Top on using "RANDOM" for your music collection
The “random” feature that I have had in the past with my music collection is quite different on the BMW X3. My hard drive has around five gigs of music, and I often like to play this in random order. My prior vehicle would remember that I told the music to play at random, and when I turned off the car and turned it on then at a later point in time the random capability still existed.
For the BMW, you need to use the i-drive when you are in your music collection to get this random feature first started. You select “option”, at any point in time in the music collection screen, and a choice box comes up where you can select the music to start playing at random.
The problem is any time you change functions or turn the vehicle off, this random capability is reset. What happens on my BMW X3 when I return to the music collection screen is that it will now automatically play songs in alphabetical order. This is very frustrating because it means that the car will play multiple copies of the same song if they are in different albums, as they will show up in alphabetical order. The only way to go back to random mode is to do “option”, and then reselect random.
But, I discovered something wonderful yesterday. I realized that I can program the “random” feature as one of the eight programmable buttons on the radio head unit. So I have selected button eight as random by opening the music collection, using the option command, highlighting the random checkbox, and then pressing button eight and holding it until it memorizes this selection.
Now, any time I start the car, I can go to the music collection and then just press button eight and the music will play in true random order. If you wish to advance to the next random song, press the fast-forward arrow at the far right of the radio head unit to make this choice.