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I am taking dilevery of my new BMW 2003 325i from germany and i am wondering if BMW provides MP3 player as an option. Can we install it later on and what are the options available for that.
 

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around here, I think most are in agreement that "phatbox" makes the easiest to install MP3 player. They recently upgraded their drivers, which are available at their company web site, and seem to support bmw's platform pretty well.

There is also a forum at thier website where you will find other bmw owners to ask about this
 

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For 2003, BMW is supposed to put putting an Aux imput on the back of the head unit, so adding an MP3 player should only involve plugging into whatever type of input connection they provide (probably RCA).
 

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MP3 is too crummy in its audio quality. Too much high end distortion. Use the aux. input for an iPod or Creative Jukebox 3 and use WMA's or, better yet, wait for them to update their firmware for AAC decoding. Anyone who listens to AAC on a good system can easily tell it from MP3.
 

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The simple installation procedure for the Alpine CHA-S634 MP3 capable CD stacker inan E46 BMW is described at www.bm3w.co.uk.

I've installed it using an ICD adaptor and it works fine with full use of steering wheel controls, random function etc.

Can recommend it to anyone - now have virtually unlimited music in the car admittedly at the price of burning the MP3s onto CDROM.

Regards

Peter Wirthensohn
 

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I recently installed a phatbox in my wagon. The capacity (40GB) and ease of navigation compared to CD/MP3 changers makes a big difference to me...enough so that I was willing to spend more money for the phatbox. Others won't feel the same way.

Hooking it up to the car was simple enough...it just plugs right into the pre wiring for a CD changer (with an adapter that comes with the phatbox in between). Physically mounting the phatbox was more of a pain as it doesn't quite fit right into the changer/nav bracket for the wagon. So I cut some pieces of plywood, drilled some holes (in the wood, not the car...you know who you are :D ) and all is well. At some point soon, I'll put together an install page with pics.

Has the AUX input location and type been confirmed for the 2003 models? I see some of you saying maybe RCA jacks in back. It would be a hell of lot more convienent to have a headphone line in jack on the front to facilitate easy connection/disconnection of portable devices like iPod/Rio/whathaveyou.
 

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systech said:
The simple installation procedure for the Alpine CHA-S634 MP3 capable CD stacker inan E46 BMW is described at www.bm3w.co.uk.

I've installed it using an ICD adaptor and it works fine with full use of steering wheel controls, random function etc.

Can recommend it to anyone - now have virtually unlimited music in the car admittedly at the price of burning the MP3s onto CDROM.
the site is suspended today...

anyway, how are high track numbers handled or MP3 CD layout using a directory structure?

how about the label text?
 

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My solution...

I made a pc in a flight case with a 12V ATX power suply..
it can store up to 160 Gb of mp3's. I have a special device that can delivers me an AUX-in on my cd-changer wires (perfect audio quality). The control of the mp3-server is done by my handeld (IPAQ) that is mounted next to the console. I programmed al the software myself...

Here are some pictures of the installation/server

http://www.raptox.be/carmp3.asp

The ipaq communicates with the server over wireless network. So there are no extra wires to install. I also made some software to manage the mp3's on the server...when i'm in front of my house, i switch the server to "infrastructure network". Then i can access the program on any browser.... the program compares the mp3's on the carserver with the ones on my server at home...With a few clicks it copies the desired music to te server.

I'm now developing some kind of control to build in my steering wheel..so i can use the radio-buttons for the mp3 server...

It was't that expencive for the system it is... once you know what products to buy/to use... it's quite simple... i wasted some $$ to test some hardware & stuff..

I'm hoping to get some kind of webpage online about all components, etc....

Greetz Raptox
 

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Alpine CHA-S634 Handling of MP3s

When used with the standard Business headunit in an E46, the Alpine CHA-S634 MP3 capable CD stacker can manage a normal PC directory structure. Assuming you have a number of different folders, it first plays the tracks in the first folder, then the second folder etc. Only when it has completed all first level folders, does it revert to the sub-folders in the first folder etc.

Since the headunit only ever anticipated a maximum of 99 tracks and clearly you can store up to several hundred MP3s on a CDROM depending on the wehther you Variable Bit Rate (VBR)coding and the coding depth used, the track number on the headunit display wraps around after track 99 to 01 (ie track 100 is displayed as 1, track 101 as track 02 etc).

And of course it can't handle track titles etc - MP3 wasn't around in 1998 (at least not in BMW's world!). If you really want this and other facilities you could change the head unit to an ALPINE or other unit compatible with the ALPINE stacker but as for me, I'm perfectly happy with the current arrangement.

The steering wheel controls (track up/down) and the scanning and random function work fine (also with MP3s).

Hope this helps.
 
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