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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
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  #1  
Old 12-06-2009, 11:39 AM
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iPod/iPhone Solutions

I have an 07 328i which has the aux jack and cigarette lighter power in the center console. I have been using my old 2nd generation Nano with the aux cable and just using it on shuffle. The charge lasts a few days and then I bring it in and charge it.

I just got an iPhone 3Gs and have been thinking about using it instead. I have searched the forum and multiple sites but can't seem to find the right solution.

If I use the iPhone, what is the recommended car charger that will fit in the limited space and allow the center console to close? If I find this, I could then just use the aux input along with the car charger or is there a better solution?

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 12-06-2009, 11:57 AM
napoletani99 napoletani99 is offline
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I have an older iPhone and it won't work with the AUX outlet like the iPods do. The signal just doesn't go through. Can't figure it out. Maybe the 3Gs will work better for you. As for the car charger, I really like this belkin... http://www.frys.com/product/5996964?...H:MAIN_RSLT_PG
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Old 12-06-2009, 11:58 AM
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btw, did you find your other aux power outlet under the glove box yet?
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  #4  
Old 12-06-2009, 12:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by napoletani99 View Post
I have an older iPhone and it won't work with the AUX outlet like the iPods do. The signal just doesn't go through. Can't figure it out. Maybe the 3Gs will work better for you. As for the car charger, I really like this belkin... http://www.frys.com/product/5996964?...H:MAIN_RSLT_PG
The original iPhone had a recessed connector which did not work with the standard audio cables. You need to buy an adapter and then it will work. The 3Gs has a standard aux connector as it was one of the major complaints of the original iPhone.
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  #5  
Old 12-06-2009, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by napoletani99 View Post
btw, did you find your other aux power outlet under the glove box yet?
I never looked for it. I want to have it all in the center console.
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  #6  
Old 12-11-2009, 09:48 AM
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OK, came up with a solution that I am totally happy with.

I chose the Kensington LiquidAux. It is a charger with attached AUX cable. However, the sound was very muffled when using the built-in audio cable so I tried just plugging in my own cable to the iPod and the sound was perfect. The LiquidAux has a 2.4gHz wireless remote control that attaches to the steering wheel which allows you to control the iPod. It all works great. Apple sells it for $60 and Amazon has it for $45. I bought it at the Apple store so that if I was not happy with it, it would be an easy return. See pics for details.

Update: When I took the pics, I used the supplied aux input cable and it seemed to sound fine. I will use it as pictured over the next day and report back on my findings.
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  #7  
Old 12-11-2009, 02:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RatherBeInCabo View Post
OK, came up with a solution that I am totally happy with.

I chose the Kensington LiquidAux. It is a charger with attached AUX cable. However, the sound was very muffled when using the built-in audio cable so I tried just plugging in my own cable to the iPod and the sound was perfect. The LiquidAux has a 2.4gHz wireless remote control that attaches to the steering wheel which allows you to control the iPod. It all works great. Apple sells it for $60 and Amazon has it for $45. I bought it at the Apple store so that if I was not happy with it, it would be an easy return. See pics for details.

Update: When I took the pics, I used the supplied aux input cable and it seemed to sound fine. I will use it as pictured over the next day and report back on my findings.
Amazon show 3 different product after the same name - witch you use?

One of the review for this product

Quote:
When the car's engine is off, the device drains all of the charge from the iPod if it is left attached to the LiquidAUX device. It doesn't matter if you turn your iPod off...if it is attached , your iPod will be dead in a few hours (my iPod is a month old with no battery issues). This is a senselessly stupid design flaw that Kensington should have fixed. At the very least, Kensignton should have warned purchasers not to leave one's iPod connected.

If you don't leave your iPod connected, then this device should work well for you. Otherwise, I would wait until another manufacturer gets the design right.
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  #8  
Old 12-11-2009, 02:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RatherBeInCabo View Post
I have an 07 328i which has the aux jack and cigarette lighter power in the center console. I have been using my old 2nd generation Nano with the aux cable and just using it on shuffle. The charge lasts a few days and then I bring it in and charge it.

