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Having spent many hours researching information about the iPod interface (glovebox retrofit), I found numerous mixed & ambiguous threads concerning the compatibility in particular regarding the iPhone 3g :confused

I recently acquired a 57 plate 335i M Sport Coupe which has professional Satnav & Bluetooth :D

As part of the deal, I asked BMW to install an iPod interface in the glove box. This cost was approximately £400 Inc VAT but was sceptical whether it would work with my iPhone 3g

On delivery of my car I was rather anxious & to my horror, as soon as I connected the iPhone it said, "Charging not supported" followed by "This accessory is not made to work with iPhone" :mad

I essentially ignored the messages & to my surprise found the iPod function & telephony both worked fine!

The charging issue is owing to Apple in their wisdom changing the charging pins on new iPod’s/iPhone. I bought a Scosche passport adaptor & to my delight I can now charge my iPhone 3g as well.

The interface in essence “fools” the car into thinking it has a 6 disc CD player fitted. The CD function divides the various categories that appear on the iPod from CD1 to CD6 (i.e. Genre, Albums & Artist etc).

However the interface has its limitations. For example you sometimes have to trawl through many tracks, which are generally in alphabetical order, to access the one you are seeking (on pre 2009 idrive systems only). There does not appear to a quick method. :frown

I believe the interface limits you to a total of 5000 tracks, but would suggest is more than adequate in any case!! :hihi

One of the main issues I experienced, is the interface limits you to 255 folders. In short, if your iPod has more than 255 of any category (i.e. Genre, Albums & Artist etc) they will NOT show on the idrive.

However, there is a way around this as I have detailed below
; :thumbsup

  • CD3 lists albums on your iPod on the idrive.
  • For those of you familiar with iTunes, one album =1 folder. This means you can have up to 255 albums.
  • You have to make sure that each track of the particular album is checked in your iTunes library as “compilation” otherwise it can split the album into numerous tracks. The interface will then think each track is an album (hope this makes sense?!). :headache
  • Initially I had in excess of 255 albums only to realise that this was because I had numerous singles (approximately 100). To overcome this I selected the singles, checking them all as part of a “compilation” creating an album called “Various Singles” which brought my total down to 196.

I can now access my entire collection which amounts to 3500 tracks & have space for further 59 albums. :applause

The sound quality is truly amazing & in general I am very pleased with the interface. :jaw-dropping

I hope this thread helps anyone considering an iPod interface.
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