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      01-19-2008, 03:23 PM   #1
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Good USB Flash Drive for iPod Adapter?

I got the iPod Adapter for my M3 and I want to use a USB flash drive instead of using my iPhone. Reason being is it's a pain in the ass having to plug and unplug my phone every time I get in and out of the car being I'm always listening to music. 8GB of storage and fast would be nice.
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      01-19-2008, 04:14 PM   #2
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Well, that's what we were discussing on the audio forum. I do really think that a USB drive is much better option for the car because first you save the price of the ipod adapter (not cheap) and as you say, unless you have an ipod just for the car, it's a hassle to be plugging and unplugging the ipod

The idrive will recognize the songs on the pen-drive. What I don't know is it will organize them by artist/album/etc... Seems that it will do it.

So, for 30-40 bucks you can buy a 8GB pen-drive, and that's a lot cheaper than the 200 you have to pay for a 8GB-ipod.

Would love to know if some kind european friend would try this and post photos...
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      01-19-2008, 04:37 PM   #3
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iphone, bluetooth, hello.....
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      01-19-2008, 05:23 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xcellere View Post
I got the iPod Adapter for my M3 and I want to use a USB flash drive instead of using my iPhone. Reason being is it's a pain in the ass having to plug and unplug my phone every time I get in and out of the car being I'm always listening to music. 8GB of storage and fast would be nice.
I have an 8 gig Transcend JetFlash drive that works flawlessly. The main issue in choosing a flash drive (unless you use an extension cable) are it's physical dimensions .... if it has a body longer than 5cm it will probably prevent the armrest from closing properly (see pic).

The cars manual says that tracks with a bitrate greater than 256 may not play. I have used Windows Media Player to rip CDs to .wma format (bitrate 192) and they sound perfect (at about 90MB per CD that will give about 100hours per 8 gig drive .... should see you well past the engine run-in period).

iDrive reads the flash drive like a PC and displays the same directory structure you created when copying files to the drive. It displays folder names and file names (sans extension). It will display the id3 tag data and display tracks by artist, genre, album if you wish. Create a neat directory structure with your PC and it will be neat and simple to navigate with iDrive.
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Last edited by GeriFix; 01-21-2008 at 06:00 PM. Reason: improve accuracy of post
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      01-19-2008, 06:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drvai View Post
I do really think that a USB drive is much better option for the car because first you save the price of the ipod adapter (not cheap)
It's included in the 6FL option.
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      01-19-2008, 06:04 PM   #6
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Nice post Gerifix. I was wondering how much distance their is between the armrest and USB port. I assume that is a value you obtained by measurement?
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      01-19-2008, 06:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Epacy View Post
Nice post Gerifix. I was wondering how much distance their is between the armrest and USB port. I assume that is a value you obtained by measurement?
Yep .. real world measurement with my trusty WH Smith Shatter Resistant ruler.
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      01-20-2008, 12:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeriFix View Post
Yep .. real world measurement with my trusty WH Smith Shatter Resistant ruler.
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      01-20-2008, 08:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeriFix View Post
I have an 8 gig Transcend JetFlash drive that works flawlessly. The main issue in choosing a flash drive (unless you use an extension cable) are it's physical dimensions .... if it has a body longer than 5cm it will probably prevent the armrest from closing properly (see pic).

The manual says that tracks with a bitrate greater than 256 may not play. I have used Windows Media Player to rip CDs to .wma format (bitrate 192) and they sound perfect (at about 90MB per CD that will give about 100hours per 8 gig drive .... should see you well past the engine run-in period).

iDrive reads the flash drive like a PC and displays the same directory structure you created when copying files to the drive. It displays folder names and file names (sans extension). It doesn't display the id3 tag data and I like this, as my iPod is a dog's breakfast thanks to all the sloppy id3 data on stuff that I have downloaded. Create a neat directory structure with your PC and it will be neat and simple to navigate with iDrive.
Great post Gerifix. My only anticipated problem is that you mentioned that the flash drive doesn't play 320kbps files, which is the main file I download. Is this a limitation of just that flash drive or every flash drive on the market?
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      01-20-2008, 10:26 PM   #10
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xcellere View Post
Great post Gerifix. My only anticipated problem is that you mentioned that the flash drive doesn't play 320kbps files, which is the main file I download. Is this a limitation of just that flash drive or every flash drive on the market?
Hi X. It isn't the flash drive that is the issue. The limitation I mentioned comes from the M3 manual (page 170 on mine) and says something like:

"Depending on the configuration of the audio files, e.g. bit rates greater than 256 KBit/s, perfect playback cannot be ensured in every case."

This is referring to the cars DA converter and would apply as much to an iPod as a flash drive (unless you were using the iPod via the AUX-in jack, that is you were using the iPods DAC).

