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spencecb
Feb 23, 2006, 03:19 PM
Does anyone have this interface setup in their BMW or MINI? I have a MINI Cooper and was thinking about haveing the interface installed before I go on Spring Break in a couple of weeks. I am going on a road trip down to Daytona, and it sure would be a lot better to just take my iPod along with my friend's iPod instead of making a bunch of CD's.

I just called my BMW dealership, and they said it cost $350 including the cost of labour to have it installed. Is this worth the price? And how well does it work?

I am under the impression that it primarily works as playlists, correct? And you can also access the entire iPod library, but not using the steering wheel controls? That is not really a big deal to me if I can not use the steering wheel controls to access the iPod, because I will have a passenger that will be taking care of that.

Thanks in advance to anyone that has this setup or any first hand knowledge about it.

Just trying to get some input because that $350 price tag is more than I spent on my brand new 5G iPod.



fradac
Feb 23, 2006, 04:53 PM
my friend has this setup in his car and it sure is nice to go through the songs from the control on the stearing wheel.

although he didnt get it installed by them. I and him installed it in his car. you can just buy the kit and look for instructions online, i will try to find them to.

if you are not affraid of taking some things apart, its not hard. takes couple of hours.

spencecb
Feb 23, 2006, 07:47 PM
my friend has this setup in his car and it sure is nice to go through the songs from the control on the stearing wheel.

although he didnt get it installed by them. I and him installed it in his car. you can just buy the kit and look for instructions online, i will try to find them to.

if you are not affraid of taking some things apart, its not hard. takes couple of hours.

How complicated are we talking here? I haven't had much experience with things like this, but from what I understand, I would just be accessing things in the boot (trunk) aread of the MINI, correct?

Let me know honestly how hard it is.

devilot
Feb 23, 2006, 08:56 PM
I got my CooperS prior to the release of this steering wheel interface-- at least on MINIs, you can only access these controls via the steering wheel if you already have the 'premium' multi-function wheel (the one w/ cruise control etc.).

So I have the plain old auxilary input which isn't a digital read of the iPod, just a jack that goes into the 'headphone' port of the iPod (as such, it also does NOT charge the iPod nor does it allow steering wheel controls/playlist).

I know that just my simple aux input (I went to a MINI DIY/pulley party) took about 30 minutes. In my experience with DIY-car people's time estimates?! Always double the time at least... ;)

I wonder how much the kit is though for the steering wheel interface. $350, eh, including labor? Depending on how comfortable you are messing about w/ wiring and whatnot, it may be worth your while to just shell out the $ (especially since most dealerships will guarantee their work for some time).

spencecb
Feb 24, 2006, 09:31 AM
I got my CooperS prior to the release of this steering wheel interface-- at least on MINIs, you can only access these controls via the steering wheel if you already have the 'premium' multi-function wheel (the one w/ cruise control etc.).

So I have the plain old auxilary input which isn't a digital read of the iPod, just a jack that goes into the 'headphone' port of the iPod (as such, it also does NOT charge the iPod nor does it allow steering wheel controls/playlist).

I know that just my simple aux input (I went to a MINI DIY/pulley party) took about 30 minutes. In my experience with DIY-car people's time estimates?! Always double the time at least... ;)

I wonder how much the kit is though for the steering wheel interface. $350, eh, including labor? Depending on how comfortable you are messing about w/ wiring and whatnot, it may be worth your while to just shell out the $ (especially since most dealerships will guarantee their work for some time).

Is this Aux port standard on MINIs? Because I have the upgraded sound system (the Harmon/Kardon system) and the multi-function steering wheel. I'm not really that concerned with using the wheel interface, I just want a cheap solution for now.

Seasought
Feb 24, 2006, 09:51 AM
The Griffin Roadtrip (http://www.griffintechnology.com/products/roadtrip/) is an even cheaper alternative, but it would force you (or your passenger) to be changing songs via the actual iPod instead of an interface on your steering wheel. I'm probably preaching to the choir here, but I own one (considered doing something similar to what you are considering with your car) and I'm really happy with it. I don't find it overlly-cumbersome to use or distracting to use while driving.

spencecb
Feb 24, 2006, 10:14 AM
The Griffin Roadtrip (http://www.griffintechnology.com/products/roadtrip/) is an even cheaper alternative, but it would force you (or your passenger) to be changing songs via the actual iPod instead of an interface on your steering wheel. I'm probably preaching to the choir here, but I own one (considered doing something similar to what you are considering with your car) and I'm really happy with it. I don't find it overlly-cumbersome to use or distracting to use while driving.