I just got an iPhone 3Gs and have been thinking about using it instead. I have searched the forum and multiple sites but can't seem to find the right solution.

If I use the iPhone, what is the recommended car charger that will fit in the limited space and allow the center console to close? If I find this, I could then just use the aux input along with the car charger or is there a better solution?

Thanks!


http://catalog.belkin.com/IWCatProdu...duct_Id=457704

Here you go. It's a Belkin product, available at Best Buy. Very low-profile charging stalk, the only one I've found that lets the center console lid close on it. I use it to charge my iPhone when I drive, and the console door even clicks shut with it sticking through it.

There are no other solutions for an iPhone that will allow for charging and playback and voice calls at the same time in a BMW. The iPhone has a proprietary connector and BMW has not crafted one that interfaces with its head unit as an aftermarket accessory to my knowlege.

What I do: I have a crappy old iPod Classic which you can find on Craigslist for like $30. Use that with the BMW adapter and you've got your charging and your music all set via the stock radio. Then, use this power cable just to charge your iPhone in a pinch. Use an iPod for the music, the iPhone for the voice calls, and be done with it.

BJ
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  #9  
Old 12-11-2009, 02:43 PM
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This is the one I used: http://www.amazon.com/Kensington-Liq...0571164&sr=8-1

The advantage is that it has the wireless remote. The review on Amazon regarding draining the battery is true if you do not turn the iPod off when you leave the car. It is as simple as holding the play/pause button until the iPod turns off...no big deal at all. I leave the iPod in the car full time so it does not matter to me. I also have an iPhone 3Gs but don't use it for music and have not tried it with the LiquidAux.

The LiquidAux sure beats spending $500+ for the BMW iPod integration.
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  #10  
Old 12-11-2009, 03:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
There are no other solutions for an iPhone that will allow for charging and playback and voice calls at the same time in a BMW. The iPhone has a proprietary connector and BMW has not crafted one that interfaces with its head unit as an aftermarket accessory to my knowlege.
I just hooked up my 3Gs with the LiquidAux and I was able to charge, play music, skip songs with the LiquidAux remote and then make a phone call. Music stops, switches to phone for the call and music returns when call is disconnected.

However, the audio did not work with the integrated LiquidAux audio cable. I used a separate one from the iPhone to the aux input in the center console. It is a bit too much hassle to use the iPhone in this capacity. I do find to be perfect to just use a cheap iPod and keep it permanently in the center console connected through the LiquidAux.
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  #11  
Old 12-11-2009, 03:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RatherBeInCabo View Post
I just hooked up my 3Gs with the LiquidAux and I was able to charge, play music, skip songs with the LiquidAux remote and then make a phone call. Music stops, switches to phone for the call and music returns when call is disconnected.

However, the audio did not work with the integrated LiquidAux audio cable. I used a separate one from the iPhone to the aux input in the center console. It is a bit too much hassle to use the iPhone in this capacity. I do find to be perfect to just use a cheap iPod and keep it permanently in the center console connected through the LiquidAux.


Ah, understood.

For me, el-cheapo iPod as a dedicated music-only player was the solution. Mine is an 80 gig, so I've got 10,000+ songs on there. Never a worry for space, always charging, works with the integrated head unit and steering wheel controls, etc.

Regarding the iPhone, I'm not a power-talker so I rarely need the power cord to charge it except on long trips. For Bluetooth, I use this Motorola visor clip-on and it works very well.

So, for me, two devices are better than one.

BJ
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  #12  
Old 12-14-2009, 12:30 PM
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Final Update Kensington LiquidAux

OK...after using the LiquidAux this weekend with the supplied connections, I am completely satisfied with the performance. The audio is only distorted when the key in in the ignition with electronics on and car not running. Once the car is running all sounds perfect. It works both with my iPhone 3Gs and early model iPod Nano. This is by far the best solution if your aux jack and power are in the center console.
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Old 12-14-2009, 01:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RatherBeInCabo View Post
OK...after using the LiquidAux this weekend with the supplied connections, I am completely satisfied with the performance. The audio is only distorted when the key in in the ignition with electronics on and car not running. Once the car is running all sounds perfect. It works both with my iPhone 3Gs and early model iPod Nano. This is by far the best solution if your aux jack and power are in the center console.
I have to disagree here, because you're really talking about two priorities and the LiquidAux solution is better for only one of the two and it compromises the first:

Priority 1: Listening to iPod. The best solution here is to buy the BMW cable which will charge your iPod and sync it to the car stereo so that you can navigate using the buttons already on the steering wheel and see the Playlists/Track information on the stock radio.

