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I'm getting an '05 330Ci soon and I wanted to know your thoughts on the iPod vs. CD changer debate. I'm gonna do one, I just don't know which one yet.

If I went the CDC route, I guess 6 mp3 CD's in the Alpine changer is all I'd run back there divided into artists or genres (like rock, classical, etc.) and then leave the CD behind the nav unit for swapping out individual non-mp3 CD's. My estimations are that the CD changer could hold about 1400 songs (700MB * 6 / avg 3MB per song = 1400) whereas my iPod can currently hold about 2000 songs. The big concern for me is how well you can navigate through the disks. Scrolling through 200 songs might be a bit of a chore, hitting the 'next/fwd' button on the nav-unit to go through each song. Can you use that jog-wheel to scroll through the songs??

If I went the iPod route I'd be doing the trunk install with Ice>Link and no intention of routing the iPod to the front cabin; I'd leave it in the trunk. I'm not totally familiar with how well the unit works setup like this, namely how you can navigate playlists, if at all. Yes, I've searched on operation of the setup here in the forums, but I've found the responses to be kind of vague, esp. since I have a nav-unit and that changes things up a little, from what I understand.

Cost seems to be pretty even, CDC may be a bit more, but not too much that it kills the deal. I gather that installation of the 2 units is also somewhat similar, but don't really know since I've never done it.

id3 would be pretty cool and preferred, but it's not absolutely necessary. Does the CDC use id3??

So, what are your thoughts? Which way do you lean: iPod or CDC? Any suggestions would be appreciated and even more appreciated would be real life experiences from people who debated the topic just as I have. Thanks in advance!!

bmills
 

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I got an Ipod for Christmas. I was never much interested in them, but have now decided it is the coolest must have that I never knew I needed until I got it. Just last week, I had the Icelink Plus installed via radio head unit. I probably could have done it myself but instead had a friend in the audio business do it for me, what would have taken me several hours took him 30 minutes. I made my own dash mount for the cradle from aluminum plate. That's my only real gripe with the setup is that they don't provide a mount for the cradle itself, instead asking you to pay $30 more for a tiny piece of metal that I fabricated myself from scrap.
That said, I highly suggest the Icelink over a CD changer. If you mount the Ipod in the cabin (which I also think you should), you can use the Dension interface or choose to use the Ipod's controls, either way navigation is not that complicated. As far as capacity, I have the 20g Gen IV Ipod, have so far loaded around 900 songs and have only used around 2.5 gigs so far, so I think I can get way more than 2000 songs on it. The bottom line, your choice. If you already have an extensive collection of CD's and wanted to use them as is, the changer might be a good option. If you are going to have to rip and burn all new CD's, then might as well load the Ipod.
 
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