Car Audio question: Anyone tried a IPOD CONNECTION RETROFIT KIT

I have a 2001 530 and would like to add an IPOD to my standard RDS business head unit. I understand that it may be possible to add one from the following:
http://www.realoem.com/bmw/partgrp.do?model=DL82&mospidG545&hge&fg
What I need to know is, what exactly is required and is it easy to fit? Also, does it utilise steering wheel controls (I'd hate to be trying to change track with an ipod control while driving!)
Thanks David
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I am sure you can do it.. and they are generally easy to fit.. I have done it with an aftermarket unit, and I put the box interface behind the glovebox and fed the cable through into the glove box.... BUT... after all this.. I would rather not have it at all.. I've yet to find a ipod interface on a headunit that works well.. my Alpine unit sounded too good to be true, and this is a dedicated system.. it connects like itunes.. has all the song titles.. allows you to search using artist, song, playlist.. etc.. all using the head unit with no need to touch the pod.. sounds great huh!? Well it's not.. it's garbage.. it hardly works.. the search is so fiddly that it's impossible to do when driving.. I actually find it quicker.. to stop the car .. disconnect the pod.. select the album I want.. then reconnect it and start the unit up again.. I don't know how other makes compare but I am very displeased with it.. and will NEVER.. EVER.. buy anything like that again.
IF (and I assume this is the case) you want lots of tracks in your car on the car stereo.. my advice is forget using an ipod interface.. don't waste your money... get an MP3 CD multi-changer.. and fill that up.. 10 CDs.. 150 odd tracks each.. 1500 and then the CD in the unit.. gives you 1650 tracks which is plenty! If you get bored you can simply reburn them.... This is the more expensive option.. I think my ipod interface was about 70 a CD changer is more.. like 130 and the fitting is more awkward.. BUT.. the result is SO.. MUCH.. BETTER! AND you can guarantee that the system, if bought for your headunit would work with your steering controls..
That was half a rant.. and probably not what you wanted to know... but it's from someone who has gone and done all this.. and it's just my opinion.. for what it's worth..
I hope I was at least a tiny bit informative :)
Cheers
Craig
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C.Read wrote:

Opinion appreciated. Thanks. There are also draw backs with 10 disc changers aren't there? Can you access the discs 7-10 given the head units limitations?
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I am not sure about the headunit limitations to be honest.. I would look into an aftermarket unit that meets your requirements and can support the MP3 capability.. but.. in all honesty.. a 6 disc changer would be enough that's about 900 tracks and with the unit.. that's 1050 tracks.. I think the drawback is the fitting.. it requires drilling to secure.. BUT.. there are alternatives..
Aftermarket head units for MP3 supporting what you want can be bought for 150... and the CD changers are about the same.. seriously.. my advice would be forget your pod for ICE..
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C.Read wrote:

Thanks - I'll bear that in mind.
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The BMW aux input won't work with the 2001 E39 system. IIRC a production date of Aug 2002 or later is required. I have it in my 2003 and it works fine.
There are aftermarket solutions that will work on any E39. I think the most elegant solution is the Dension icelink that uses an interface that replaces the CD changer with the ipod. You have full ipod control and even get song titles, etc. on the MID. Can put the ipod in the trunk (safe but hot) or run a cable into the car. (There might also be an interface that connects into the back of the head unit).
R / John

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John Carrier wrote:

Hi John Thanks for the response. If you're right about the Dension adaptor then this is exactly what I want. Firstly, I was not aware that any adaptor allowed for the IPOD to operate in the boot (trunk) - are you sure? Are you also sure about the RDS displaying track information? Finally, if the previous answers are 'Yes', does this use the CD audio link or are we talking about using FM radio to receive the music? Thanks David
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The trouble with MP3 cd changers as an add-on to the Business RDS, you can't have folders on the cd's so you end up having to go up and down through a whoel CD of individual MP3 tracks.....that's got to be more of a ballache than the Dension iPod kit! I agree, that the Dension is hassle if you are going to look for a particular album, but playlists are easily accessed. If you need to find an album you can just pull the ipod out of the cradle findthe album manually and plonk it back in the cradle again - no need to wait to disconnect it like you do on a PC.
Here's some pics of my Dension install and a video clip of the tag display.
http://www.randcjones.plus.com/pics/New5/cradle.JPG
http://www.randcjones.plus.com/pics/New5/in%20cradle.JPG
http://www.randcjones.plus.com/pics/New5/installed.JPG
http://www.randcjones.plus.com/pics/New5/ID3.avi
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the Dension kit is a direct replacement for your standard cd changer. You get the cradle (or dock cable by itself) electronics bit and an additional wiring loom section.
It's very easy to install. Simply remove the headunit, plug in the various bits as it says in the provided instructions, put it all back together, and off you go.
You can get the ID3 tag info to display on the stereo itself, or on the dashboard OBC if you prefer (I dont' as my OBC dash has done the expected pixellation thing and looks crap!)
Don't think you can get a massively long cable to install the ipod in the boot.
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sorry...video clip link was duff...try this one
http://www.randcjones.plus.com/pics/New5/ID3.AVI
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Russ (www.e36coupe.com) wrote:

I would be happy with this except my head unit is not the same - I have the RDS radio cassette. Any idea if this is compatible - my BMW dealer is vague.
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Your BMW dealer won't be able to tell you if a 3rd parties kit will work! You need to contact Dension.
I've used this site before (but it's UK based)
www.ipodmycar.com
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Russ (www.e36coupe.com) wrote:

So am I - thanks.
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