Priority 2: Handsfree Phonecalls. LiquidAux is a good solution if you simply must hear calls over the car audio system and want to tolerate a bunch of wires including a stick-on for the steering wheel.

If you're someone who is a traveling salesman type who is on the phone 70% of the time and listens to music only 30% of the time, I could sort of understand the LiquidAux solution.

But if you're someone who listens to music 80% of the time and is on the phone only 20% of the time, sorry, but giving up the integrated iPod sync, and ID3 display on the stock radio, and the integrated steering wheel controls makes no sense. You're circumventing the BMW iPod sync for the sake of handsfree over speakers when there are many other products that can deliver better handsfree solutions without crippling the iPod functionality.

BJ
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Old 12-14-2009, 06:22 PM
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Something like this should help.

http://cgi.ebay.com/AV-RCA-USB-Video...item1c0e16c9d4

Just plug the USB connector in a cigarette USB charging adapter (e.g. a low-profile one made by Belkin). The RCA stereo cables would need to be connected to the AUX port using an RCA-to-3.5mm adapter as well. Messy, maybe, but it will work.
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Old 12-14-2009, 07:23 PM
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LiquidAux solution works great if you have Bluetooth in the car. When listening to a song via AUX input, the iPhone will pause the song, the car will switchover to Bluetooth while you are on the call, and the music will start right back up after you hang up. Everything works seemless.

If you don't have Bluetooth, you'd need an external hands free adapter, like the Blueant Supertooth. Works almost as good as legit Bluetooth for answering calls.
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Old 12-15-2009, 05:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
But if you're someone who listens to music 80% of the time and is on the phone only 20% of the time, sorry, but giving up the integrated iPod sync, and ID3 display on the stock radio, and the integrated steering wheel controls makes no sense. You're circumventing the BMW iPod sync for the sake of handsfree over speakers when there are many other products that can deliver better handsfree solutions without crippling the iPod functionality.
BJ
I would agree that the BMW integrated solution is the best but my car did not come with that and the $500+ the dealer wants to install it makes it not a good choice. I already have the BMW assist so I do have full phone integration. When using the iPod and a call comes in, it does silence the iPod and switch to the phone call.
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Old 12-15-2009, 06:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RatherBeInCabo View Post
I would agree that the BMW integrated solution is the best but my car did not come with that and the $500+ the dealer wants to install it makes it not a good choice. I already have the BMW assist so I do have full phone integration. When using the iPod and a call comes in, it does silence the iPod and switch to the phone call.


So then, all you need is the $100 BMW iPod cable for your Nano and you're done. You realize that, right? Plug the cable in, the iPod data will come up on the stock radio, you already have the Bluetooth, you have everything you need.

Unless I'm missing something, you've got an elaborate workaround for a problem you don't have. You just need the right BMW cable and then you can get rid of that remote on the steering wheel and all the unnecessary wiring.

BJ
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Old 12-15-2009, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post


So then, all you need is the $100 BMW iPod cable for your Nano and you're done. You realize that, right? Plug the cable in, the iPod data will come up on the stock radio, you already have the Bluetooth, you have everything you need.

Unless I'm missing something, you've got an elaborate workaround for a problem you don't have. You just need the right BMW cable and then you can get rid of that remote on the steering wheel and all the unnecessary wiring.

