screen is the basic Artist, Album, Genre, Playlist ... menus ... All I get through the USB is direct access to Playlists and absolutely abysmal Search menu that is simply a joke my old2007 E92 iPod integration was better and gave me all these options directly without any cradle. So if I want to see the iPod Out menus like inabove the only option is a cradle? No iTunes trick or something like that ... ?[/B]

3. This one is definitely not directly related, but I will ask anyway:
Imagine following situation - get in the car, turn in on and start driving ... all audio is off ... then decide to listen to something (from iPod or radio) ... navigate to the desired item (song, radio station, etc.) and click on it ... and ... nothing happen ... you must turn the whole audio on by reaching out to the main volume on/off button. NUTS!! Please tell me that make sense!!! Again I have to compare with 5 years old model, because that was not the case then and, to me, it makes absolute no sense now ....


The bad news: There is no iPod snap-in adapter for even an iPod Touch let alone a Classic, and you need the snap-in adapter to get the iPod Out look/feel that you want (above).

The good news: You can get a beater iPhone 3 or 4 really cheap and find a used snap-in for either and use that instead and get the UI and the display (above) that you want.

Because you aren't interested in BMW Apps and because this beater iPhone won't be used for anything cellular, your iDrive will simply let you run the pictured iPod Out mode and you're all set.

Please read this thread thoroughly because there are some major tradeoffs using iPod Out. Namely, it runs as it's own screen-hogging mega-app and doesn't let any of the iDrive goodness through. No split screens, no navigation arrows, you give up a lot.

And let me add.....

The stock BMW iPod navigation isn't as bad as you think it is. It's confusing because it has the word "search" all over it, but if you use the iDrive controller to navigate to, say, "Artists", up comes all the artists in alphabetical order. You can search them if you wish, but just scrolling through is no different than it is on the sexy iPod Out menu. And one step better than the iPod Out menu is that the stock BMW menu elevates Playlists so that you can get to them very quickly. Lastly, those 1-8 program keys on the dashboard....with the BMW menu you can make one of those buttons take you right to Artists in one button press. Can't do that with the iPod Out version. Food for thought. Watch this video, around the 0:50 second mark they show you how the Artists work. No different than the Apple version:



I, like you, only wanted the iPod Out solution. But in the end I learned about it's drawbacks and gave the BMW version a chance to meet my expectations for a week. It did. So I've got a beater iPod Touch in the armrest with an Apple USB cable going into the USB port and I keep my iPhone undocked and happy in Cupholder #2 sync'd to Bluetooth for calls and alerts.

BJ
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Last edited by boltjaM3s; 09-19-2012 at 07:51 PM.
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  #88  
Old 09-19-2012, 08:23 PM
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Thanks BJ!

Wow, BMW glorified iPod Out integration does not support iPod? ... bizarre!!!
I mean REALLY???? I mean ... I just can't believe it:
BMW's iPod Out integration of 'Apple devices' (quote from official BMW video bellow) does NOT support iPod????
They must be smoking something really strong, if that's the fact ....

BTW speaking about iPod Out hogging all the screen and eliminating the split screen:



Around 0:44 ... split screen? Different model, I know ... looks like E90 ... but certainly possible ....
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Last edited by radims; 09-19-2012 at 08:25 PM.
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  #89  
Old 09-19-2012, 09:16 PM
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Thanks BJ!

Wow, BMW glorified iPod Out integration does not support iPod? ... bizarre!!!
I mean REALLY???? I mean ... I just can't believe it:
BMW's iPod Out integration of 'Apple devices' (quote from official BMW video bellow) does NOT support iPod????
They must be smoking something really strong, if that's the fact ....

BTW speaking about iPod Out hogging all the screen and eliminating the split

Around 0:44 ... split screen? Different model, I know ... looks like E90 ... but certainly possible ....
That video was a concept only, never made it into production that way.

When you are listening to music on your iPhone you are using the "iPod" app. There's an iPod in every iPhone, thus "iPod Out" makes sense.

You don't want this, trust me. Don't burn a lot of calories here. Try it for a week without the snap-in and iPod Out, you'll see that split screen isn't something you're going to want to give up and the BMW UI is perfectly fine.

BJ
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Last edited by boltjaM3s; 09-19-2012 at 09:18 PM.
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  #90  
Old 09-19-2012, 09:29 PM
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As an aside, does anyone know if there is a way, when listening to an iPod/iPhone through USB to change the tracks with the steering wheel buttons? I have my iPhone on random and when I use the thumb wheel I am only getting a list of tracks, not a skip forward/backward choice.
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Old 09-19-2012, 11:25 PM
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... I tried the USB option for 2 weeks during my European Delivery and while it is usable, it is far from 'perfectly fine' ...
Main reason: it is simply worse then the 5 years old UI in my 2007 E92. It certainly looks more flashy on the surface, but it doesn't provide the basic, simple functionality that was available in the previous model ...
And another thing that baffles me about the USB option is why the Playlists are directly accessible while the rest (Artist, Album, etc.) is not - only via clumsy Search option ...

