Archived - BMW iPod Adapter FAQ

Thinking about getting the iPod adapter for your BMW? Find out the answers to some frequently asked questions.
This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.
Questions answered in this document


    Availability and description

  1. When is the BMW iPod Adapter available?
  2. Where can I purchase the BMW iPod Adapter and how much does it cost?
  3. Does the BMW iPod Adapter include an iPod or iPod mini?
  4. What is the BMW iPod Adapter?
  5. How does the BMW iPod Adapter work?
  6. Which vehicles support the BMW iPod Adapter?
  7. Which iPod models are compatible?
  8. What are the available functions?

    Using the BMW iPod Adapter
  9. Can I leave my iPod or iPod mini in the car at all times?
  10. How will the adapter show up on the BMW's radio?
  11. What are the advantages of using the BMW iPod Adapter over other types of adapters?
  12. What will the BMW's audio system display when playing a song?
  13. Can I browse iPod or iPod mini by artists, song title, album, or genre using the radio controls?
  14. How do I make a BMW playlist in iTunes?
  15. What happens if I don't have a BMW playlist for one of the numbered presets on my BMW audio system?
  16. What if there are no songs in one of the BMW playlists?
  17. Does the BMW iPod Adapter recognize iPod's "On-The-Go" playlist?
  18. How do I connect the iPod or iPod mini to the BMW iPod Adapter?
  19. How do I know if the iPod and the BMW are communicating?
  20. Can I play iPod immediately after connecting to the BMW iPod Adapter?
  21. What does it mean if my BMW audio system's interface is displaying "CD 9-99"?
  22. How do I play one of the BMW Playlist on the iPod or iPod mini?
  23. How do I play all the audio tracks on iPod or iPod mini?
  24. Where can I get more information on the BMW iPod Adapter?


Availability and description

  1. Question: When is the BMW iPod Adapter available?
    Answer: The BMW iPod Adapter will be available on July 12, 2004.

  2. Question: Where can I purchase the BMW iPod Adapter and how much does it cost?
    Answer: You should contact your BMW dealership for information regarding cost of the BMW iPod Adapter and installation cost.

  3. Question: Does the BMW iPod Adapter include an iPod or iPod mini?
    Answer: No. It must be purchased separately.

  4. Question: What is the BMW iPod Adapter?
    Answer: It's an adapter, neatly concealed behind the radio with the cable in the glovebox, that connects an iPod or iPod mini to the BMW audio system and allows you to select your music using the vehicle's radio and steering wheel controls.

  5. Question: How does the BMW iPod Adapter work?
    Answer: The iPod adapter translates commands between the BMW audio system and the iPod. The adapter allows your iPod or iPod mini to take the place of a BMW CD Changer, although there will be differences in operation that are noted in BMW's iPod Adapter Owner's Manual.

  6. Question: Which vehicles support the BMW iPod Adapter?
    Answer: For information on which vehicles support the BMW iPod Adapter, go to the website
    iPodyourBMW or check with your BMW dealership.

  7. Question: Which iPod models are compatible?
    Answer: Any iPod model with a dock connector is compatible, running iPod mini version 1.1 or greater, or iPod Software version 2.2 or greater software.

  8. Question: What are the available functions?
    Answer: Supported functions include:
    • Playback up to 5 unique BMW playlists, which you have created in iTunes.
    • Playback of all the music content on iPod or iPod mini.
    • Scan each track in a playlist or all tracks in iPod or iPod mini for 10 seconds each.
    • Repeat the current track being played (not available on Z4 or Z3).
    • Shuffle for the current selected BMW playlist or the entire iPod or iPod mini music contents.
    • Next and Previous Track.
    • Fast Forward, and Fast Backward to skip through a track at a high speed.


    Using the BMW iPod Adapter
  9. Question: Can I leave my iPod or iPod mini in the car at all times?
    Answer: The interior of your car can reach extreme temperatures that could damage your iPod or iPod mini. Do not operate your iPod or iPod mini in temperatures below 32° F (0° C) or above 95° F (35° C) or store it where temperatures could drop below -4° F (-20° C) or exceed 113° F (45° C).

  10. Question: How will the adapter show up on the BMW's radio?
    Answer: The BMW radio will display "CD" when using the BMW iPod Adapter

  11. Question: What are the advantages of using the BMW iPod Adapter over other types of adapters?
    Answer: The iPod adapter offers the following benefits:
    • Charging of the internal battery for iPod and iPod mini.
    • Controlling iPod or iPod mini via vehicle radio and steering wheel controls.
    • Direct audio interface with the BMW vehicle audio system for optimal audio playback from the iPod or iPod mini.


