The platform also underpins the infotainment system found in Rolls-Royce vehicles and, under the brand name "Connected", can be found in current-generation MINIs. The concept is simple: take as many secondary vehicle controls as possible — music, navigation, climate control etc.
This means you have a single, cohesive way to access all your car's features and settings, but can make it difficult to keep track of everything your vehicle is capable of, particularly without a BMW iDrive manual.
We take a look at a few of the questions a lot of people have about iDrive, whether they're having BMW iDrive problems, or they're considering buying a new BMW, to help you understand exactly what iDrive has to offer. This content includes vehicle settings and journey data, as well as more typical infotainment features, such as navigation, music and communication.
The system is a combination of hardware and software. Scattered around the driver's cabin can also be found supplementary pieces of equipment, including buttons on the dashboard and steering wheel, a microphone for voice control and, in vehicles with the latest BMW iDrive versions, cameras supporting gesture control.
All this hardware is used to run BMW's dedicated iDrive software, which, like the operating systems we're familiar with from our phones and computers, has seen a number of different versions through the years. It is the software that determines much of the user experience, including menu layout and feature set through different BMW iDrive apps.
Like other technology devices, iDrive has gone through several progressive stages. Over time, more features have been added to the iDrive system, and the visual interface has been modernized and improved. Whereas older iDrive versions featured menus to scroll through, the latest iterations include layouts made up of dynamic tiles.
As well as looking more contemporary, these layouts also make it easier to get the information you need at a glance. Thanks to the changes made to the interface from one iDrive version to the next, distinguishing between different generations is usually simple. As each iDrive version largely replaced its predecessor, you can also get an idea of which iDrive version you have by looking up your vehicle's model and production year.
If you need any help, get in touch with us and we'll help you identify your iDrive head unit. Most BMWs will still feel pretty fresh even a decade after production, but the same probably can't be said of iDrive.
Technology moves so quickly that it only takes a few years for a system to start lagging behind, so the iDrive in your brand new BMW could be outdated in a few key areas before your lease is up.
One area where issues come up particularly quickly is smartphone connectivity. With each year's models from the likes of Apple and Samsung adding more new features, it's likely that your old iDrive won't be compatible with everything your phone has to offer.Post by c. Privacy Terms. Skip to content. Quick links.
I had been searching the net about this for a while but could not anything conclusive so I decided I would give it a try! I copied 2 videos mp4 and m4v onto a USB drive and plugged it into the armrest port.
To my biggest surprise, iDrive read both of them in fullscreen. I've looked for this too, but just thought I'd wait and see when the car comes.
No coded needed then? Awaiting new car! I'll report back when done. I was under the impression it had to be activated by coding so something must have changed. I must get my arse into gear and learn about this coding stuff quickly as I'll be wanting this PDQ. I wondered if it would work. Is there a specified video format that works?
I looked before when I had wmv files on a memory card but that didn't work.
Using and Updating the BMW iDrive System
Also if there is someone who could code the pronav to keep video playing when moving, Again for passengers on a long trip I would be more than happy to pay someone to do this? Before E93 i with a DMS tune. Now F20 D with a few tasty options. Board index All times are UTC.Create an account on Neowin to contribute and support the site. By DefiantlyAugust 11, in Hardware Hangout. My Radio can see the USB drive and plays the music directly from it.
I format this drive to FAT32 the only file system the car can read using an external tool. I have about track on it, with folders. Everything is organized by Artist. Once this is done the car sees the new artist along with the older stuff. I don't understand why the car doesn't see folders added but does see tracks added to existing folders.
Have you tried changing the disk volume's label or serial number to see if that forces the car stereo to reindex the USB flash drive? Also, you might want to check with the car stereo manufacturer for a firmware update or report this as a bug. I have had similar problems with my media device. The problem there was that the ASUS media player created a temp file that stored the listings of the USB when it was first inserted into the media player, after that, even if I added new media, it will not show it, until I formatted the drive.