It's a shame that such a brilliant piece of machinery, which the F30 335i undeniable is, have such an amateur implementation for something as basic these days as iPod integration ...
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Old 09-19-2012, 11:32 PM
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... skip forward/backward choice.
.... that was another thing that I could not figure out during my short spell with the car. The only way I found was first click or scroll the wheel button to display the list of the songs on the HUD, scroll to the next and click to select it ... that is 2 clicks too many for something as simple as fwd/back ... and I am not sure if that will work with Random at all ...
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  #93  
Old 09-20-2012, 03:53 AM
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As an aside, does anyone know if there is a way, when listening to an iPod/iPhone through USB to change the tracks with the steering wheel buttons? I have my iPhone on random and when I use the thumb wheel I am only getting a list of tracks, not a skip forward/backward choice.
Unfortunately no. The skip buttons are located at the end of the 1-8 keys on the dash, that's as good as it gets. Not sure how voice command plays here, possible you can hit the 'voice' button on the steering wheel and say "skip forward" or some such derivative.

BJ
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Old 09-20-2012, 03:59 AM
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Originally Posted by radims View Post
... I tried the USB option for 2 weeks during my European Delivery and while it is usable, it is far from 'perfectly fine' ...
Main reason: it is simply worse then the 5 years old UI in my 2007 E92. It certainly looks more flashy on the surface, but it doesn't provide the basic, simple functionality that was available in the previous model ...
And another thing that baffles me about the USB option is why the Playlists are directly accessible while the rest (Artist, Album, etc.) is not - only via clumsy Search option ...

It's a shame that such a brilliant piece of machinery, which the F30 335i undeniable is, have such an amateur implementation for something as basic these days as iPod integration ...
You going to have to buy an old iPhone and an old snap in then.

Should work out nicely.

BJ
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Old 09-20-2012, 05:22 AM
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Thanks for allthe good info BJ.
I must say I was horrified when I saw the two or three Ipod-out pictures. I couldn't believe you would keep your car so dusty. Then I read that you just recycled someone else's picts. What I relief. What chance do we, common people have if, even BJ couldn't keep his car clean!

Although I would like the Pandora integration I am leaning more and more to just use a beater ipod with wifi (for simple synch) and keep my phone on BT. Or can one use the cradle and turn off the Ipod -out feature?
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Old 09-20-2012, 05:37 AM
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I've been using the regular nav functions but I would like to try iPod out buy can't figure out how to get it to work. I have a MY '13 328i with tech pkg and an iPhone 4S with cradle.
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Old 09-20-2012, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
Unfortunately no. The skip buttons are located at the end of the 1-8 keys on the dash, that's as good as it gets. Not sure how voice command plays here, possible you can hit the 'voice' button on the steering wheel and say "skip forward" or some such derivative.

BJ
That is, as we say in the technical business a "drag". Thanks for answering though, I was worried I was missing something.
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Old 09-21-2012, 11:42 AM
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Thanks guys for all the input ... I want to confirm one last thing:

We pretty much established that to get iPod Out menus one needs either iPhone or iPod Touch ... and ... snap-in adapter ...
Well, the snap-in adapter ... $250 extra ... what does it do other then connect the device and provide convenient & fast snap-in/out functionality? I think that's it ... no?

If I want to have a permanent music source there (for example iPod Touch that stays in the car all the time) and don't need the snap-in convinience I should be fine with this:

30 PIN Dock Extender Extension Cable for iPhone/iPod Touch

If that's the case I can simply sell my iPod Classic, get some older iPod Touch, get this cable and I am set ...
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  #99  
Old 09-21-2012, 12:20 PM
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boltjaM3s boltjaM3s is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radims View Post
Thanks guys for all the input ... I want to confirm one last thing:

We pretty much established that to get iPod Out menus one needs either iPhone or iPod Touch ... and ... snap-in adapter ...
Well, the snap-in adapter ... $250 extra ... what does it do other then connect the device and provide convenient & fast snap-in/out functionality? I think that's it ... no?

If I want to have a permanent music source there (for example iPod Touch that stays in the car all the time) and don't need the snap-in convinience I should be fine with this:

30 PIN Dock Extender Extension Cable for iPhone/iPod Touch

If that's the case I can simply sell my iPod Classic, get some older iPod Touch, get this cable and I am set ...
The snap-in gives you the iPod Out display. There is no workaround. You want the sexy Apple menus you need the $250 snap-in.

Additionally, we know of only one person who was able to get an iPod Touch to fit in the iPhone snap-in and it took some handiwork with a soldering iron.

This is why barely anyone uses the snap-in adapters. It's not about convenience. It's the only way to get the iPod Out display and it costs too much and doesn't allow for split-screen. You need to either stick with the stock BMW menus or spend $250 on a snap-in + $100 for a beater iPhone to dock in it (with no cellular coverage).

BJ
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Last edited by boltjaM3s; 09-21-2012 at 12:22 PM.
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  #100  
Old 09-21-2012, 12:51 PM
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Technic Technic is offline
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There is a way of having iPod Out without the snap-in adapter, but that involves rewiring (not cutting) the baseplate analog video connection to the iDrive CIC, all using OEM parts. The baseplate secondary USB connection stays enabled. 100% reversible.

Check the forum sponsor section for details.

That will be perfect for those that want to keep an iPod Touch permanently connected to both the USB and the video port without using any snap in adapter.
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