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  #1  
Old 10-09-2004, 10:06 PM
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jgrgnt jgrgnt is offline
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OEM Integrators and the iPod

Hopefully this isn't a repost. A blurb in this month's Roundel prompted me to do a Google search for "iCruze".

----------------

http://www.twice.com/article/CA446811.html

OEM Integrators Embrace iPod's Success

By Amy Gilroy -- TWICE, 8/23/2004

Over the next few months, the Apple iPod — the portable digital audio player that has become a phenomenon — is expected to gain a pipeline into the car, as the OEM integrators who brought us CD changer and satellite radio adapters are now focusing their efforts on the iPod.

Joining the BMW iPod interface now available and the Alpine iPod Interface due next month (see TWICE, June 7, p.50) will be several devices from integrators such as SoundGate, Sheridan, Wyo.; Precision Interface Electronics (PIE), Chatsworth, Calif.; Blitz Safe, Englewood, N.J.; and AAMP of America, Clearwater, Fla.

In an unusual twist for this market, some of these integrators will team up with larger companies to broaden distribution of a product they believe will have mass appeal.

SoundGate's new iPod iCruze adapter will be distributed by Monster Cable, and PIE is said to be working directly with Apple to produce a co-branded Apple product.

In addition, aftermarket suppliers such as Kenwood are planning to join Alpine in offering iPod-capable devices, and the car companies themselves say they are looking into the possibility of supplying iPod-ready radios.

Apple has sold over 3 million iPods worldwide since November 2001 with almost 1 million selling in its third fiscal quarter, ended June 26.

SoundGate's president Rob Puttnam said he had hoped to bring out the iCruze six months ago to take advantage of the growing iPod user base. “Based on the number of [iPod] users out there and the fact that every mass merchant has got the device and that it's a mobile form of media, we envision the iPod going from home to car to personal backpack. That's where the industry is going,” said Puttnam.

Monster Cable confirmed it signed an agreement with SoundGate, receiving the exclusive rights to distribute SoundGate's iPod interface in the retail market. Monster expects to begin selling the iCruze in about 90 days. The iCruze allows factory OEM radios to control an iPod through the radio controls. It will have an optional add-on display to show ID3 tags of the iPod's song names; it will not work through the car radio display.

“The potential of the product is so large it requires a company of Monster's size to properly carry it out,” Puttnam said. Colin McClure, Monster's marketing and product area manager, noted the company already has a “close partnership” with Apple, as it currently produces iPod cases and FM modulators sold through Apple's retail stores.

Again affirming the broad market potential of the product, Monster said it will aggressively promote the iCruze, breaking with the company's tradition of no advertising. McClure said he believes there is a pent-up market demand for car radio adapters. More than “sixty percent of comments coming into Apple are asking for a direct-connection solution for the car. This is something the user has been asking for — vs. having to rely on FM modulation.”

“Apple's goal is to help drive iPod sales, and they see this as a device to help sell iPods,” McClure added.

Apple refused to comment on any licensing agreements or future accessories for the iPod.

There are currently many inexpensive iPod car radio interfaces available that use an FM modulator, but this newer round of devices connects the iPod through the car radio's satellite or CD changer inputs. This allows users to control the iPod through factory radio controls and associated steering wheel controls, resulting in better sound quality, better ease of use and less driver distraction, said suppliers. In the case of the Alpine and Blitz Safe units, the interface also allows song and artist information to appear on the radio's screen.

PIE said it is currently in R&D on an iPod interface, which would carry the Apple brand name. “Apple approached us and asked us to build something endorsed by Apple. We will have both our company logos on it,” said Bill Johnson, PIE's sales and technical services VP. No further details on the product were available.

Blitzsafe, based in Englewood N.J., is looking to ship in September or October iPod interfaces for Sony, Alpine, Ford, BMW and MiniCooper radios, with more to follow, according to president/CEO Ira Marlowe. The device, the M-Link, is expected to sell for under $100. The interfaces can be mounted anywhere in the car, including a glove box or trunk, allowing radio to control and display all iPod functions, he said.

