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Determining if my car is MP3 enabled

Old 12-12-2011, 03:12 PM
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I recently purchased a 2006 530i (with in dash CD player and Nav) and I'm already attempting to self install a Dension Gateway 500 with Bluetooth Adapter. I have gathered from my research here on the boards, that my iDrive must be "MP3 enabled" in order to have full integration between my Dension Gateway (and audio source, be it an iPhone, MP3 player, USB, etc.) and the iDrive.

I've been attempting to determine if my car has already had this update applied. Seems simple right? Burn an MP3 disc and pop it into the in dash CD player. When I did this, the CD option under Entertainment remained 'grayed out', which I assumed indicated that it wasn't MP3 enabled. However I then tried a regular, professionally made music CD, with the same result. It would seem that there is an issue with my in dash CD player, yeah?

So if that is the case, I have a few questions:
  • Is there a way to determine if my iDrive has the update applied, perhaps by accessing the version of my iDrive and compare that to the version necessary for the MP3 enabling?
  • Can I use the Nav DVD drive to determine if MP3 functionality is enabled? (I'm assuming no, as I've already tried the same mp3 CD in the DVD drive, but perhaps I'm doing something wrong...)
  • Does anyone have a spare CD player for sale? I'm assuming the dealer will charge me an exorbitant amount to replace this.
  • Perhaps a long-shot...but for those Bay Area owners, are there any shops that could perform this update rather than the dealer (or a dealer you would recommend)?

Thanks for any help you can provide!
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Old 12-12-2011, 04:42 PM
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Nope, MP3 enable is not mandatory ... there are some members here w/ 1st generation build MY04 (that's late '03 production) car that can not play MP3 on the dash CD but no problem using Dension GW500 ... basically install Dension GW500 and code it to enable iPod retrofit ('cuz that'll enable the text ability to display song title etc.).

Do extensive search and you'll find some members that has no MP3 ability but using Dension.
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Old 12-12-2011, 06:56 PM
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Hmm, that's interesting. I've must have misunderstood the DIY posts I've been reading. Thanks for setting me straight! While there are a lot of DIY guides out there already, I plan on outlining my exact experience in case anyone finds themselves in the same position.

Am I correct in assuming that after the coding for the iPod retrofit is performed, the Gateway will essentially be plug and play? My understanding is that iPod retrofit coding will 'activate' the channel that the CDC would normally plug into, except with the intention of using it for the iPod adapter. Except in this case, I equip it with the Gateway instead.
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Old 12-13-2011, 02:11 AM
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If you CCC software version can decode and play MP3 Dension will work. If not then it won't, its basically the CCC software version level, which is hard to determine unless you know playing with NCS/WinKFP etc. I have seen sometimes even if CCC is MP3 compatible you will still need +KMP3 VO to make this function.

Dension (and iPod adapter also I guess, never witnessed myself) simply emulates cd changer and if you already have cd changer you don't need any coding.

If you have right obd cable try adding +KMP3 to the VO and see if you can play MP3 from DVD drive. A Nav DVD drive unit should be able to MP3 CD and DVD too.
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Old 12-13-2011, 03:22 AM
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Hi

Normaly BMW E60/61 from 09-2005 and onwards should be able to play CD burnÚd with mp3 music files ( use NERO and burn i format "lame mp3" ) , they mostly are in Europe :-) , then the mp3 CD should work both in the CD and the DVD slot ( DVD with mp3 files would of course anly can be played in the DVD slot ).

If the the mp3 function is not released in the CCC , it's correct the SA code +KMP3 must be added to the cars WIN list ( written to CAS & LMA ) and then must the CAPPL be coded in order to release the mp3 function & mp3 tags on the CID , the same is necessery if SA code +IPOD is added in conjuntion with a Dension Gateway 500 retrofited , here also mp3 function must be released throug abowe mentioned coding.

Hope this clarifeies it a bit :-)

Regards
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Old 12-15-2011, 09:04 AM
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Thank you, that does clarify things a bit. The build date of my E60 is 4/2005, so it seems I missed the mark for the default MP3 capability. Unfortunately I do not have a CDC, so it also looks like I'll need to ask the dealer to code. I'm curious about performing the coding you mentioned below, but I'm a bit hesitant to dive into that right away. Are there any risks to performing the coding yourself? Or is the software pretty reliable and straightforward?

Assuming that I forgo performing the coding myself, what is recommended; having the dealer perform the OEM iPod adapter retrofit coding first or installing the Gateway 500 first? My guess is that I should install the Gateway first, so that I can test the dealer's coding work immediately after, but I'll surely take the advice from the experts!

Thanks again!
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Old 12-15-2011, 09:32 AM
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Correct. With this car any device(s) you are trying to enable *must* be present (connected+working and all) during coding as the enabler system the dealer use will check for it during the session.

The culprit you may run into is the Dension GW500 is not an OEM module, depending on how your dealer see it they may make a big deal out it and turn down the work or some have no problem and just go with it. As far as the Dension itself it'll announce itself as an OEM iPod interface to the enabler system.

GL!

Originally Posted by abarruda View Post
[...]

Assuming that I forgo performing the coding myself, what is recommended; having the dealer perform the OEM iPod adapter retrofit coding first or installing the Gateway 500 first? My guess is that I should install the Gateway first, so that I can test the dealer's coding work immediately after, but I'll surely take the advice from the experts!

Thanks again!
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Old 12-21-2011, 09:24 AM
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Got it. Is there anyway to test the work I've done in setting up the Dension before I bring it to the dealer to get activated? I'd hate to do something incorrectly that will result in more time/confusion at the dealer or having them simply say "it doesn't work".

Worst case scenario (if the dealers in the Bay Area want to be sticklers), I can just get the car outfitted for the OEM iPod adapter and then plug and play the Dension afterward, correct?
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Old 01-31-2012, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by abarruda View Post
Got it. Is there anyway to test the work I've done in setting up the Dension before I bring it to the dealer to get activated? I'd hate to do something incorrectly that will result in more time/confusion at the dealer or having them simply say "it doesn't work".

Worst case scenario (if the dealers in the Bay Area want to be sticklers), I can just get the car outfitted for the OEM iPod adapter and then plug and play the Dension afterward, correct?
abarruda,
Do you have any updates on your efforts yet ? I am in a similar boat having just recently purchased a 2004 545i (April 04 build) and have the CDC in my E60. I am in Sacramento but have no technical capabilities to understand or DIY some of the things mentioned in this forum. I have talked to dealers here in Sacramento and none are willing to work on Dension. If there is a dealer in bay area that is familiar with this, I would liek to take my car out to them as well.
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Old 01-31-2012, 04:17 PM
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sackingbmw,

It seems your situation is a bit different than mine. You already have the CDC, so your installation should pretty much be plug and play. I would recommend you contacting a car audio shop to see if they can do the install for you, if you aren't willing to DIY. I found a couple in SF that were willing to do it for a few hundred. I'm still going to attempt to do it myself, the cable to code the car came in today, so we'll see how successful I am...
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