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F10 / F11 (2011 - Current)
The new chapter in the highly successful story of the BMW 5 Series Sedan (F10) and wagon (F11)

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  #1  
Old 10-31-2013, 12:07 PM
subarashi subarashi is offline
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USB for Music - All you need to know thread...

Can anyone describe their experience with a portable USB drive/stick and the iDrive controller?

1. Does the system read files in a root directory or can they be in folders (a la iTunes) as well?
2. Are there limitations on bitrate or quality?
3. Are there limitations on media size? I have a 1TB portable HDD - would this work?
4. Artwork through USB? Possible? Worth adding the images on the HDD or not?
5. Are there brands of media (PNY, Kingston, WD) that have been problematic?

My experiences:

Keeping files in the parent directory works best - there are times when I try to "dive in" to folders and things just slow down/fail to access

My 1TB HDD works but it's noticeably slower than my 128GB patriot "pen" flash drive

Artwork never works but I've not tried extensively - only used JPG format

PNY works well. My WD HDD (small book style) gives me problems and frequently goes to sleep ? a power requirement that it can't draw from the USB....

LOOK FORWARD TO YOUR THOUGHTS....
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  #2  
Old 10-31-2013, 12:22 PM
grover432 grover432 is offline
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I'm new here so I have no experience yet. My thought is to just plug my iPhone into the dock in the center console and manage the music that way. I'm assuming the complete file structure/playlists etc. will be available through iTunes. My iPhone gets to charge at the same time as well.
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  #3  
Old 10-31-2013, 04:20 PM
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Sonicendeavor Sonicendeavor is offline
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1. Folders work fine
2. No limitations on bitrate that I've found. I've tested all the way up to high resolution flac 24/192 including flac encoded dts 5.1.
3. Don't know
4. Artwork displays - no problem
5. I'm using a cheap Sandisk Cruzer i had hanging around and it works flawlessly. I'll probably get something sturdier, but for my initial testing it works fine.
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Coded myself: Turn off power when opening door, ASS off by default, Enable turn signals in HUD, DVD in Motion, Transfer telephone ringtone to car, Enable tire pressure and temperature display in iDrive. Disable iDrive legal disclaimer, Disable Rear/Side camera disclaimers.
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  #4  
Old 10-31-2013, 05:05 PM
subarashi subarashi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonicendeavor View Post
1. Folders work fine
2. No limitations on bitrate that I've found. I've tested all the way up to high resolution flac 24/192 including flac encoded dts 5.1.
3. Don't know
4. Artwork displays - no problem
5. I'm using a cheap Sandisk Cruzer i had hanging around and it works flawlessly. I'll probably get something sturdier, but for my initial testing it works fine.
How did you get artwork to pop up??
DO you keep the images in the same folder??? Do you use a folder structure...
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  #5  
Old 10-31-2013, 05:12 PM
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Sonicendeavor Sonicendeavor is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by subarashi View Post
How did you get artwork to pop up??
DO you keep the images in the same folder??? Do you use a folder structure...
My artwork is embedded in the individual audio files.
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2014 LCI 535i /// M-Sport - SAT, Premium package, HK Audio, Drivers Assistance, Top/Side/Rear cameras, multi-contour seats, Opticoat Pro, KW V2's.
Coded myself: Turn off power when opening door, ASS off by default, Enable turn signals in HUD, DVD in Motion, Transfer telephone ringtone to car, Enable tire pressure and temperature display in iDrive. Disable iDrive legal disclaimer, Disable Rear/Side camera disclaimers.
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  #6  
Old 11-05-2013, 11:43 AM
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raleedy raleedy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonicendeavor View Post
My artwork is embedded in the individual audio files.
Some more detailed information would be helpful to those of us having trouble with (a) folder structure, and (b) tags and artwork. In my case, I have copied playlists from iTunes onto a flash USB drive using a program designed for that purpose on my Mac. But artwork and some tags are not copying, or at least are not being read by the car.
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  #7  
Old 11-05-2013, 01:04 PM
Snarry Snarry is offline