Kenwood said it will offer a “multiple media” device that will include an iPod input. Sales VP Keith Lehmann said the product will be the “the most flexible on the market” in terms of accepting new media and connections such as SecureDigital and USB. The product will be sold either as a stand-alone unit or as a companion to the Kenwood Music Keg, he said.

Car companies such as General Motors and Mercedes Benz said they are looking into iPod interfaces, according to corporate spokesmen.

“I know definitely that the car companies will offer these,” SoundGate's Puttnam said. “The OEMs are very excited about items like this. It's another value-add they can offer at the dealer level. The iPod BMW campaign has driven it out into the mainstream that this technology is available.

BMW began selling in early August an iPod adapter for its 2002 to 2004 BMW 3 Series, Z4 Roadster and X3 and X5 SUVs models for $149 plus installation. BMW, which has launched a major ad campaign for its iPod-ready radios, would not comment on the extent of the campaign, except to say it encompasses TV, print, billboard and Internet ads, according to a spokesman.
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  #2  
Old 10-10-2004, 04:44 AM
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Technic Technic is offline
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Quote:
In the case of the Alpine and Blitz Safe units, the interface also allows song and artist information to appear on the radio's screen.

Blitzsafe, based in Englewood N.J., is looking to ship in September or October iPod interfaces for Sony, Alpine, Ford, BMW and MiniCooper radios, with more to follow, according to president/CEO Ira Marlowe. The device, the M-Link, is expected to sell for under $100. The interfaces can be mounted anywhere in the car, including a glove box or trunk, allowing radio to control and display all iPod functions, he said.
... Blitzsafe seems to forget which September or October year is their release date. First they said September or October 2003, now is 2004. Well, it is October 2004 and by looking at their website they still do not know when their actual release date will be.

The Ice>LINK adapter keeps looking better every day -amazingly, it is not even mentioned in the article- and if they deliver the ID3 tags in the BMW radio and Nav displays by the end of the year that will be end of my CD Changer.
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  #3  
Old 10-10-2004, 12:59 PM
bbkat bbkat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Technic

The Ice>LINK adapter keeps looking better every day -amazingly, it is not even mentioned in the article- and if they deliver the ID3 tags in the BMW radio and Nav displays by the end of the year that will be end of my CD Changer.
Ice>LINK
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  #4  
Old 10-10-2004, 08:52 PM
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jgrgnt jgrgnt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Technic
The Ice>LINK adapter keeps looking better every day -amazingly, it is not even mentioned in the article- and if they deliver the ID3 tags in the BMW radio and Nav displays by the end of the year that will be end of my CD Changer.
Agreed. That's the same reason I'm waiting on the Ice>LINK. ID3 tags =
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  #5  
Old 10-15-2004, 05:40 PM
tom@densionusa tom@densionusa is offline
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Amy did contact me regarding the article, it seems they went another direction with the review.

Not a problem though, the ID3v2 text will be what it takes!
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  #6  
Old 10-15-2004, 06:00 PM
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Technic Technic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Technic
The Ice>LINK adapter keeps looking better every day -amazingly, it is not even mentioned in the article- and if they deliver the ID3 tags in the BMW radio and Nav displays by the end of the year that will be end of my CD Changer.
... in fact, today was the end of my CD Changer.
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  #7  
Old 10-24-2004, 07:20 AM
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LCC LCC is offline
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Tom,

Will the new version have the capability to switch between playlists. Also, I just bought one for my wife last month, will I be able to upgrade easily?
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  #8  
Old 10-25-2004, 11:09 AM
tom@densionusa tom@densionusa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LCC
Tom,

Will the new version have the capability to switch between playlists. Also, I just bought one for my wife last month, will I be able to upgrade easily?
Upgrades will be easy for every ice>Link out there.

As for navigation between playlists via the head unit, this is really an iPod limitation, not an ice>Link one. In order to navigate through the iPod, it has to be placed in UART mode. This locks out the iPod as if it were connected to your computer.