BJ
Will that work on any car or does it need be a car with some specific option from the factory? I ask because my car has zero options on it outside of the metallic paint one and would like to use the MP3 player on my iPhone 3GS.
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Old 12-15-2009, 09:00 AM
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Will that work on any car or does it need be a car with some specific option from the factory? I ask because my car has zero options on it outside of the metallic paint one and would like to use the MP3 player on my iPhone 3GS.
Yes, will work with your car as all 2009's have iPod integration as standard. Just the cable that costs money. Just double check that you have a USB port and a headphone port in your armrest. If so, all you need is the appropriate cable from BMW and an iPod made after 2005 with a bottom dock connector.

Regarding your iPhone 3GS, it will work with this cable but only in Airplane Mode which means you'll have to turn off your phone which you won't want to do. What many of us do to get around this is to buy el-cheapo iPod on Craigslist for $50 and keep it in the car 24/7 as your music option. Let your phone be your phone (docked to nothing), let your junker iPod be your music source (docked to BMW cable). I have an 80gb used iPod that stays in my car all the time. I sync it once a month if I pull down a new album or podcast that's important to me.

BJ
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Old 12-15-2009, 09:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
Yes, will work with your car as all 2009's have iPod integration as standard. Just the cable that costs money. Just double check that you have a USB port and a headphone port in your armrest. If so, all you need is the appropriate cable from BMW and an iPod made after 2005 with a bottom dock connector.

Regarding your iPhone 3GS, it will work with this cable but only in Airplane Mode which means you'll have to turn off your phone which you won't want to do. What many of us do to get around this is to buy el-cheapo iPod on Craigslist for $50 and keep it in the car 24/7 as your music option. Let your phone be your phone (docked to nothing), let your junker iPod be your music source (docked to BMW cable). I have an 80gb used iPod that stays in my car all the time. I sync it once a month if I pull down a new album or podcast that's important to me.

BJ
I really dislike the idea of carrying multiple devices in general, just finally getting rid of my PDA via switching to apps on the iPhone. I use my iPhone for music in places outside of a car such as at work or at the gym. It is nice to just sync things to it and only worry about it. I suppose getting a cheap iPod is an option, honestly not sure I care enough to even bother with that. I do not recall seeing any plugs within my center console outside of the Aux headphone jack and the power port(cig lighter plug). Maybe I have missed it though, where is it located within there?
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Old 12-15-2009, 09:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
Yes, will work with your car as all 2009's have iPod integration as standard. Just the cable that costs money. Just double check that you have a USB port and a headphone port in your armrest. If so, all you need is the appropriate cable from BMW and an iPod made after 2005 with a bottom dock connector.

Regarding your iPhone 3GS, it will work with this cable but only in Airplane Mode which means you'll have to turn off your phone which you won't want to do. What many of us do to get around this is to buy el-cheapo iPod on Craigslist for $50 and keep it in the car 24/7 as your music option. Let your phone be your phone (docked to nothing), let your junker iPod be your music source (docked to BMW cable). I have an 80gb used iPod that stays in my car all the time. I sync it once a month if I pull down a new album or podcast that's important to me.

BJ
I don't believe that this is not entirely accurate. You will get a warning message with the current BMW y cable that will tell you your device is incompatible. However my experience has been that you can use the iPhone 3Gs to its full capability, including phone and iPod functions. What you won't get with the current cable is charging. See this thread -
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=378217

BMW needs to redesign the y cable to allow full use AND charging. Supposedly it is coming. I subscribe to the two device method and have an old iPod I just leave in the car.

Note one caveat to the above - the connection with the current y cable seems very finicky and so YMMV.
Regards.
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  #22  
Old 12-15-2009, 10:58 AM
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Snipe656 I really dislike the idea of carrying multiple devices in general, just finally getting rid of my PDA via switching to apps on the iPhone. I use my iPhone for music in places outside of a car such as at work or at the gym. It is nice to just sync things to it and only worry about it. I suppose getting a cheap iPod is an option, honestly not sure I care enough to even bother with that.

I too am an iPhone junkie, and I agree completely on the ease-of-use and quick daily sync scenarios, apps, etc.

