IDrive "Media" - steep learning curve - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

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X1 E84 (2011 - 2015)
First generation BMW X1 availbe as a X1 28i with either sDrive (RWD) or xDrive (AWD) or the US exclusive I6 N55 powered X1 35i xDrive.

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Old 11-24-2012, 09:17 AM
mullini mullini is offline
Location: Redondo Beach CA
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 227
Mein Auto: 2017 BMW i3 BEV
IDrive "Media" - steep learning curve

Just picked up my X1 yesterday and right now looking up at what seems to be a steep learning curve for the IDrive media options and playing back music.

Let's start with my IPhone 5 Bluetooth - that works fine if I access it through "External devices," but I first thought i would access it through "Bluetooth," which produces nothing. Seems odd to me, since it is definitely transmitting through Bluetooth - there's no cable attached.

USB Flash drive - I read about this option and took one to the dealer with a small group of songs laoded. I couldn't figure out at first how to copy an ITunes playlist onto the flash drive, so I just "dragged" some song selections into the flashdrive icon and they exported. I played that on the way home from the dealership and it was easy to operate and sounded great.

So here's where it gets weird and frustrating - this morning I erased everything from the flashdrive and looked up online how to transfer a playlist. Did so, and checked the playlist was there, in "M3U" format or something like that. Took it down to the X1 - inserted the flashdrive, system picked it up - and started to play the music I had downloaded yesterday and then trashed this morning! It had no listing for the playlist I had exported to the flashdrive this morning.

So either that music is still on the flashdrive even though I can't see it, or the system stored that music. But according to what I read, that only happens with the glovebox USB port. Which I don't see...

What is going on? And if the music was stored - how do I erase it? I can't see those instructions anywhere.,

And how do you pause music? There are no conventional controls that I see...

Then there's the radio...obviously I need to store my presets because that's a lot of steps just to find a station, especially while driving...

As I said, a steep learning curve, and I am just starting out. Probably will all be clear to me soon...I hope so!
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Old 11-24-2012, 06:47 PM
Wolfex Wolfex is offline
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Location: Los Angeles
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Posts: 244
Mein Auto: X1
When you first pair a phone with Bluetooth it only connects for phone calls. You have to enable music audio streaming too. I forget what menu it's on but I found it eventually and set it. I found that if you connect the phone thought the USB cable it disables the music Bluetooth streaming so you have to reset it.
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Old 11-25-2012, 03:49 AM
nospam nospam is offline
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Location: Orange County, CA
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Posts: 455
Mein Auto: X1 x28i; 128i; S2000
The Idrive interface was quite easy to pick up for me (E90 LCI). I used the USB flash initially but prefer USB connection to the IPhone once i got one. You'll find tips and FAQs in the E9x forums.

Simply tap the power button on the radio to pause and unpause.
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Old 11-25-2012, 06:53 AM
mullini mullini is offline
Location: Redondo Beach CA
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 227
Mein Auto: 2017 BMW i3 BEV
Thanks for the "pause" hint.

I have the Iphone 5, and it's a bit big and bulky to attach it the USB port and rest in the little cubby down there(where I also keep my sunglasses, by the way). Also, the cord would be awkward when a call comes in. (editing because I just realized I don't need to pick up the IPhone when a call comes in, with Bluetooth...still! I'd rather have a device I can leave in and not have to attach and de-attach every time).

So I am using an older IPod Touch and it works fine.

But if I could get the flashdrive in the USB port to work, that would be my first choice, because - no cord! Again, I actually got music to play off a Flashdrive. The weirdness happened when I took that flashdrive out, back to my computer, trashed the contents, added a "playlist" from ITunes according to instructions I found online, went back to the X1, inserted the flashdrive - and it played the trashed music selections, and couldn't locate the downloaded playlist. Twilight Zone.

I will try a different flashdrive later.

I will also try the flashdrive in the glovebox, but it comes with a little notice that says it is the port for downloading music to the harddrive. Maybe that's the way to go...Anyone with experience doing that?

Last edited by mullini; 11-25-2012 at 06:55 AM. Reason: clarification
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:44 AM
nospam nospam is offline
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Mein Auto: X1 x28i; 128i; S2000
This is what I remember about the flash drive in the E90 LCI. The glovebox USB port is only for transferring music from flash to the hard drive. I believe you can only transfer 4Gig at a time, with 12Gig of a available music storage. The hard drive catalogs the transfers separately (USB1, USB2, etc). You have to select each group group from internal storage separately along with CDs you have ripped with the CD drive. I'm not sure if playlists are supported from the hard drive USBx folders. Because all of the hard drive music is not catalogued together, I only use it for ripping CDs that friends have that I want to sample. Ripping CDs to AAC or MP3/LAME gives much better quality than the IDrive.

If you want to play music directly from USB flash you must use the console port. Playlists are supported here but most be formatted properly (just folder structure, no drive letters). The car seems to re-catalog the music every time you restart the car. The larger your flash drive the longer this takes (it's minutes, not hours). I used a 16Gig flash drive without a problem but it was no longer necessary (and too much trouble) once I got my iPhone.

Last edited by nospam; 11-25-2012 at 08:48 AM.
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:46 AM
skr9 skr9 is offline
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Location: Boston, MA
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 15
Mein Auto: X1 xDrive 35i
You're not alone in finding the iDrive a little infuriating - I too found it took quite some time getting used to. Once you get the hang of things, it does all work nicely though.
I discovered that the USB port in the glove box was fussy for some reason - I had 2 different USB flash drives - both 4GB, and both formatted identical, and both loaded with same exact music files, but the USB port only recognized one of them (it saw a SuperTalent USB drive, but did not recognize a Kensington branded one). I also used the same USB drive to download a BMW software update to my iDrive which was available from the BMW website. As someone pointed out earlier, the internal hard drive stores music files in USB1, USB2, etc. groupings for some reason, so when deleting, you would have to delete each group.

What really bugs me is why the USB port in the glove box cannot be used for connecting an iPhone or iPod, as I would rather have it hidden away there than sitting out in the open in the console.
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:05 AM
HBWT HBWT is offline
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Mein Auto: 2010 Audi Q5 3.2
After dealing with Audi's MMi and crappy NAV for 3 years, I find the iDrive refreshing. And anything that I can't figure out I just let my 13 yr old boy take care of. So any of you having trouble, just get y'sef a 13 yr old and turn him loose.

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