I have the iTrip, and can't stand the damn thing, or any of those FM modulators. They are annoying and require constant change of FM stations. And this "annyoing factor" would be increased expontentially when traveling from Ohio to Florida like we are.

Thanks for the reply, I appreciate the suggestion, I just have never been able to stand those things. :eek:

Seasought
Feb 24, 2006, 10:17 AM
Thanks for the reply, I appreciate the suggestion, I just have never been able to stand those things. :eek:

Hey no problem. Make sure and post (with pictures) with whatever it is you end up doing. Good luck. :D

spencecb
Feb 24, 2006, 10:23 AM
Hey no problem. Make sure and post (with pictures) with whatever it is you end up doing. Good luck. :D

Okay, I'll do that!

I wish car manufacturers would get on the ball about iPod integration. How sweet would it be to have a dedicated dock in the car for your iPod? Kinda hard to explain, but I'm thinking of a setup that has the iPod right in the stereo system, not sticking out the top of the dashboard or anything.

I know more companies are coming out with solutions, but maybe Apple needs to truly partner up with a company (I prefer BMW, as I am partial to them :) ) and design a system together.

devilot
Feb 24, 2006, 10:24 AM
Is this Aux port standard on MINIs? Because I have the upgraded sound system (the Harmon/Kardon system) and the multi-function steering wheel. I'm not really that concerned with using the wheel interface, I just want a cheap solution for now.First of all, what year is your MINI?

Second of all, the aux input I know, is NOT an option if you have Sirius or a CD changer since that takes away that 'aux' option-- but I'm not sure how the HK system affects this. :o

I'd say check out MINI2.com if you haven't already. Tons of info there. The last time I was there, they had a specific section for MINIs and iPods! :D

If I recall correctly... you don't have to drill a hole; what you purchase is a sort of a 'beautifying' plate and a cable that connects from the hole out. You would then need another connecting cable from that to the iPod itself (bought separately). Here's an exact link to MossMINI's offering: linky (http://mossmini.com/Shop/ViewProducts.aspx?PlateIndexID=44362). I'm pretty sure that's OEM-- I bought mine through a dealership because at the time, I had a discount and it ended up being cheaper that way. They are annoying and require constant change of FM stations.I agree whole-heartedly! That's why I decided to get the aux input. But now I'm considering the wheel-controlled interface... :p Hafta wait till I get some money though.

Seasought
Feb 24, 2006, 10:25 AM
Okay, I'll do that!

How sweet would it be to have a dedicated dock in the car for your iPod?

I know more companies are coming out with solutions, but maybe Apple needs to truly partner up with a company (I prefer BMW, as I am partial to them :) ) and design a system together.

I agree. Much like CD players are expected to be standard currently, iPod docks/integration could become the next thing.

I too am partial to BMW. :D

barren
Feb 24, 2006, 10:36 AM
Hi,

Wanted to chime in here....... Aux input can be had for around $40 MSRP. Really easy to install, should take about 40 minutes, only have to drop the side tubes around the radio console and doesn't take any functionality away from the radio. iPod interface installs behind the radio too, routes into the glove box usually and will work with the multifunction wheel, very nice and can be had for around $110 on ebay from some MINI dealers.

Also check out motoringfile.com for install instructions for both. Another good source for the parts is outmotoring.com or morristown MINI's website, they actually have a sale on right now too!

spencecb
Feb 24, 2006, 11:06 AM
First of all, what year is your MINI?

Second of all, the aux input I know, is NOT an option if you have Sirius or a CD changer since that takes away that 'aux' option-- but I'm not sure how the HK system affects this. :o

I'd say check out MINI2.com if you haven't already. Tons of info there. The last time I was there, they had a specific section for MINIs and iPods! :D

If I recall correctly... you don't have to drill a hole; what you purchase is a sort of a 'beautifying' plate and a cable that connects from the hole out. You would then need another connecting cable from that to the iPod itself (bought separately). Here's an exact link to MossMINI's offering: linky (http://mossmini.com/Shop/ViewProducts.aspx?PlateIndexID=44362). I'm pretty sure that's OEM-- I bought mine through a dealership because at the time, I had a discount and it ended up being cheaper that way. I agree whole-heartedly! That's why I decided to get the aux input. But now I'm considering the wheel-controlled interface... :p Hafta wait till I get some money though.

