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      11-02-2012, 01:09 PM   #1
c.cash
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Audio media quirks; scroll jump or page down?

I'm loving all the audio media options I have, but as I get to know the system I'm finding there are some odd quirks, like:

1.) can't use playlists or get album art with files stored on the hard drive
2.) when using a USB flash drive in the armrest, songs don't just continuously play from folder to folder (you have to make a playlist)
3.) lists in the HUD and the iDrive screen aren't always on the same page
4.) no "Next / Previous" button on steering wheel
5.) no Page Down, Jump x10, or Go To End for scrolling

Using the iDrive or the scroll wheel on the steering wheel, is there a way to jump down a long list, like "page down" or "go to end"? It takes a lot of scrolling to get to the bottom of a list If I'm using a USB flash drive with hundreds of songs on it.

I can think of various workarounds, like making a bunch of playlists to break the list up into smaller parts, but I hope there's a direct answer. I know a mechanic who works on a lot of BMWs and he got very animated about the iDrive controller, saying, "DO NOT fly through that iDrive wheel… scroll slowly, because it WILL break. And never, ever, have any liquids around it!" Well, that's not going to happen cause I need my morning coffee, but I am heeding his advice about the scrolling. The iDrive system is very expensive to repair.

I also miss having a "next / previous" button on the steering wheel. The E90 had it, and the last 3 cars I've bought had it. I know I can just scroll the thumb wheel down 1x and press it, or reach over to the dash and hit the > button, and I realize this is NOT a big deal in the grand scheme of life, but it is a strange omission to someone who is really used to having it.

Anyone have any tricks they'd like to share?
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      11-02-2012, 03:58 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c.cash View Post
I'm loving all the audio media options I have, but as I get to know the system I'm finding there are some odd quirks, like:

1.) can't use playlists or get album art with files stored on the hard drive
2.) when using a USB flash drive in the armrest, songs don't just continuously play from folder to folder (you have to make a playlist)
3.) lists in the HUD and the iDrive screen aren't always on the same page
4.) no "Next / Previous" button on steering wheel
5.) no Page Down, Jump x10, or Go To End for scrolling

Using the iDrive or the scroll wheel on the steering wheel, is there a way to jump down a long list, like "page down" or "go to end"? It takes a lot of scrolling to get to the bottom of a list If I'm using a USB flash drive with hundreds of songs on it.

I can think of various workarounds, like making a bunch of playlists to break the list up into smaller parts, but I hope there's a direct answer. I know a mechanic who works on a lot of BMWs and he got very animated about the iDrive controller, saying, "DO NOT fly through that iDrive wheel… scroll slowly, because it WILL break. And never, ever, have any liquids around it!" Well, that's not going to happen cause I need my morning coffee, but I am heeding his advice about the scrolling. The iDrive system is very expensive to repair.

I also miss having a "next / previous" button on the steering wheel. The E90 had it, and the last 3 cars I've bought had it. I know I can just scroll the thumb wheel down 1x and press it, or reach over to the dash and hit the > button, and I realize this is NOT a big deal in the grand scheme of life, but it is a strange omission to someone who is really used to having it.

Anyone have any tricks they'd like to share?
I find this annoying as well. My truck and camaro have the skip on wheel and I feel naked without it. I guess just have to get used to it?
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      11-03-2012, 03:00 PM   #3
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Artwork on HD

I collected my F31 330D M Sport two weeks ago and still exploring all the features of the car, the navigation and the multimedia. The owners manuals have been compulsory bed time reading, but I think I'm finally making headway. Specifically, I was able to copy my mp3 files to a memory stick and play them directly from the USB port. Agreed, it was looping round the same album until I manually selected another one. Getting them onto the hard drive wasn't as intuitively obvious as it should have been but another read of the book soon put me right. So I've now got all my music loaded up and it works a treat. Artwork is present but is dependent on the album and not all have the artwork. I would suggest this is normal behaviour and not a fault with the system.
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      11-03-2012, 09:48 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James_Squire View Post
Your mechanic sounds like an idiot. The controller is about $100. The guts of the system is behind the dash.
Uh huh, well, I'm pretty sure he's not an idiot, but then I can't vouch for his work. He's not my mechanic, he's a co-workers husband. What I do know is that he owns a shop that repairs German cars, and that he has to order German parts every day. Do you?

He was telling me about someone who spilled whatever they were drinking all over the iDrive controller and it cost a lot of money to repair. Must've shorted out some of those guts behind the dash. As for spinning the controller too fast, if you can guarantee me that it'll only cost a couple hundred to fix, then I'll spin away.

The point of this thread is that I was wondering if there's an option to fast-scroll or jump that I wasn't aware of. Nothing in the manual. I recently read a tip about cruise control being able to jump in 5 mph increments by hitting the steering wheel control a certain way, and got me wondering if there's a way to do something similar with the thumb wheel.
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      11-03-2012, 09:50 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alastair View Post
Artwork is present but is dependent on the album and not all have the artwork. I would suggest this is normal behaviour and not a fault with the system.
I don't get any artwork for albums copied from a USB drive. I do get some artwork for CDs I've stored (ripped) onto the hard drive.
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      11-04-2012, 07:16 AM   #6
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C.Cash, I think you will find the problem is with the source of the files on the USB stick. See the link below.
http://www.wikihow.com/Attach-Artwor...3-Music-Tracks
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      11-04-2012, 01:28 PM   #7
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Re:artwork

Thanks, and interesting article, but all they're doing is adding a picture to the metadata of the mp3.

