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      04-25-2011, 02:38 PM   #1
Radioactive
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Playing Vinyl on the X3...no iPhone/iPod

On long road trips in the X3 I wanted to have the ability to bring large amounts of music on external storage rather CD's. I had a new Western Digital EIDE 160 GB laptop HD that I wasn't using, so I purchased a cheap external case that uses USB as a power source. Since Windows 7 will not format a HD that big in FAT32 I downloaded a formatting program which did the trick. I spent hours going through my computer music to clean it up, making sure the tags and art work were good. Everything was compressed in wma or mp3 files. As a test I used vinyl LP recordings that I had done, since more manual work is involved to get everything right. I just dragged the files from "My Music" on the desktop to a "Music" Directory on the external HD. At the dealer today I plugged the external HD in the center console USB port. Went to the iDrive and choose external devices. The directories and files were recognized right away. When I played a song the art work appeared immediately. I should have, but I didn't check which sound system was installed or if navigation was on the car. I don't think it will matter either way. It was really easy to prep the HD and play.
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      04-25-2011, 03:11 PM   #2
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Really? That's awesome! Well done.
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      04-25-2011, 04:18 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Radioactive View Post
On long road trips in the X3 I wanted to have the ability to bring large amounts of music on external storage rather CD's. I had a new Western Digital EIDE 160 GB laptop HD that I wasn't using, so I purchased a cheap external case that uses USB as a power source. Since Windows 7 will not format a HD that big in FAT32 I downloaded a formatting program which did the trick. I spent hours going through my computer music to clean it up, making sure the tags and art work were good. Everything was compressed in wma or mp3 files. As a test I used vinyl LP recordings that I had done, since more manual work is involved to get everything right. I just dragged the files from "My Music" on the desktop to a "Music" Directory on the external HD. At the dealer today I plugged the external HD in the center console USB port. Went to the iDrive and choose external devices. The directories and files were recognized right away. When I played a song the art work appeared immediately. I should have, but I didn't check which sound system was installed or if navigation was on the car. I don't think it will matter either way. It was really easy to prep the HD and play.
Yep, this certainly works for pro nav (or any car with 6FL I think) but If you import these files to the car's internal HDD, you lose the artwork and introduce a nonsensical playback sort order
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      04-26-2011, 06:20 AM   #4
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Damn, by the title I thought you had installed a turntable. I wanted to see pictures of that!
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      04-26-2011, 07:02 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfax View Post
...but If you import these files to the car's internal HDD, you lose the artwork and introduce a nonsensical playback sort order
Doesn't seem to make any sense at all. I had thought that iDrive might be relying on the iPod to display artwork etc, but if it can display straight from an external HDD, then what's the problem with doing the same from its own internal disk?
Barking!
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      04-26-2011, 08:38 AM   #6
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Damn, by the title I thought you had installed a turntable. I wanted to see pictures of that!
The "chestnut interior is not as red as the photo shows"! J/K
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      04-26-2011, 08:41 AM   #7
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Yep, this certainly works for pro nav (or any car with 6FL I think) but If you import these files to the car's internal HDD, you lose the artwork and introduce a nonsensical playback sort order
...as well as limit the bit rate of the songs being imported.
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      04-26-2011, 08:50 AM   #8
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I'm wondering if the song file name must begin with a number for the internal storage to play in order. Can't play around with it until I get a car. Looks like the first part of May.
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      04-26-2011, 11:09 AM   #9
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Quote:
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I'm wondering if the song file name must begin with a number for the internal storage to play in order. Can't play around with it until I get a car. Looks like the first part of May.
Well that would work if it plays in alphabetical order but any right-minded player would look at the ID3 tags to decide on the order - if playing an album. If playing from any old folder, then who's to say what the correct order should be?
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      04-26-2011, 01:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
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I'm wondering if the song file name must begin with a number for the internal storage to play in order. Can't play around with it until I get a car. Looks like the first part of May.
This does work, yes, because alphanumeric order will play 01 song 1, 02 song 2 etc. I wrote something to rename a library of songs so that they work on the HDD in the correct but this doesn't overcome its other limitations and it also means all titles have three characters wasted on "0x "
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      04-26-2011, 01:44 PM   #11
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If you want use external drive in you car, you'd better be careful, since most laptop drive is not designed for working under unstable environment (driving on bumpy road), it may crash shortly.
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      04-26-2011, 02:07 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bustofa View Post
Well that would work if it plays in alphabetical order but any right-minded player would look at the ID3 tags to decide on the order - if playing an album. If playing from any old folder, then who's to say what the correct order should be?
Since a tag is enbeded with each individual music file the "computer" must first choose what order to read the files. I guess it could take it one step further and read the total directory and play back in the tags track order. What's interesting is that WMP 12 doesn't read the tag title on playback, but shows a parsed file name without the number.

I agree that the car can be a hostile environment for a HD, so I do plan on mounting it to buffer mild shocks.
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      04-28-2011, 11:49 AM   #13
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Since reading your initial post I have been cleaning up my digital music collection to get ready for my X3, needless to say the ability to play from USB drive is great.

Anyone tried different file formats to see what is compatible (OGG or FLAC)? Doubt it has the ability to play video too, but has anyone tried?

-Dave
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      04-28-2011, 03:48 PM   #14
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From X3 Manual

Video formats
▷ DVD: DVD-ROM, DVD-R, DVD+R, DVDRW,
DVD+RW, DVD-R DL, DVD+R DL, DVD
audio (video part only), DVD video*.
▷ CD: CD-ROM, CD-R, CD-RW, CD-DA,
VCD*, SVCD*.
▷ Compressed audio files: MP3, WMA, AAC*,
M4A*.

Audio files
Standard audio files can be played back:
▷ MP3.
▷ WMA.
▷ WAV (PCM).
▷ AAC*, M4A*.
▷ Playback lists: M3U, WPL*, PLS*.

Note: No AVI
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