I then started deleting that temp file whenever I added new content, and it worked normally. Ok, thank you! I never would have looked for a temp file created my my radio. I'll check it out tonight. I DO have "show all files" enabled on my PC, but I wonder if this is a system file, which is still hidden with "hide protected operating system files".
Also, it looks like there is a newer firmware version out there, but they are in the "replacement radios" and are not being applied to existing units. Although, my unit works perfectly with exception to this isuue. Your welcome, I hope this solves it for you. The file was placed in the root of the USB. What you can do is copy a few music files to the USB and then connect it to the radio, skip through a few tracks, and then check on your computer.
I found no additional files on the USB drive. I am unable to delete the folder or the file. I can edit the contents of the file in notepad looks like a serial number but afterwards the car still doesn't show a folder I added as a test. I'm starting to wonder if the allocation size I format the drive to is an issue. I choose each time. I don't think it will be saved as a system file, just a regular hidden file. Try skimming through your folders and sort files by extension.
The index file should stick out like a sore thumb amongst your mp3 files. Check the folder that would come first in alphabetical order. Failing that, try a wildcard search of your USB thumb drive for any.
Uploading music to BMW built-in hard drives?
I did try that and came up with nothing. The only additional file on drive is the System Volume. Hmm how odd :s is this music player an after market head unit?If you love listening to music you've accumulated on your computer, you can listen to all of it in your car as long as you have a USB port.
If your head unit in your car already has a USB port built right in, then it makes it even easier to start listening to music while you drive. The main reason that car stereos include USB ports is to provide a data connection for digital music files, although there are a few roadblocks that you might run into along the way. The first thing to look at is a file format, which refers to the way that your music files are encoded.
There are even high-resolution audio formats like FLAC and ALACalthough there is a limit to how many of these large files you can take with you on the road. Another primary issue with successfully connecting a USB drive to a head unit is the way that the drive is formatted.
The last common issue that can prevent you from listening to music in your car from a USB drive is if the head unit is looking for the files in the wrong place. Some head units are capable of scanning the entire drive, while others provide you with a rudimentary file browser to locate files on the drive.
But, there are some head units that make you look in a very specific place. You will then have to create the appropriate directory on the drive and move all of the music files into it. After that, the head unit should be able to locate the music files without a problem. All of the preceding information presupposes that your head unit already has a USB port and is capable of playing digital music files via that port.
The easiest option is to use an FM transmitter that includes both a USB port and the appropriate hardware to read and play music files. A slightly better option, in terms of sound quality, is to wire in an FM modulator, although this will typically provide you with an auxiliary port rather than a functioning USB port. With an FM modulator or a head unit that includes a built-in auxiliary port, the missing piece of the puzzle is hardware or software that is capable of decoding the digital music files and playing them back.
This can come in the form of a dedicated MP3 player or a phone, but there are also inexpensive solutions out there that are essentially just an MP3 decoder on a board with a USB connection, aux output, and power leads, that provides something of a do it yourself alternative to actually replacing your head unit.
Tweet Share Email. More from Lifewire.I enjoy listening to music, so I wish to play back selected music in my car with the best reproduction quality and highest fidelity. After extensive informal trials and testing, I have discovered the following results: 1.
For me, the best choice is music files stored onto a USB flash drive. The flash drive is connected to the center console USB port. The remaining choices were tested and resulted in increased degradation of music audio quality. Playback of music CD's using the vehicle's CD player. CD's are bit The music has comparatively similar sound to MPEG4, but as stated in 3 above, no artist and album name is displayed. However, simply stated, the sound quality is not as good when compared to the uncompressed WAV files.
Playback of music files from the iPod, iPhone or MP3 player. These devices were connected using the headphone jack mini-plug to the center console aux player. The playback quality of iTunes music downloads or music MP3s is significantly lower.
