USB Port Product guide

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booga
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USB Port Product guide

Postby booga » Tue Aug 28, 2007 11:34 am

Product Information USB: MP3 Player and USB Sticks

Overview

The USB Audio port (SA6FL) allows appropriate MP3 Players, for example Apple iPOD, to be connected to the vehicle and controlled through the vehicles own radio system. Along with MP3 players, USB Sticks can also be used in the USB Audio port (SA6FL) accessing the audio files saved on them through the cars radio. It is not advised to connect mobile phones with USB connection to access their music files. This is because some mobiles will deactivate their Bluetooth connection while USB is activated, thus making it unable to guarantee the receiving or cancelling of phone calls.

It is possible to access the audio files through a play list but you can also use a search criteria such as music style, artist, album or title. The proper sorting and displaying of audio files can only be guaranteed if the MP3 files have been saved off using only Latin symbols in the file information (e.g. ID3-Tag). The play list must have absolute directory structure except where the audio files is in the top directory of the play list. It is not possible to access other file types such as video.

Due to the vast amount of MP3 Players and USB Sticks with their technical differences available today, it is not possible to guarantee the perfect use of the USB audio port (SA 6FL) for all of them. The ones that have been compatibly tested by BMW will be announced regularly by BMW.

Exceptions

The following device classes are supported by the USB audio port (SA 6FL); please see the following table and statements:
· Apple iPOD as of 4th generation, iPOD nano, iPOD mini
· MP3 Players and USB Sticks (USB Mass storage device iaw specifications “USB Mass storage Class”
The display of “incompatible device” points towards the use of a device in an unsupported device class.

Apple iPOD devices are connected with the accessory port, available from BMW group, cable adapter for Apple iPOD (Y-adapter 30 pin socket to USB and AUX-IN) to the vehicle. This cable allows a fast access time on the audio files in the iPOD and also charges its batteries. It also allows the playback of copy protected audio files.

Other MP3 Players such as USB sticks are connected via a USB lead to the vehicle. This set up also charges the device; simultaneous connection to the vehicles 12v power supply is not advised. It is not possible to access copy protected audio files.

The USB audio port (SA 6FL) supports the most common compression formats MP3 (mp3), AAC (aac, m4a,m4b), WAV/PCM (wav) and WMA (wma,asf), as well as play lists in M3U format. WAV files are not supported in play lists.




Support

If MP3 Players or USB Sticks are to be kept in the vehicle, please note any instructions from the devices manufacturer. It is advised not to keep the MP3 Players or USB Sticks in the vehicle for prolonged periods of time due to the extreme conditions that may happen in the vehicle (temperature, humidity).

When connecting MP3 Player or USB Sticks with a large storage capacity, it is initially only possible to access music files via the file structure of the device. The more comfortable search options of music style, artist, album or title is only possible once the relevant file information has been transferred to the vehicle. The behavior of the MP3 Player or USB Stick in the vehicle, in relevance to time of synchronization and access aped, depends on the storage capacity and technology of the device as well as the amount and type of music files on it.

If the MP3 Player or USB Stick does not work properly in conjunction with the USB Audio port, the cause could also be corrupt or specially coded audio files (e.g. Bit rate higher than 256k/bits). Also take note of the information for different device classes.

Any further questions, please contact customer support:
Tel: 0049 1802 324252
E-mail: kundenbetreuung@bmw.de


Notes on device classes

Apple iPOD
The following devices are supported :

IPOD (with HDD)
Devices of the 4th generation, that means iPODs with click wheel, iPODs with colour display (also iPOD photo) and iPOD video. There is no support for older models with scroll wheel or touch wheel.

IPOD nano (with flash card)
Devices of the first and second generation

IPOD mini (with HDD)
Devices of the first and second generation

IPOD shuffle (with flash card)
Can only be connected as a “USB mass storage class” device to the USB cable when formatted with FAT file system. Details to use it as a “volume” can be found at http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=61131
Please also note, that the iPOD device without the cable from BMW can only be used as “volume” with FAT file system. The use of iPOD devices for Mac-OS is not possible without the cable from BMW.

The software version of your iPOD can be found under the menu “about” in the main menu system. Further information can be found in Apples homepage. Please note that iTunes can update the software of the iPOD which can influence the operational ability of the iPOD with the USB audio port (SA 6FL)
View software info: http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=60984
Identify iPOD model: http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=61688

IPODS can be disconnected form the vehicle at any time. With videos only the music will play back.

MP3 Players

Devices that utilize the “ Media Transfer Protocol” (MTP) cannot be used with the USB audio port. This applies in particular for devices with the “Play For Sure” logo. To change over the device to the “Mass Storage Class” mode, please see the devices manufactures instructions.

The MP3 Player must be formatted with the FAT file system. Only the files on the first partition will be displayed. With some MP3 Players the USB connection, i.e. the mass storage mode, must be activated. Instructions for this can be find in the devices manufacturers notes.

After the initial connection of the MP3 Player with the vehicle, a database is generated using the file information from the audio files. This allows the selection and playback of play list and the comfortable search function of music styles, artist, album, or song titles. A MP3 Player with 8GB flash memory will take about 10minutes for synchronization, this can vary depending on the device type. During this time, songs may be selected by using their title or through the file directories.

Through the synchronization of a MP3 Player on a PC, it is possible that the software of the MP3 Player also gets updated. This could influence the compatibility between the MP3 Player and the USB audio port (SA 6FL).

USB Sticks

USB – HDD and USB-Hubs, i.e. Flashcard readers with multiple slots cannot be used in conjunction with the USB audio port (SA 6FL).

The use of USB sticks with integrated HDD is not advised. Tests have shown that sufficient audio quality cannot be guaranteed with them.