Anyway (to test this out), I made a few 320 kbs mp3 and wma files last night and can report that they all played fine in the car. I also discovered that iDrive will also list files by artist, album, genre if you wish. The setting is on the same line as the "directory structure" in the pic above.
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      01-21-2008, 01:17 AM   #11
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Many thanks again for the response. I'm not sure why the higher bit rate would be incompatible on iDrive. 320 is CD quality (even though it's MP3 format and not not CD/wav) so it shouldn't be an issue. Maybe it's considered oversampling?
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      01-21-2008, 01:24 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xcellere View Post
320 is CD quality (even though it's MP3 format and not not CD/wav) so it shouldn't be an issue. Maybe it's considered oversampling?
I thought 256 was.
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      01-21-2008, 02:36 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Epacy View Post
I thought 256 was.
I could be wrong.

Gerifix, I'm assuming the 5cm measurement is the structure of the flash pen while it's inserted into the drive, not the USB connector + structure?
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      01-21-2008, 02:57 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xcellere View Post
Gerifix, I'm assuming the 5cm measurement is the structure of the flash pen while it's inserted into the drive, not the USB connector + structure?
Correct. 5cm for the body of the flash drive. The arm rest well is 5cm deep from the USB ledge to the top.
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      01-21-2008, 01:00 PM   #15
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I think 2" translates into what, 5.08 cm? I've been looking at either the OCZ ATV or the Corsair Voyager.

OCZ ATV: 3.25" x 0.75" x 0.38"
Corsair Voyager: 3.05" x 0.95" x 0.5"

Voyager is third from right:

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      01-21-2008, 05:14 PM   #16
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Thanks for the info Gerifix... does iDrive allow you to play songs randomly from the USB drive, or does it just play in 'file order'?
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      01-21-2008, 06:27 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xcellere View Post
I think 2" translates into what, 5.08 cm? I've been looking at either the OCZ ATV or the Corsair Voyager.

OCZ ATV: 3.25" x 0.75" x 0.38"
Corsair Voyager: 3.05" x 0.95" x 0.5"

Voyager is third from right:

Judging by your photo, the Voyager may just fit (as its body is about the same length as the Sandisk Cruzer Titanium on the far left).

I have a Sandisk Cruzer and it just fits ... it is middle USB drive in the picture below. The drive on the left is the Transcend JetFlash, that I use in the car, and the drive on the right is a Sandisk Cruzer Contour (which is way too long to fit). The thing next to the Contour is a little USB flexible elbow extension, which could be useful for fitting longer USB drives into the arm rest compartment.
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      01-21-2008, 06:32 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OZ!M3 View Post
Thanks for the info Gerifix... does iDrive allow you to play songs randomly from the USB drive, or does it just play in 'file order'?
If you click on the currently playing track, you can choose random (within that folder), repeat, and detailed info (on the track). You can also access the equalizer, tone, balance/fader from this menu.

It will also play from a playlist (as long as it is in .m3u format).
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      01-31-2008, 02:41 PM   #19
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iPhone USB connection port

Hello!

Not sure if this is the right forum, but I've been thinking about having an iPhone USB connection port installed so that I can control the music through the iDrive system AND use the Bluetooth feature to make/receive calls.

I have a few questions:

1. Is it worth it? Currently, I have my iPhone connected through the AUX jack in the armrest compartment. However, it is a bit of a hassle to change songs while driving (an accident waiting to happen). Hence a desire to control it through the iDrive. So if anyone has the iPhone hooked up to the iDrive, please share the feedback.

2. My iPhone software update is at 1.1.3. Will the BMW connection kit still work? So far I get contradicting information...

3. Anyone knows an OEM oart # for BMW's iPhone USB connection port?

Thanks!
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      01-31-2008, 04:35 PM   #20
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Hi!

To tell youthe truth, I don't know if the 1.1.3 will work, but if it doesn't, it will shortly. The iPhone is very popular and they keep maintaining good compatibility with all the apple products, so don't worry.

What I'm not sure is if you can use the iphone with the bluetooth (phone and contacts) and as an ipod at the same time.
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      01-31-2008, 04:37 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeriFix View Post
If you click on the currently playing track, you can choose random (within that folder), repeat, and detailed info (on the track). You can also access the equalizer, tone, balance/fader from this menu.

It will also play from a playlist (as long as it is in .m3u format).
Sorry for the ignorance, but how do you build a playlist for the USB drive? (BTW, that's great news).
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      01-31-2008, 05:30 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drvai View Post
Sorry for the ignorance, but how do you build a playlist for the USB drive? (BTW, that's great news).
On a PC. Stick your USB drive into a port, start windows media player, goto settings (tools->options->burn->data discs->add a list of all burned files in this format) and change the default playlist type to .m3u (click OK), click on "library", select "create playlist" on the menu on the left, then just browse the folders on your USB drive and drag files into the "Drag items here" pane on windows media player. When you've finished click on "save playlist". The playlist will be saved to <user name>/Music/Playlists. Go there, find the playlist (make sure it has been saved as a .m3u file) you have created and copy it to the root directory of your USB drive. Done.
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