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:
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!)
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 :)
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
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..
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
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
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?
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
Here's some pics of my Dension install and a video clip of the tag
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
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