I have a 2008 535xi on order, to delivered before the end of this month. I've been reading this and other forums to get an idea of the different flash drives & how they work, organize tunes, etc.
I've found a handy (free) app for Macs that lets's you see the itunes libraries and copy them just as you were browsing through the hard drive. This makes it easy to keep a playlist going/building in itunes and then just copying over that playlist of tracks very easily to the flash drive. If you're on a Mac, the program is called iTunesFS and very slick & straight forward. I'm sure there are others for the PC users.
Also, my main concern about using a flash drive or memory stick is the size of the stick. On the 5 series, the USB port is on the side (vertical) wall of the interior console. It's the front wall, towards the gear shifter. So plugging a stick into that port basically means the stick will protrude and block access to the rest of the storage box. Fine if you're using a USB cable or the ipod adapter to the ipod, but not so good for some of the sticks that are 2.5-3.5 inches long. So I found the following and will be ordering it today, just in time for my new car to arrive.
They're a little more expensive (not terrible), but appear to be MUCH smaller, solid metal, etc. I'm getting the silver Pico C, which is the smallest. And 8GB is enough for me. If I really need more than that, I can get a second one. Or, by that time, they may have a 16GB version.
Has anybody else seen/used one of these? Or has anybody found a smaller physical device with at least 8gb of storage?
(click on the data sheet link on that page to see a picture of the device side by side with a quarter - amazingly small!)
Newegg has it for $29.99, free shipping.