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Has anyone had issues with certain folders not being recognized in the car? I copied the artist folders from my iTunes onto a USB key and, for the most part, the albums folders and songs inside those folders are being recognized by the iDrive system, but not 100%. The best example I have is that I copied my Beatles folder from my computer onto the USB key, which folder includes every album they have done. Unfortunately, when I go to Beatles as the artist in the iDrive menu and then select albums, it only shows 3 of the albums. When I look at the memory key on my computer, all of the other albums have been copied to he memory key, they just don't show up in the iDrive menu. The missing albums also don't show up if I try to find them by searching songs. It's as if they just won't be recognized. However, they do show up when I connect my iPhone to the car, so it can't be a problem in the files themselves or the information contained in those files. Any help would be most appreciated!
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  #8  
Old 11-05-2013, 02:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raleedy View Post
Some more detailed information would be helpful to those of us having trouble with (a) folder structure, and (b) tags and artwork. In my case, I have copied playlists from iTunes onto a flash USB drive using a program designed for that purpose on my Mac. But artwork and some tags are not copying, or at least are not being read by the car.
iTunes has two methods of storing album artwork. The default for downloads and the 'get album art' feature puts the artwork in separate folders rather than adding the artwork directly embedding) into the mp3/m4a etc. file. The second method of copying/pasting the artwork via the album tab in the 'get info' feature will actually embed the artwork inside the mp3/m4a etc. file. iDrive requires the artwork to be embedded, so you need to use the second method, or a third party tagger, or a third party utility that will copy artwork from the iTunes folders and embed it inside the files. I don't have a Mac, but I know there are Apple scripts that will copy the artwork from the folders and embed it in the files.
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Coded myself: Turn off power when opening door, ASS off by default, Enable turn signals in HUD, DVD in Motion, Transfer telephone ringtone to car, Enable tire pressure and temperature display in iDrive. Disable iDrive legal disclaimer, Disable Rear/Side camera disclaimers.
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  #9  
Old 11-05-2013, 02:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snarry View Post
Has anyone had issues with certain folders not being recognized in the car? I copied the artist folders from my iTunes onto a USB key and, for the most part, the albums folders and songs inside those folders are being recognized by the iDrive system, but not 100%. The best example I have is that I copied my Beatles folder from my computer onto the USB key, which folder includes every album they have done. Unfortunately, when I go to Beatles as the artist in the iDrive menu and then select albums, it only shows 3 of the albums. When I look at the memory key on my computer, all of the other albums have been copied to he memory key, they just don't show up in the iDrive menu. The missing albums also don't show up if I try to find them by searching songs. It's as if they just won't be recognized. However, they do show up when I connect my iPhone to the car, so it can't be a problem in the files themselves or the information contained in those files. Any help would be most appreciated!
iDrive reads the tags in the song files, so you need to be sure the tags in the files are correct. To test this, in iTunes, right-click on a song from an album that is not showing in iDrive, click 'get info', click the 'Info' tab and make sure that the Name, Artist, Album Artist, Album and Genre fields have the correct information. Make sure the Artist field is identical in all songs by that artist (e.g. 'Beatles' and 'The Beatles' will appear as two different artists in iDrive).
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2014 LCI 535i /// M-Sport - SAT, Premium package, HK Audio, Drivers Assistance, Top/Side/Rear cameras, multi-contour seats, Opticoat Pro, KW V2's.
Coded myself: Turn off power when opening door, ASS off by default, Enable turn signals in HUD, DVD in Motion, Transfer telephone ringtone to car, Enable tire pressure and temperature display in iDrive. Disable iDrive legal disclaimer, Disable Rear/Side camera disclaimers.
20/80 Highway/City
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  #10  
Old 11-05-2013, 05:08 PM
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ausdude ausdude is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonicendeavor View Post
iDrive reads the tags in the song files, so you need to be sure the tags in the files are correct. To test this, in iTunes, right-click on a song from an album that is not showing in iDrive, click 'get info', click the 'Info' tab and make sure that the Name, Artist, Album Artist, Album and Genre fields have the correct information. Make sure the Artist field is identical in all songs by that artist (e.g. 'Beatles' and 'The Beatles' will appear as two different artists in iDrive).
My iphone works fine with artwork and such. But when I load a thumb drive (without using itunes) and just create folders and copy music files (non itunes music). The idrive doesnt recognize the folders.

