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Old 07-08-2010, 06:26 AM
santo santo is offline
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Location: Toronto, Ontario
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 91
Mein Auto: 2011 X5 35d
Blackberry iDrive Music integration

Thought I would put this out for those who may be interested in buying an X5 or maybe to some owners who store music on your Blackberry. I have a Blackberry Bold 9700 and Bluetooth phone pairing is no problem in a 2011 BMW X5 35d with navigation (CIC). Integration with CIC is great. You get a call and it mutes the music and turns it back you complete the call. It's the same for all phones with the Bluetooth Handsfree profile.

What I was really interested in before I bought my X5 was how music on a Blackberry would integrate. BMW touts their iPod integration but they don't say much about their Blackberry integration for music. I have an iPod and used to use it but decided to keep one device being my Blackberry (even though I have an iPhone also but chose the Blackberry). As such, my Blackberry has my most recent music so I needed to figure out how to access it over the CIC or if it was even possible.

Method 1 - Plug the audio jack in the central armrest into the Blackberry

Everyone knows this will work. You set iDrive to the Aux port for input and out comes your music. Control of everything is on the Blackberry. You can change music in playlists by using the side volume buttons on the Blackberry but you control everything from the phone so this is NOT hands-free. iDrive controls the volume so if you get a phone call and your Blackberry is set up through Bluetooth, it will mute the volume. For those who have seen iDrive control of an iPod, you do not have these options.

Method 2 - Use a Blackberry Music Gateway via Bluetooth (More Info Here)

With this little device, you plug it into the audio jack in the central armrest along with the USB jack in the central armrest (for power). You set up your Blackberry phone's Bluetooth to connect to the Music gateway and you can now wirelessly play your music. This is still not hands-free and the only real difference between method 1 and this method is that you don't have to plug in your Blackberry. You still control the Blackberry music from your phone. Within iDrive, you still go to Aux port for input so you can control volume and Bluetooth calls act the same (since it's still connected through the other Bluetooth profile to iDrive directly). You do not have iPod like controls in iDrive.

Method 3 - Control your Blackberry through iDrive.

This one is a bit of a shocker for me and I make this post as it may be for others who also use their Blackberrys for music. I didn't know you could do this and I'm not sure I've seen this anywhere else. I actually did this by accident while charging my Blackberry through the USB connection in the central armrest. Maybe it's documented in a manual so if is, shoot me because I looked at the manual before I bough the X5 and haven't looked at it since.

If you store your music on your Blackberry through the MediaSync desktop application to load your Blackberry, you can access it through iDrives iPod like controls. I haven't yet tried a USB memory stick plugged into the USB port in the center console with a bunch of mp3 files dumped onto it but I assume it works off of the same principle. When you plug in your Blackberry to charge, your Blackberry memory/SD card is available as a USB stick. Your music is in a folder called \BlackBerry\music\Media Sync. IDrive does take some time to scan your Blackberry but it eventually finds all of your music and gives you the same controls as the iPod interface. You then have steering wheel control and probably voice command control as well (haven't tried this yet). It also finds and makes your Blackberry playlists available.

The Blackberry shows up like the iPod does and you can even traverse through directories on your Blackberry to locate the music but I don't think you need to because iDrive finds them anyway. iDrive must do an initial scan of USB devices when plugged in. It just takes some time when you have a lot of music.

I have about 900 songs on my phone so it does take a little bit of time for the full functionality to be available and I don't always plug in my phone but you CAN have full iDrive control of your Blackberry music and charge the phone at the same time by plugging it into the center armrest. Of course, Bluetooth phone functionality also works as before.

Hope this helps.
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