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      04-01-2013, 03:46 PM   #1
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"Regular" iPod controls - Am I missing something?

I just picked up my Alpine White 335i on Friday and so far have been loving the car (had an e92 335i coupe in 2007 and then a 2010 Audi S4 until Friday) but one thing is driving me crazy - how can I browse to Podcasts on the iDrive without the cradle?

I got the technology package in hopes of having the best iPod/iPhone integration. So far the bluetooth streaming is great but I am starting to think that there are no "standard" ipod controls available without the $$$ cradle (and then it's always full screen !?). By standard I mean the regular iPod menu items:Artists, Podcasts, Playlists, etc...

This is particularly frustrating because I listen to Podcasts quite a bit during my commute but there is no way that I've found to browse to the Podcasts. I can search but that only kind of works and the only option is to "Play" the results. I've tried an iPhone 5, iPhone 4 and an iPod nano with Apple usb cables. I have the technology package so I have BMW apps, and the advanced USB.

So, am I missing something? If this is just how it works then does anyone have suggestions on how to manage podcasts?
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      04-01-2013, 05:10 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bscardin View Post
I just picked up my Alpine White 335i on Friday and so far have been loving the car (had an e92 335i coupe in 2007 and then a 2010 Audi S4 until Friday) but one thing is driving me crazy - how can I browse to Podcasts on the iDrive without the cradle?

I got the technology package in hopes of having the best iPod/iPhone integration. So far the bluetooth streaming is great but I am starting to think that there are no "standard" ipod controls available without the $$$ cradle (and then it's always full screen !?). By standard I mean the regular iPod menu items:Artists, Podcasts, Playlists, etc...

This is particularly frustrating because I listen to Podcasts quite a bit during my commute but there is no way that I've found to browse to the Podcasts. I can search but that only kind of works and the only option is to "Play" the results. I've tried an iPhone 5, iPhone 4 and an iPod nano with Apple usb cables. I have the technology package so I have BMW apps, and the advanced USB.

So, am I missing something? If this is just how it works then does anyone have suggestions on how to manage podcasts?
Make a smart playlist in iTunes that automatically includes any or all podcasts and sync it to the phone. Then, you can play podcasts as you would any playlist.
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      04-01-2013, 05:20 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Yobyot View Post
Make a smart playlist in iTunes that automatically includes any or all podcasts and sync it to the phone. Then, you can play podcasts as you would any playlist.
I started doing that and it kind of works but it is still a pain. The nice part about the normal browsing is you can go to Podcasts->Podcast Name->Episode and then play it. With a smart playlist you just have a list of _all_ podcasts and the best I can do is sort by date.

I've started creating individual smart playlists for each Podcast Name but that kind of sucks too. I'm just kind of shocked that even with all the tech options the most basic of iPod interfaces is not being used by the car. In my Audi the top level screen looked just like a standard iPod menu and you could browse away. From what I've seen this is what you get with the cradle as well but spending another $300-400 after already opting for the technology package is kind of a kick in the nuts.
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      04-01-2013, 05:47 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bscardin
I just picked up my Alpine White 335i on Friday and so far have been loving the car (had an e92 335i coupe in 2007 and then a 2010 Audi S4 until Friday) but one thing is driving me crazy - how can I browse to Podcasts on the iDrive without the cradle?

I got the technology package in hopes of having the best iPod/iPhone integration. So far the bluetooth streaming is great but I am starting to think that there are no "standard" ipod controls available without the $$$ cradle (and then it's always full screen !?). By standard I mean the regular iPod menu items:Artists, Podcasts, Playlists, etc...

This is particularly frustrating because I listen to Podcasts quite a bit during my commute but there is no way that I've found to browse to the Podcasts. I can search but that only kind of works and the only option is to "Play" the results. I've tried an iPhone 5, iPhone 4 and an iPod nano with Apple usb cables. I have the technology package so I have BMW apps, and the advanced USB.