I have a 2003 MINI. Is there an AUX port in the car somewhere that I could just use a cable to connect the iPod to the stereo? I know it's not the most glamorous solution, but I don't have a lot of money to spend on it right now (broke college student!)!!

spencecb
Feb 24, 2006, 11:07 AM
Hi,

Wanted to chime in here....... Aux input can be had for around $40 MSRP. Really easy to install, should take about 40 minutes, only have to drop the side tubes around the radio console and doesn't take any functionality away from the radio. iPod interface installs behind the radio too, routes into the glove box usually and will work with the multifunction wheel, very nice and can be had for around $110 on ebay from some MINI dealers.

Also check out motoringfile.com for install instructions for both. Another good source for the parts is outmotoring.com or morristown MINI's website, they actually have a sale on right now too!

Oh, didn't see this post. So, would I purchase the Aux port from my BMW dealer and then just install it myself? Or wouldn't there already be an Aux port in the car for upgrades such as a CD changer?

I'm not really concerned with having the iPod self-charge while connected to the Aux port, because I know that is not possible. I would just buy an adapter for the cig. lighter to charge the iPod. Actually, I think my car has a standard AC socket in it. Maybe. Don't remember...

patrick0brien
Feb 24, 2006, 11:44 AM
-spencecb

I have this in my machine (see 'tar). Love the thing.

There are some items some see as drawbacks, I'll get them out of the way first:

1. The stereo doesn't display the song
2. Doesn't allow full navigation of your playlists you must create five for the car to align with the first 5 of the 6 (in a 3 series) radio preset buttons. (the 6th button plays all of the crap on your ipod)
3. If the iPod takes too long to find a song, or generally 'burps' (as they can do), it can freak out the head unit and it'll 'kick out' the iPod. You need to unplug-replug it to get it to come back. I don't think solid-state iPods like the Nano have this is issue.
4. Promotes the pesky habit of leaving the iPod in the car all the friggin time.

How I come to terms with the above:

1. I don't care if I can't see the song that is playing - the iPod preserves the order you set in iTunes, so if you have your songs set to alphabetical (I have mine alpha-artist), well, you get the idea.
Note: Oh, if you have the iPod set to any kind of 'Shuffle', the car's unit will change it to 'None'. Shuffle is controled through the car's RND button - very cool.

2. Got used to this. I've recorded my voice to each of the five playlists to indicate what the list is about. For example, when I hit '1', I hear "Playlist 1. You are listening to, five star", so problem mitigated.
3. This is what I dislike the most - I call it 'scramming' when I'll be rocking down the highway, there's a pause, then then an FM station suddenly starts playing - the iPod just scrammed.
4. Oh well :cool:

Ok, so the stuff I like:

1. It's in the glovebox - therefore way out of view, and lockable
2. Works like any CD - fast forward, skip everything through the steering wheel
3. I actually like the fact I can't see the iPod, it's not distracting me. By using memory, I can pretty much navigate to any song I care about while keeping my eyes on the road. Which is good considering I'm always on Highway 17, or State route 85 here in the Valley and the drivers here are - well, there are plenty of reasons for me to not be looking down in my car. ;)
4. Damn does it sound GOOD!

But! $350?!? Wow. It cost me $145 for the install - but I did that when I bought the car. Hmm. No, $350 doesn't sound right. It's an easy install - you can DIY. 15 minutes tops.

jeremy.king
Feb 24, 2006, 02:03 PM
You may want to look into an IceLink (http://www.densionusa.com/icelink_info_bmw.htm).

fradac
Feb 24, 2006, 03:59 PM
spencecb,

the car that i am talking about was/is a 2004 bmw 3 series, with the stearing wheel controls.

the kit can be bought for about $120 or so and the way it works is that you make 6 playlists in itunes and then each of the 6 buttons on the radio correspond to each of the playlists.

once in a playlist you can go next/previous to go through the song in the playlist, it doesn't show the song name

the process was not hard, easier than lets say changing a CD drive in your computer.

fradac
Feb 24, 2006, 04:21 PM
hey,

so i finally found the instructions.

here are what we followed (this is using the original kit from BMW/mini)

http://m3.madrussian.net/diy_ipod.shtml

ps intead of the pin tool, we just used a straw to push out the connector.


i also found the instructions for the mini, they are the same kits so the process should be the same.

http://www.motoringfile.com/2004/12/08/mini_ipod_interface_install_instructions


hope this helps