The USB Stick must be formatted with the FAT file system. Only the files on the first partition will be displayed.

After the initial connection of the USB Stick with the vehicle, a database is generated using the file information from the audio files. This allows the selection and playback of play lists and the comfortable search function of music style, artist, album or song title. A USB Stick with 8 GB Flash memory will take about 10 minutes for synchronization, this can vary depending on the device type. During this time, songs may be selected by using their title or through the file directories.

Due to the amount and technical differences of USB sticks available today, the only way of making sure it is compatible with the vehicle is to do a functionality check in the vehicle.
Last edited by booga on Wed Aug 29, 2007 9:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Rephlex » Tue Aug 28, 2007 9:48 pm

Thanks for posting this up. I've asked this question before but didn't get a response so wonder if you can help;

I have a Nov '05 pre-facelift car with Professional Nav, Logic7, CD changer etc.

I want to retrofit the USB interface so I can operate my iPod via the iDrive interface.

The dealer I purchsed the car from said it would only be possible if I lost the CD changer as the kit would use the CD input port not the Aux. I can udnerstand that just using Aux input would not get any data to the HU. However, if I spec a car on the BMW website I can match my spec with the CD changer and have the USB interface.

Any ideas? :idea:
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Postby AndyM » Tue Aug 28, 2007 9:57 pm

The aftermarket Connects2 interface I mentioned here (if one does get produced for the BMs) uses the CD chager connection so that does sound like you were given the correct information.
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Postby Rephlex » Tue Aug 28, 2007 10:01 pm

AndyM wrote:The aftermarket Connects2 interface I mentioned here (if one does get produced for the BMs) uses the CD chager connection so that does sound like you were given the correct information.


Thanks. It may be that I was given the easy answer..... however if you can spec a new car retaining USB and CD Changer I'd be much happier if I could retain both on my own car. I can foresee other issues like the location of the USB port as this is in the centre console/armrest of facelifted cars.
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Postby AndyM » Tue Aug 28, 2007 10:06 pm

With the Connects2 you could mount it wherever you wanted like in the glovebox etc. It's certainly an option should they make it! Hopefully I'll get a reply to my email tomorrow.
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Postby AndyM » Wed Aug 29, 2007 10:22 am

Here's their very detailed reply :lol:

We are looking at bringing in a USB interface for BMW headunits. There is currently no dates available, but it is likely to be done in the near future.

Regards

Connects2
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Postby Rephlex » Sun Sep 09, 2007 10:49 pm

Still no further with my search. Can anyone help? Can SA 6FL be retrofitted to a November 2005 car with Professioanl Navigation, Logic7 and 6CD changer without losing the changer?

Also does anyone know about this OEM iPod Connection Retrofit Kit?

http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?model=UF92&mospid=48927&btnr=65_1721&hg=65&fg=95
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Postby kiforrest » Sat Dec 29, 2007 12:35 pm

That kit removes the use of the changer. 6FL as a retro fit kit may be launched this year... but AFAIK will only fit the facelift cars.... unless someone tells me otherwise.

In the meantime I perservere with my pursuit of Dension and an answer re the 500 unit!
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Postby SuperLew » Fri Jan 18, 2008 11:08 am

The USB interface I presume is different to the AUX port? And could I still play my iPod through that? Thanks again

Lewis :)

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Postby tminal » Fri Jan 18, 2008 11:12 am

SuperLew wrote:The USB interface I presume is different to the AUX port? And could I still play my iPod through that? Thanks again

Lewis :)


Yes, the USB is different and is available on facelift models only.

You can still play your iPod through the 3.5mm jack plug but you will have to use the controls on the iPod to select tracks and it will not play any songs downloaded from iTunes as they are protected with DRM.

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Postby iyoung » Fri Jan 18, 2008 11:46 am

tminal wrote:You can still play your iPod through the 3.5mm jack plug but you will have to use the controls on the iPod to select tracks and it will not play any songs downloaded from iTunes as they are protected with DRM.

Tony


Not quite right. If you just use the audio connection (i.e. audio output from the ipod headphone socket to the aux input in the car) and don't use the usb at all, then you can actually play drm protected content just fine. The iPod is handling all of the playback so this isn't an issue :)

If you want to connect via usb and don't have the official BMW usb/ipod lead, (i.e. just using a standard ipod usb lead), then the radio will only see the ipod as a hard drive. In this case, you cannot play drm protected music as the head unit is doing all the work and the ipod is just acting as a hard drive.

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Postby tminal » Fri Jan 18, 2008 11:49 am

Yes you are right, I was getting confused with when I had just the USB lead that came with the ipod connected! DOH!

Thanks for spotting that iyoung! :roll:
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Postby iyoung » Fri Jan 18, 2008 1:44 pm

No problem :wink:

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Postby Pobsey » Fri Feb 01, 2008 10:03 pm

Just checked with my local parts department the USB retro fit kit is available for face lift cars £170+vat + 2 hours coding :roll:

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Re: USB Port Product guide

Postby endeavour_uk » Thu Jun 19, 2008 2:46 pm

I have been experimenting with my port. Using the standard iPod USB lead (the white Apple one) it will recognise the iPod but it is using its own folder referencing system which gives no idea what the tracks are. I guess its time for my credit card to visit the dealer ... again

I store my music files centrally including the iTunes stuff so I have copied across some folders onto an 8Gb USB stick. This works really nicely as long as I haven't included any Music Store bought tracks, these just don't appear.

I am wondering just how big you can go with the disk. I am going to give it a try with an Archos AV500, but would a 2.5" USB drive work? The file system may be an issue I guess.

I also tried with my LG Viewty phone but it does not see it as a drive. It will recharge from the USB port though.


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