  12. Question: What will the BMW's audio system display when playing a song?
    Answer: Just like a CD Changer, the BMW audio system's interface will display the track number. It will not display the name of the artist, song title, or album title of the song that is currently playing.

  13. Question: Can I browse iPod or iPod mini by artists, song title, album, or genre using the radio controls?
    Answer: No, when connected through the adapter, you cannot browse iPod or iPod mini songs by artist, song title, album or genre.

  14. Question: How do I make a BMW playlist in iTunes?
    Answer:
    Here's some examples of acceptable names for a BMW playlist:

    • BMW1 - Rock
    • BMW3_Jims Mix
    • BMW2 highway mix


    To create a BMW playlist:

    1. Open iTunes.
    2. From the File menu, choose New Playlist.
    3. As in the examples above, name the playlist "BMW#XXX", where # is a number (1 to 5) and "XXX" is anything you want to follow. "BMW" must be in capital letters, and there can be no spaces between "BMW" and the number. Incorrect examples:
      • Bmw1
      • BMW_1
      • BMW 1
      • BMW6 (acceptable format, but can only use presets 1-5)

    4. Add songs from the iTunes library to the playlist.
    5. Synchronize the playlist to iPod or iPod mini.


    When your iPod or iPod mini is connected to your BMW vehicle, the iPod adapter scans all available BMW playlists. Playlists are allocated to preset buttons on the BMW's audio system in the following manner:
    Preset 1: "BMW1..."
    Preset 2: "BMW2..."
    Preset 3: "BMW3..."
    Preset 4: "BMW4..."
    Preset 5: "BMW5..."

    Example Playlist in iTunes:




  15. Question: What happens if I don't have a BMW playlist for one of the numbered presets on my BMW audio system?
    Answer: You simply won't have a playlist available for the corresponding button. Example: Without a playlist named "BMW5...", preset button 5 selects nothing.

  16. Question: What if there are no songs in one of the BMW playlists?
    Answer: If there are no audio tracks in a playlist, the BMW audio system won't recognize the playlist.

  17. Question: Does the BMW iPod Adapter recognize iPod's "On-The-Go" playlist?
    Answer: No.

  18. Question: How do I connect the iPod or iPod mini to the BMW iPod Adapter?
    Answer: It's important to follow the directions in the BMW iPod Adapter's Owner's Manual. Turn your BMW radio ON before connecting your iPod or iPod mini. Turn your BMW radio OFF before disconnecting.

  19. Question: How do I know if the iPod and the BMW are communicating?
    Answer: A few moments after connecting iPod or iPod mini to the BMW iPod Adapter, the iPod's display should read "BMW OK to disconnect."





  20. Question: Can I play iPod immediately after connecting to the BMW iPod Adapter?
    Answer: After the "BMW OK to disconnect" message appears on the iPod, press the MODE button on the BMW audio system until "CD" appears in the display. After successful connection and synchronization, the radio will display one of the following "CD -" or "CD 0-." Synchronization timing may vary according to the number of playlists on your iPod or iPod mini. Please wait until the radio display indicates that the iPod or iPod mini is successfully connected to your iPod adapter before starting playback.

  21. Question: What does it mean if my BMW audio system is displaying "CD 9-99"?
    Answer: It may mean the iPod or iPod mini was disconnected from the BMW iPod Adapter during playback. This remains for about 10 seconds, then the radio will automatically change to AM/FM mode. You may also see this message if you try to select iPod mode too soon after connecting the iPod (see previous question). After a few moments the display will transition to "CD-" or "CD 0-."

  22. Question: How do I play a BMW Playlist on the iPod or iPod mini?
    Answer: To play a BMW Playlist on the iPod or iPod mini, select one of the BMW audio system's first five preset buttons. After a few seconds the playlist will begin playing, and the playlist number and track number will appear in the audio system's display.

  23. Question: How do I play all the audio tracks on iPod or iPod mini?
    Answer: Select the number six preset button on the BMW's audio system. When playing all the audio tracks on the iPod or iPod mini the BMW's audio system will display the playlist as number zero or blank.

  24. Question: Where can I get more information on the BMW iPod Adapter?
    Answer: By visiting your local BMW dealership or the website
    iPodyourBMW.


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Last Modified: Feb 19, 2012
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  • Last Modified: Feb 19, 2012
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