I know almost all of my mp3s already have artwork in the metadata because it is displayed when I connect using the USB port in the armrest. I transferred the contents of that same USB stick to the hard drive, and the artwork is not displayed. Not a big deal... it's only eye-candy.
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      11-05-2012, 02:49 AM   #8
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3 new things:

iDrive scrolling:
I let the iDrive wheel fly, and based on its behavior, I think it's supposed to be spun fast to "jump".

If you spin it medium-fast, it'll jump maybe 20-40 songs down the list. If you whip it really fast, you might get to the bottom of an 800-song list in no time. In other words, it's logarithmic, not linear... and that would seem to be a design feature.

So that's my solution -- I can't take the slow scrolling anymore, so I'm done with being cautious about it. (And I hope James Squire is right if it breaks).

USB:
This week I've been really trying to figure out how I want to go about playing songs from my iTunes collection in the car. So far I've decided that using a USB flash drive in the armrest port is the better solution.

I didn't like the USB drive sticking out precariously in the compartment -- something's going to get broken. So I bought this today:

Name:  41niDHx9rjL._AA300_.jpg
Views: 310
Size:  10.2 KB
http://www.sandisk.com/products/usb/drives/cruzer-fit/

This thing is TI-NEEE. Don't drop it or you may never find it. But it is low profile and perfect for the storage compartment... and it's 32GB - enough for about 12 days of continuous music.

Work Flow:
"Work flow" sounds too serious for what we're talking about, but you get the idea. Initially I had gone into my iTunes > iTunes Music folder and copied artists' folders onto a USB stick.

Later I figured out that using Playlists would resolve the "stuck in a folder" issue with the HUD -- now I could see a full list. You just export .m3u files directly from iTunes and put them on the root level of the USB stick. Of course you can also go nuts with making more playlists and really break the list up.

But I was still wondering how I was going to deal with updating the USB drive as my library grew. Sounded like a hassle.

Tonight I tired something else: I just did a "select all" of songs in a playlist and dragged them from iTunes onto the stick to see what would happen. All of the songs just copied over. Now export the playlist .m3u file, and you're set. It doesn't get any easier than that.

So now you just have a list of songs that aren't in folders, which seems messy, but it's no big deal -- you can just use the Search function in the car to sort by Artist, Genre, etc. since the metadata is (should be) stored in the song files.

As a side note, the exception to this is .wav files. Although they don't normally have metadata, you *can* use them (unlike if you store them to the hard drive). You can play uncompressed, 44.1/16 bit uncompressed CD quality music from a flash drive, eliminating the need for having a bunch of CDs in the car.

At this point, I can't see why folders (that you get stuck in) would be a better solution, when you can just sort everything.

Using folders, if I added new songs to my library and wanted them in the car it would be a hassle to update the USB stick. With a playlist, you just update your "Car Playlist" in iTunes and drag the new songs onto the stick. Sounds much easier.

So that's my plan so far; I wanted to update this to save someone some time figuring this out. Feel free to shoot holes in it.

Last edited by c.cash; 11-11-2012 at 12:04 AM.
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      11-11-2012, 10:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c.cash View Post
3 new things:

B]USB:[/b]
This week I've been really trying to figure out how I want to go about playing songs from my iTunes collection in the car. So far I've decided that using a USB flash drive in the armrest port is the better solution.

I didn't like the USB drive sticking out precariously in the compartment -- something's going to get broken. So I bought this today:

Attachment 777490
http://www.sandisk.com/products/usb/drives/cruzer-fit/

This thing is TI-NEEE. Don't drop it or you may never find it. But it is low profile and perfect for the storage compartment... and it's 32GB - enough for about 12 days of continuous music.

So that's my plan so far; I wanted to update this to save someone some time figuring this out. Feel free to shoot holes in it.
c.cash, I wanted to ask how this USB stick has been working for you. I have read some reviews that this drive is a little slow. Have you had any issues with it?
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      11-11-2012, 11:58 PM   #10
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It's working great. I could be wrong, but it seems to store it in some sort of cache or permanent RAM, because it loads up quickly -- nothing like as long as it took the first time I plugged it in, which took quite a while for my playlists to populate the list.

The only issue I had to work out was that my master playlist kept defaulting to sorting the list by Genre, which is useful, but I want the master list to just be songs by Artist, A-Z. I had to experiment with exporting the playlist a few times till I got it right. One of the sorting options in iTunes is a check mark, which shows you the song order numerically sorted... and this seems to be how a device like the iDrive sees the list.

I like the fact that I can have some .wav files mixed in for full CD quality. Too many would get unruly due to the lack of metadata, so i just use it for the songs where fidelity really matters.

I guess I'm done futzing with the music part of the car. Need to find something else to tweak now On to mastering the voice commands...
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      11-12-2012, 02:12 AM   #11
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Another option for you would be to buy an Ipod for the car only. They're small enough these days to be hidden in the armrest.

The advantage of this is that it would synchronize automatically with your itunes whenever its close enough to your home and pickup the wifi signal. (you seem to be the person who will definitely have wifi )
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      11-12-2012, 02:30 AM   #12
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For sure, and that may be what I ask for from Santa this year.
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