What I find though is that in the car I want all my music and I've got over 15,000 songs which can't fit on an iPhone anyway. I only take the iPod out of the center console when I have some new music in iTunes, maybe that's once a month. It's like having a 15,000 song CD changer in the car, all the time, no worries. I leave it in there 24/7 as its so cheap if someone steals it I won't cry.

iPhone = Phone, email, internet, apps, videos, and my most recent music.

iPod = Every song I own organized into Playlists, stays in my car all the time.

I do not recall seeing any plugs within my center console outside of the Aux headphone jack and the power port(cig lighter plug). Maybe I have missed it though, where is it located within there?


Same vicinity.....next to the lighter plug all the way towards the door hinge. Says "aux" near it, has a little trap door keeping dust out.



BJ
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Old 12-15-2009, 11:15 AM
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Then I do not think it is a standard option on 2009 cars or if it is the plug is somewhere else on mine.

In regards to the phone and music, I do not have near the music collection you have and I can fit all the music I want to listen to onto my phone. Had I gotten the 32gb phone this time around then I could fit all the music I have in digital format. That actually was the reason I paid a premium over an 8gb phone, in order to hold my music and not worry about shuffling it between things. I am not too bothered though with buying an iPod just for the car since the other issue if I could use my phone for the music would be easily answering the thing.

Lack of iPod interfaces by default in cars is something that annoyed me when I was shopping cars. Most of the cars I looked at I was looking at spending $500-2000 so I could ultimately get that interface simply because in some cases you end up having to buy some package to get that. Guess it bothers me so much because when the radio in my Mercedes went out this year, I went and bought the cheapest Alpine the shop sold and that $200 radio came with a USB plug and iPod adapter cable that will charge my phone and allow me to control the music via the radio. Same thing goes for a couple years ago when I had to replace the radio in my Honda only that time around I had to pay extra for the iPod cable and it lacked a USB plug. Just sad to me that most aftermarket radios have this feature by default but go and buy a brand new car and you end up paying a premium to get it. This though was the one feature/option I did want when shopping a car but ended up not getting it due to the deal that was passed on to me to buy the car that was on the lot so guess next car in a few years I might end up with this.
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  #24  
Old 12-15-2009, 12:14 PM
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boltjaM3s boltjaM3s is offline
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Mein Auto: BMW L328i
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snipe656 View Post
Then I do not think it is a standard option on 2009 cars or if it is the plug is somewhere else on mine.

In regards to the phone and music, I do not have near the music collection you have and I can fit all the music I want to listen to onto my phone. Had I gotten the 32gb phone this time around then I could fit all the music I have in digital format. That actually was the reason I paid a premium over an 8gb phone, in order to hold my music and not worry about shuffling it between things. I am not too bothered though with buying an iPod just for the car since the other issue if I could use my phone for the music would be easily answering the thing.

Lack of iPod interfaces by default in cars is something that annoyed me when I was shopping cars. Most of the cars I looked at I was looking at spending $500-2000 so I could ultimately get that interface simply because in some cases you end up having to buy some package to get that. Guess it bothers me so much because when the radio in my Mercedes went out this year, I went and bought the cheapest Alpine the shop sold and that $200 radio came with a USB plug and iPod adapter cable that will charge my phone and allow me to control the music via the radio. Same thing goes for a couple years ago when I had to replace the radio in my Honda only that time around I had to pay extra for the iPod cable and it lacked a USB plug. Just sad to me that most aftermarket radios have this feature by default but go and buy a brand new car and you end up paying a premium to get it. This though was the one feature/option I did want when shopping a car but ended up not getting it due to the deal that was passed on to me to buy the car that was on the lot so guess next car in a few years I might end up with this.
Check the glovebox for the USB port. Go into the passenger side, lean into the car, and peek towards the top left inside of the glovebox next to the small lock switch, it might be there. BMW relocated it.

BJ
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  #25  
Old 12-15-2009, 12:44 PM
Snipe656 Snipe656 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2009 335d
Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
Check the glovebox for the USB port. Go into the passenger side, lean into the car, and peek towards the top left inside of the glovebox next to the small lock switch, it might be there. BMW relocated it.

BJ
No luck, looked all around in there and did not see one. I did read online about some sort of available iPod adapter/module that retails for $320 and sounds like it would be the route I will need to take.
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