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2 posts

Wannabe Geek

Topic # 6151 31-Dec-2005 05:04
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BMW and the Apple Ipod 5th Gen, a cautionary tale.
Comments and help welcomed on this rather long story.
I bought a 5th generation Ipod Video on the day of launch in November. I have had a lot of enjoyment from it, not only music but I listen to a lot of podcasts. It is a wonderful gadget and I recommend it.
I have a 6month old BMW X5 and thought it would increase my enjoyment to have the Ipod retrofitted to the car. I visited the Apple web site and saw that BMW are an official partner for the Ipod and it says the X5 is a car that will work with the Ipod. I visited the Apple store at the Bluewater shopping centre in England and asked if the 5th Generation can be retrofitted and was assured that as Apple were an official supplier to BMW this would be easy.
I live in Luxembourg and the X5 was bought from the Official dealer here Arnold Kontz. Their spare parts department researched the kits available from BMW for retrofitting together with the X5’s Chassis number etc to ensure the correct parts were ordered. These duly arrived and I delivered the car to have it fitted with the correct cables and was asked to leave my Ipod to ensure that when I picked it up it would have been tested and be in working order.
I should add that my X5 does not have a Sat Nav screen and the fitting would involve disabling the CD changer unit in the boot and have a cable in the glove box which would connect to the Ipod. This would then play through the onboard radio and speakers. It would also charge the battery of the Ipod.
I arrived at the end of the business day to be told rather shamefacedly that they could not get it to work. They told me they were in touch with BMW HQ in Munich and were sure to have a fix in 24 hours. In fact as we spoke an email arrived from Munich with a series of tests to be undertaken that would “solve” the problem. 48 hours later I picked up the car with everything put back where it came from. They admitted failure and explained this was the first time they had tried to retrofit a 5th generation (out in Europe only 7 weeks) and they now thought it would be a number of weeks before BMW solved the problem that was particular to the 5th generation video Ipod. It had taken 3 months to get any Ipod to work in any BMW and they had only just managed to get a solution to retro fit in the Mini after over 3 months of trying.
I don’t blame my local BMW garage but am amazed at both Apple and BMW claiming publicly something that for me does not work.
What I do now, just wait?
Any help or advise from anyone is welcomed as I don’t want to wait 3 or more months.

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  Reply # 25547 31-Dec-2005 14:35
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get a RF transmitter for Ipod, i think you'll yeild a better result with that, and yet to keep your cd-changer still.

otherwise, if your stereo has aux input, use that to connect your ipod to that. You don't really need the ipod-bmw kit... unless you want the control from the headunit. personally, it sounds great but just a gimmick really...

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Wannabe Geek

  Reply # 26050 10-Jan-2006 13:52
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I have a new BMW X3 with the accessory audio connector installed in the glove box. Assuming that this is what you also have installed, was the dealer able to make it work?

I have a iPod (G3) and it will work for a few minutes then the AUX position will entirely disappear from the menu and it will not play. If I disconnect it from the 12VDC charger, it will then reconnect for a little while then fail again.

The dealer has kept it for several days, and has replaced the aux input cable with no success. I have also switched the FM charger units and tried the car's two different 12 volt power sources.

Any thoughts? No, an FM modulator will not work as there are too many interfering FM stations in my area.


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Wannabe Geek

  Reply # 27842 5-Feb-2006 09:25
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Perhaps I did not make it clear.
The dealer was trying to put the wiring in so that there would be a connecter in the glove box. This they installed BUT could not get the iPod to work.
I have now has a Dension Ice-Link Plus installed and it works fine. This cost €299 in Luxembourg. This was installed by a specialist car audio company. The BMW dealer in Luxembourg still does not know how to do the job.

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