So, am I missing something? If this is just how it works then does anyone have suggestions on how to manage podcasts?
I have the same options as you. I deleted my podcast app on my 4s and the podcasts show up on the artist lists now

I recently purchased a nano. If I convert the podcasts to AAC (I believe that is the name - not at my laptop), they will show up in my music library under the artists name. Actually, the entire podcast shows as an album and each episode a track.
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      04-01-2013, 07:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bscardin View Post
I started doing that and it kind of works but it is still a pain. The nice part about the normal browsing is you can go to Podcasts->Podcast Name->Episode and then play it. With a smart playlist you just have a list of _all_ podcasts and the best I can do is sort by date.

I've started creating individual smart playlists for each Podcast Name but that kind of sucks too. I'm just kind of shocked that even with all the tech options the most basic of iPod interfaces is not being used by the car. In my Audi the top level screen looked just like a standard iPod menu and you could browse away. From what I've seen this is what you get with the cradle as well but spending another $300-400 after already opting for the technology package is kind of a kick in the nuts.
With an iPhone that uses the pre-Lightning connector, you can buy a snap-in adapter (if you also bought BMW Apps) and get a close approximation of the iPod interface. I forget if it includes Podcasts or not -- but I don't think so.

Lots of people here think the snap-in adapter is stupid, useless or worse. I actually like it. Once your iPod is in it, you never need to go to the device for the things you get with USB plus the iPod interface.

I create smart playlists and call them "A1 - [podcast I like most name]', "A2 - [podcast I like second best]".

In this way, the playlists are updated automatically, show at the top of the playlists in iDrive and are sorted by my preferences. You can use all the iTunes selectors to have the playlist download unplayed episodes, all episodes, etc. And the iPhone will keep your place so that it's possible to start listening outside the car, then continue inside.
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      04-02-2013, 12:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bscardin View Post
I started doing that and it kind of works but it is still a pain. The nice part about the normal browsing is you can go to Podcasts->Podcast Name->Episode and then play it. With a smart playlist you just have a list of _all_ podcasts and the best I can do is sort by date.

I've started creating individual smart playlists for each Podcast Name but that kind of sucks too. I'm just kind of shocked that even with all the tech options the most basic of iPod interfaces is not being used by the car. In my Audi the top level screen looked just like a standard iPod menu and you could browse away. From what I've seen this is what you get with the cradle as well but spending another $300-400 after already opting for the technology package is kind of a kick in the nuts.
I agree. A Playlist for podcasts is a bad idea.

I'll have to play with this myself, but I think you can assign the podcasts to a Genre and then use iDrive to navigate into the genre and thus the podcast name, individual episodes, etc.
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      04-02-2013, 12:54 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Yobyot View Post
With an iPhone that uses the pre-Lightning connector, you can buy a snap-in adapter (if you also bought BMW Apps) and get a close approximation of the iPod interface. I forget if it includes Podcasts or not -- but I don't think so.

Lots of people here think the snap-in adapter is stupid, useless or worse. I actually like it. Once your iPod is in it, you never need to go to the device for the things you get with USB plus the iPod interface.

I create smart playlists and call them "A1 - [podcast I like most name]', "A2 - [podcast I like second best]".

In this way, the playlists are updated automatically, show at the top of the playlists in iDrive and are sorted by my preferences. You can use all the iTunes selectors to have the playlist download unplayed episodes, all episodes, etc. And the iPhone will keep your place so that it's possible to start listening outside the car, then continue inside.
The snap in adapter is terrible. I tried it for a week and returned it to BMW parts department. Phones aren't meant to be locked in an armrest. Maybe back in 2000 when we all had RAZR's or something, but not today and certainly not with a smartphone.
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      04-02-2013, 01:08 PM   #8
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To each their own, I suppose. I LOVE my cradle for my iPhone 4s. The improved interface alone is worth the price of admission, plus my reception is improved, I don't have any cell-radio waves bouncing around the interior, and I can play video from my iPhone on the Nav screen.