This is something we really don't want to do - and are in development for a solution.
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  #9  
Old 10-25-2004, 03:01 PM
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LCC LCC is offline
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Thanks Tom,

And how about cost? Are we going to have to buy a whole new module or will there be upgrade pricing? Is it only firmware? If so, is that included since we own the product?
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  #10  
Old 10-25-2004, 08:31 PM
Daver Daver is offline
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Wow... I was getting ready to install an alpine cd/mp3 changer in my car using the Blitzsafe adapter... now I'm thinking I should hold-off and go the ipod route. Also, seems like this sort of solution could bite into ********box sales...
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  #11  
Old 10-25-2004, 09:06 PM
Ben Dejo Ben Dejo is offline
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All I can say is Don't replace your head unit just to get an iPod interface. I just installed the Ice>Link in my car and it is great. The limitations of the unit are well documented in the forum. I knew about the unit going in and did the install myself. I posted pics of my setup within the last week. With a little effort, I got the Ice>Link to be virtually invisible and easily accessible. I got to keep my head unit, with led's that match my entire dash, etc. and still have the iPod interface.

The unit sounds great and is virtually plug and play. I got to keep the inside of my car stock and have the iPod interface. Life is good.....
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  #12  
Old 10-26-2004, 10:13 AM
tom@densionusa tom@densionusa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LCC
Thanks Tom,

And how about cost? Are we going to have to buy a whole new module or will there be upgrade pricing? Is it only firmware? If so, is that included since we own the product?
There will be an upgrade for existing users - pricing is undecided since we are still in testing stages. As soon as I have more information, it will be posted on our website and here in the forums.
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  #13  
Old 10-28-2004, 12:44 PM
caylan caylan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tom@densionusa
There will be an upgrade for existing users - pricing is undecided since we are still in testing stages. As soon as I have more information, it will be posted on our website and here in the forums.
I'll tell you why I like ICE LINK:

We can get Tom to come on here & answer live & sometimes loaded questions on usability, adaptability & pipeline.

I think any company that is this in touch with its consumers deserves our support.
& given that its product is so easy to use & virtually has no limitations well
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  #14  
Old 10-28-2004, 12:53 PM
tom@densionusa tom@densionusa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caylan
I'll tell you why I like ICE LINK:

We can get Tom to come on here & answer live & sometimes loaded questions on usability, adaptability & pipeline.

I think any company that is this in touch with its consumers deserves our support.
& given that its product is so easy to use & virtually has no limitations well
Wow, thanks for the kind words! It helps being a BMW enthusiast as well.
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  #15  
Old 07-06-2005, 08:48 AM
schnema schnema is offline
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Post Comparison Matrix - Ice>Link vs. MLink?

Tom,

I'm brand new to both BMW and this forum. I'm waiting for my new 325CIC, ordered my Ipod and am trying to compare options for integration. Would you have a "comparison matrix" that contrasts the features/limitations of Mlink vs. ICE>Link??
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  #16  
Old 07-11-2005, 11:08 PM
tom@densionusa tom@densionusa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schnema
Tom,

I'm brand new to both BMW and this forum. I'm waiting for my new 325CIC, ordered my Ipod and am trying to compare options for integration. Would you have a "comparison matrix" that contrasts the features/limitations of Mlink vs. ICE>Link??
What model year is your 325?
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  #17  
Old 07-16-2005, 09:34 AM
tonyroma tonyroma is offline
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mLink for me

I have the Blitzsafe XM (SLD 001) adapter for my 535 and the Blitzsafe AUX adapter for my iPod, the two are daisy chained together and work flawlessly and sound great, I just replaced the AUX adapter with the the Blitzsafe mLink1 which has the iPod bottom connector for my iPod photo, it sounds great and charges the iPod and gives me a additional 20 minute charge after the car is turned off.