I have 2 separate folders:

Music
Videos

iDrive combines them all into one directory
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  #11  
Old 11-05-2013, 08:05 PM
Snarry Snarry is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonicendeavor View Post
iDrive reads the tags in the song files, so you need to be sure the tags in the files are correct. To test this, in iTunes, right-click on a song from an album that is not showing in iDrive, click 'get info', click the 'Info' tab and make sure that the Name, Artist, Album Artist, Album and Genre fields have the correct information. Make sure the Artist field is identical in all songs by that artist (e.g. 'Beatles' and 'The Beatles' will appear as two different artists in iDrive).
The tags in the songs are all correct which is why it works perfectly when my iPhone is the audio source. It just isn't recognizing the identically tagged songs hen transferred to USB key. Any other ideas?
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  #12  
Old 11-05-2013, 08:48 PM
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Sonicendeavor Sonicendeavor is offline
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Originally Posted by Snarry View Post
The tags in the songs are all correct which is why it works perfectly when my iPhone is the audio source. It just isn't recognizing the identically tagged songs hen transferred to USB key. Any other ideas?
MP3's and MP4's have two different sets of tags in each file - ID3v1 and ID3v2. You could have a conflict between the tags. You'd need to use tagging software to see both tags, as iTunes only displays ID3v2.
If that's not the problem, then possibly reformat the USB drive (make sure the format is FAT32) then copy your music again.
That's all I can think of. I don't have any issues with folders or missing songs/artists on my USB drive, except when the tags are missing.
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Coded myself: Turn off power when opening door, ASS off by default, Enable turn signals in HUD, DVD in Motion, Transfer telephone ringtone to car, Enable tire pressure and temperature display in iDrive. Disable iDrive legal disclaimer, Disable Rear/Side camera disclaimers.
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  #13  
Old 11-05-2013, 08:50 PM
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ausdude ausdude is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonicendeavor View Post
MP3's and MP4's have two different sets of tags in each file - ID3v1 and ID3v2. You could have a conflict between the tags. You'd need to use tagging software to see both tags, as iTunes only displays ID3v2.
If that's not the problem, then possibly reformat the USB drive (make sure the format is FAT32) then copy your music again.
That's all I can think of. I don't have any issues with folders or missing songs/artists on my USB drive, except when the tags are missing.
Do you have videos as well as music on your thumb drive?
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  #14  
Old 11-05-2013, 08:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ausdude View Post
My iphone works fine with artwork and such. But when I load a thumb drive (without using itunes) and just create folders and copy music files (non itunes music). The idrive doesnt recognize the folders.

I have 2 separate folders:

Music
Videos

iDrive combines them all into one directory
That's strange. I have several folders and sub-folders and iDrive sees them all as separate folders. Is your thumb drive formatted in FAT32 format? Yes, I have videos as well on my thumb drive.
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2014 LCI 535i /// M-Sport - SAT, Premium package, HK Audio, Drivers Assistance, Top/Side/Rear cameras, multi-contour seats, Opticoat Pro, KW V2's.
Coded myself: Turn off power when opening door, ASS off by default, Enable turn signals in HUD, DVD in Motion, Transfer telephone ringtone to car, Enable tire pressure and temperature display in iDrive. Disable iDrive legal disclaimer, Disable Rear/Side camera disclaimers.
20/80 Highway/City
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  #15  
Old 11-05-2013, 08:55 PM
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raleedy raleedy is offline
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Why fat32? Hfs seems to work.
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  #16  
Old 11-05-2013, 08:57 PM
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I dont know but I can reformat it and test it
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  #17  
Old 11-05-2013, 09:00 PM
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Why fat32? Hfs seems to work.
BMW recommends FAT32. You might want to rule out any HFS incompatibility by trying FAT32.
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2014 LCI 535i /// M-Sport - SAT, Premium package, HK Audio, Drivers Assistance, Top/Side/Rear cameras, multi-contour seats, Opticoat Pro, KW V2's.
Coded myself: Turn off power when opening door, ASS off by default, Enable turn signals in HUD, DVD in Motion, Transfer telephone ringtone to car, Enable tire pressure and temperature display in iDrive. Disable iDrive legal disclaimer, Disable Rear/Side camera disclaimers.
20/80 Highway/City
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  #18  
Old 11-06-2013, 08:01 PM
subarashi subarashi is offline
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I sometimes also get a "file cannot be played" message. Is this the AAC format? I didn't realize there were limitations on format/file type.

I'm also curious if your platform makes a difference. I use a Mac OS (Mavericks) and it sees the files/directory structure OK but I get the occ. hitch with playback or the graphics/tag read outs...
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  #19  
Old 11-06-2013, 08:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by subarashi View Post
I sometimes also get a "file cannot be played" message. Is this the AAC format? I didn't realize there were limitations on format/file type.

I'm also curious if your platform makes a difference. I use a Mac OS (Mavericks) and it sees the files/directory structure OK but I get the occ. hitch with playback or the graphics/tag read outs...
AAC is supported as long as it's not DRM protected.
iDrive supports MP3, WMA, AAC, WAV, FLAC
Platform shouldn't matter, but the format of the USB drive *might* be an issue if it's not FAT32. I haven't tested any other formats but some have reported issues.
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Coded myself: Turn off power when opening door, ASS off by default, Enable turn signals in HUD, DVD in Motion, Transfer telephone ringtone to car, Enable tire pressure and temperature display in iDrive. Disable iDrive legal disclaimer, Disable Rear/Side camera disclaimers.
20/80 Highway/City