Of course, the better solution would be for BMW to implement the improved-navigation/interface of the cradle with the convenience of bluetooth streaming, but until they do, I'll stick with the cradle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joewalton View Post
The snap in adapter is terrible. I tried it for a week and returned it to BMW parts department. Phones aren't meant to be locked in an armrest. Maybe back in 2000 when we all had RAZR's or something, but not today and certainly not with a smartphone.
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      04-02-2013, 01:26 PM   #9
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To each their own, I suppose. I LOVE my cradle for my iPhone 4s. The improved interface alone is worth the price of admission, plus my reception is improved, I don't have any cell-radio waves bouncing around the interior, and I can play video from my iPhone on the Nav screen.

Of course, the better solution would be for BMW to implement the improved-navigation/interface of the cradle with the convenience of bluetooth streaming, but until they do, I'll stick with the cradle.
I use navigation a ton and even if I'm not I like having the map up to help me understand street options (like if I hit some local traffic and just want to glance for a side street).

So as much as the Apple skin looks cool and familiar it blocks the map and that doesn't work for me even if I could live with having the iPhone locked in the armrest.
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      04-02-2013, 03:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjc32000 View Post
To each their own, I suppose. I LOVE my cradle for my iPhone 4s. The improved interface alone is worth the price of admission, plus my reception is improved, I don't have any cell-radio waves bouncing around the interior, and I can play video from my iPhone on the Nav screen.

Of course, the better solution would be for BMW to implement the improved-navigation/interface of the cradle with the convenience of bluetooth streaming, but until they do, I'll stick with the cradle.
I'm with you -- I like the cradle for a bunch of reasons.

BTW, I confirmed that iPod out via the cradle with an iPhone 4S does provide a Podcasts selection. No playlists necessary, though I use that solution as well.
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      04-02-2013, 05:25 PM   #11
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That's a great point: I live in a place where only I use Nav maybe 3-4x/year. But isn't it nearly as complicated to get the nav screen to come up from a non-cradle F30 as it is from a cradle-equipped F30? You still need to press a few buttons. I have the snap-in adapter set for one of my presets, and another for navigation. I can just press the preset to switch between the two (and a single click of the iDrive controller to use the adapter). Granted, there is no way to incorporate split-screen with the cradle activated, which is a bummer. But it isn't like having the cradle disables Nav or makes it difficult to access. And my iPhone continues to play music when I switch over to Nav.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joewalton View Post
I use navigation a ton and even if I'm not I like having the map up to help me understand street options (like if I hit some local traffic and just want to glance for a side street).

So as much as the Apple skin looks cool and familiar it blocks the map and that doesn't work for me even if I could live with having the iPhone locked in the armrest.
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      04-02-2013, 05:54 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjc32000 View Post
That's a great point: I live in a place where only I use Nav maybe 3-4x/year. But isn't it nearly as complicated to get the nav screen to come up from a non-cradle F30 as it is from a cradle-equipped F30? You still need to press a few buttons. I have the snap-in adapter set for one of my presets, and another for navigation. I can just press the preset to switch between the two (and a single click of the iDrive controller to use the adapter). Granted, there is no way to incorporate split-screen with the cradle activated, which is a bummer. But it isn't like having the cradle disables Nav or makes it difficult to access. And my iPhone continues to play music when I switch over to Nav.
My point is this:

The only reason to get the snap in adapter is for the Apple UI.

The Apple UI is only visible in full screen.

So if you're a map guy, having the map up all the time invalidates the need for the Apple UI and thus the snap in. With the map up, the BMW standard UI is the same as the Apple UI. Skip, scroll, etc. It's staring at the pretty Apple TV looking display that makes it worthwhile. With that display hidden and running behind the map a) the BMW UI is just as good for song access (scroll, skip, pause) and b) kicks Apple's ass because of split screen.

Maybe it's just me, but I care about getting to a playlist or an artist, hitting play, and that's it. I don't drive with the Hotel California LP cover staring at me for 45 minutes. Instead, I use the map as its more germane to transportation. And with the BMW UI you can do split screen and get both the map AND the pretty Eagles LP cover simultaneously AND have the nav overtake the LP cover when approaching a turn before gliding back to the LP cover again.

For full-screen LP art people, the Apple iPod out UI rocks. For everyone else, it's limitations are a big step backwards.
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