I wanted to use my iPod to control my iPod. I did not want to use the radio to control or display my tunes. My friend has the same car as I do with the Icelinkplus, I found the Denison IceLinkplus was slow and quirky. He is going to get the same Blitzsafe setup as I have XM and mLink.

I have almost six thousand songs and trying to get to the song I wanted to listen to with the Icelink2 took a very long time not what I want to do. In fact, with the IceLinkplus I found my self looking at the radio to see what song I was on and not looking at the road. Dangerous and stupid on my behalf.

The mLink1 gives me what I want, the convenience and speed through the iPod itself by the click wheel. It only takes eleven seconds to get from the first song to the 5,851 song (my current last song) and the mLink1 only cost $76.00 In my option it is a no brainier.

I spoke with someone at Blitzsafe I was informed that Blitzsafe has a patents pending on iPod adapters and there are several mLink adapters from basic to full blown integration, but for myself I prefer the using the iPod for the control.

For the difference in price, speed of the click wheel for control with the least distraction. I would go with mLink.

Last edited by tonyroma; 07-16-2005 at 02:37 PM.
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  #18  
Old 05-24-2006, 10:51 AM
preethm preethm is offline
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Hey. I was wondering if anyone knew how to install the Blitzsafemlink1 to my 2001 BMW 325xi. I'm not sure if you have to go through the trunk or if you can hook it up right to the radio? Also, if you have to wire it from the trunk, any suggestions on how to lead the wire up to the front? Thanks!



Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyroma
I have the Blitzsafe XM (SLD 001) adapter for my 535 and the Blitzsafe AUX adapter for my iPod, the two are daisy chained together and work flawlessly and sound great, I just replaced the AUX adapter with the the Blitzsafe mLink1 which has the iPod bottom connector for my iPod photo, it sounds great and charges the iPod and gives me a additional 20 minute charge after the car is turned off.

I wanted to use my iPod to control my iPod. I did not want to use the radio to control or display my tunes. My friend has the same car as I do with the Icelinkplus, I found the Denison IceLinkplus was slow and quirky. He is going to get the same Blitzsafe setup as I have XM and mLink.

I have almost six thousand songs and trying to get to the song I wanted to listen to with the Icelink2 took a very long time not what I want to do. In fact, with the IceLinkplus I found my self looking at the radio to see what song I was on and not looking at the road. Dangerous and stupid on my behalf.

The mLink1 gives me what I want, the convenience and speed through the iPod itself by the click wheel. It only takes eleven seconds to get from the first song to the 5,851 song (my current last song) and the mLink1 only cost $76.00 In my option it is a no brainier.

I spoke with someone at Blitzsafe I was informed that Blitzsafe has a patents pending on iPod adapters and there are several mLink adapters from basic to full blown integration, but for myself I prefer the using the iPod for the control.

For the difference in price, speed of the click wheel for control with the least distraction. I would go with mLink.
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  #19  
Old 05-29-2006, 05:26 PM
preethm preethm is offline
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Actually. Forget about my above question. I figured it out. Wired it and it's sweet. I just have another question though. Does anyone know how to change it so that the cigarette lighter turns off when the car turns off? I have a radar detector hooked in and I hate turning it off every time I turn the car off. And if I don't, the battery dies. I'd appreciate an answer. E-mail me at preethm@gmail.com if you don't mind, or you can just post here. Thanks!
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  #20  
Old 05-29-2006, 05:55 PM
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tom @ eas tom @ eas is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by preethm
Actually. Forget about my above question. I figured it out. Wired it and it's sweet. I just have another question though. Does anyone know how to change it so that the cigarette lighter turns off when the car turns off? I have a radar detector hooked in and I hate turning it off every time I turn the car off. And if I don't, the battery dies. I'd appreciate an answer. E-mail me at preethm@gmail.com if you don't mind, or you can just post here. Thanks!
You should be able to go off the sunroof switch on top of the windshield:

http://www.ideaphile.com/bmw/v1/index.html

While it's not e46-specific, it will give you a general idea of what you need to do.
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