Last edited by Sonicendeavor; 11-06-2013 at 08:28 PM.
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Old 11-06-2013, 11:04 PM
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raleedy raleedy is offline
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Fine, I'll try FAT32. But aren't iPods all HFS? At least the ones that are tied to Mac's version of iTunes?
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  #21  
Old 11-07-2013, 07:29 AM
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Sonicendeavor Sonicendeavor is offline
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Fine, I'll try FAT32. But aren't iPods all HFS? At least the ones that are tied to Mac's version of iTunes?
iDrive interfaces with iOS. It doesn't read the iPod hard drive directly so the iPod drive format doesn't matter.
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2014 LCI 535i /// M-Sport - SAT, Premium package, HK Audio, Drivers Assistance, Top/Side/Rear cameras, multi-contour seats, Opticoat Pro, KW V2's.
Coded myself: Turn off power when opening door, ASS off by default, Enable turn signals in HUD, DVD in Motion, Transfer telephone ringtone to car, Enable tire pressure and temperature display in iDrive. Disable iDrive legal disclaimer, Disable Rear/Side camera disclaimers.
20/80 Highway/City
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  #22  
Old 02-06-2014, 10:17 AM
astrohip astrohip is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by subarashi View Post
Can anyone describe their experience with a portable USB drive/stick and the iDrive controller?

1. Does the system read files in a root directory or can they be in folders (a la iTunes) as well?
2. Are there limitations on bitrate or quality?
3. Are there limitations on media size? I have a 1TB portable HDD - would this work?
4. Artwork through USB? Possible? Worth adding the images on the HDD or not?
5. Are there brands of media (PNY, Kingston, WD) that have been problematic?

My experiences:

Keeping files in the parent directory works best - there are times when I try to "dive in" to folders and things just slow down/fail to access

My 1TB HDD works but it's noticeably slower than my 128GB patriot "pen" flash drive

Artwork never works but I've not tried extensively - only used JPG format

PNY works well. My WD HDD (small book style) gives me problems and frequently goes to sleep ? a power requirement that it can't draw from the USB....

LOOK FORWARD TO YOUR THOUGHTS....
I realize this is an older thread (sorry, been away from the forum for a bit), but I had done extensive Album Art research last year, and posted the results in this thread. You may find it helpful:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=664982

Summaries, based on using a 32GB USB drive, FAT32, in the center console. I have around 8,000 MP3s on it.

1) I have an extensive folder/sub-folder/more sub-folder setup. Works like a charm. Instant response, whether searching or browsing. Instant.
2) All MP3s, but bitrate varies from ughh to very high. All play.
4) Artwork absolutely works, and one has extensive control over what appears. Read the thread for more info.

Again, sorry for the thread bump, and hope this helps.
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Current BMWs
2013 550i Space Gray, M-Sport--del Dec 2013
2013 X5 5.0 Orion Silver--del Dec 2013

Prior BMWs
2009 X5 4.8 White (w/hitch)
2007 550i Monaco Blue, Sport
2004 X5 4.4i
2003 540i M-Sport w/Dinan mods (last of the great E39's)
2002 X5 3.0
2000 540i Sport
1995 525i Sport
1991 325is
1986 325es
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  #23  
Old 02-08-2014, 03:47 PM
cbdoc cbdoc is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astrohip View Post
I realize this is an older thread (sorry, been away from the forum for a bit), but I had done extensive Album Art research last year, and posted the results in this thread. You may find it helpful:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=664982

Summaries, based on using a 32GB USB drive, FAT32, in the center console. I have around 8,000 MP3s on it.

1) I have an extensive folder/sub-folder/more sub-folder setup. Works like a charm. Instant response, whether searching or browsing. Instant.
2) All MP3s, but bitrate varies from ughh to very high. All play.
4) Artwork absolutely works, and one has extensive control over what appears. Read the thread for more info.

Again, sorry for the thread bump, and hope this helps.
Thanks for the tip.

How did you create the folder structure? Can you just copy the Music folder from iTunes to the stick, or did you recreate it manually?
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  #24  
Old 02-08-2014, 08:25 PM
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markl53 markl53 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonicendeavor View Post
2. No limitations on bitrate that I've found. I've tested all the way up to high resolution flac 24/192 including flac encoded dts 5.1.
Seriously?? I wouldn't have thought it would play hi-res. I've started experimenting with some 176khz AIFF files through my DAC on my home system, I wonder if those would play as well.
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  #25  
Old 02-09-2014, 07:03 AM
astrohip astrohip is offline
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Originally Posted by cbdoc View Post
Thanks for the tip.

How did you create the folder structure? Can you just copy the Music folder from iTunes to the stick, or did you recreate it manually?
I don't use iTunes. I just have a folder on my PC called MP3, and an extensive sub-folder network underneath it, that has all my music. I copied that to a stick drive, and that was all I had to do.
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2013 X5 5.0 Orion Silver--del Dec 2013

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2009 X5 4.8 White (w/hitch)
2007 550i Monaco Blue, Sport
2004 X5 4.4i
2003 540i M-Sport w/Dinan mods (last of the great E39's)
2002 X5 3.0
2000 540i Sport
1995 525i Sport
1991 325is
1986 325es
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