I discovered that connecting the iPod headphone jack to the aux input is better than connecting the iPod to the USB Port for two reasons: 1. The video continues to display on the device. At the same time the headphone jack is used to playback any audio, the iPod connector can be connected to the center console power plug to charge the phone when a charger adaptor is used. I do not recommend this approach.
BMW's compression format used when storing files onto their internal hard drive has very poor audio reproduction quality through their own high quality sound system when music is played from the hard drive. Is this store to then playback from the hard drive problem unique to my car or do others of you have similar experiences? The Bluetooth music feature was not tested. Therefore do not expect to use this port for music playback.
As a fellow BMW owner, we should convince BMW to support and build into their vehicle sound system the encoding and decoding of high quality audio compression format files. These two formats would allow owners to have a choice of playing selected high quality, high fidelity music particularly useful when taking a long road trip. Under the current recommendation, using a 16 Gigabyte USB flash drive, an owner can store up to 20 albums approximately songs of bit, 48 kHz WAV music.
It is akin to taking 20 CDs in the car. The driver periodically replaces the files on the flash drive, or uses a second flash drive to increase his selection while on the road.
For my tests I used the following: 1. My new BMW i sound system. Still the best audio reproduction quality. Vinyl LPs are making a comeback. Good post, but I do not think the differences in lossless and larger files are not as meaningful enough in an acoustically horrible listening environment like a moving car to give up the amount of music available.
For the most part, the differences are not enough to warrant the increased file size, except on the iPod where space is less a premium than USB. I have found the quality to be as much as factor of source material and encoding technique as opposed to simply the bit rate. In a better environment, the differences can be heard, but a moving car is an inhospitable place to hear the subtle differences and trade off access to more music.
In a home system with control over the environment and better playback components, yes there is more of a difference. I'm using a usb hard drive 1 Terabyte with a couple of thousands songs on it, all formatted into a lossless WMA Windows Media Audio file format. Take care about the WMA file format. From the outside you can't recognize the differences between the two audio quality format from only the file name. The standard rip from an audio cd to the internal BMW hard drive is based on a WMA lossy file format at a relative low bit rate.
That's the cause of the bad quality you'll hear once you've tried this.Log in or Sign up. Post Count: 2 Likes Received I initially transferred about 45GB of music to the drive. When first inserted into the USB port in the arm rest i iDrive found all the music on the drive. Subsequently I found additional music files I wanted in the car. I pulled the thumb drive, stuck it into my desktop computer, and added the extra folders of music.
When I plugged the thumb drive back into the car iDrive did not display the new files. Searching for them failed. Navigating the folders manually failed. I tried renaming the volume to see if that would cause iDrive to rescan the thumb drive. I tried reformatting the drive and copying the files back onto it.
No improvement. Apparently iDrive is unable or unwilling to refresh its content list for the device. I have no idea how to force it to do so. There are about 4, files on the drive in mp3 and mp4 formats with varying bit rate encodings. All the files originally on the drive work fine regardless of their encoding or bit rates. Any ideas on how to force iDrive to see the additional files?
Post Count: 3, Likes Received Presumably our resident tech, Charlson, will have some suggestions. I looked up an owner's manual you can look up yours on BMW's website for a manual '18 i under the 'Entertainment: Audio' section, didn't see anything that answered your particular issue. Did you try re-importing? MGarrisonApr 22, Post Count: 2, Likes Received BMW does not recognize MP4s.
Make sure you have no sub folders either. Last thing would be to check for a software update for the vehicle media software. You can do this by going to BMW.Uploading to the Music Collection with USB
You must log in or sign up to reply here. Share This Page. Your name or email address: Do you already have an account? Forgot your password?If available, information on the album, such as the artist, is stored as well. Individual tracks and directories can be deleted later, Deleting a track and directory.
Backing up music data Regularly back up the music data; otherwise, it could be lost if there is a fault on the hard disk. Gracenote is the industry standard in music recognition technology and related content delivery. CD and music-related data from Gracenote, Inc. This product and service may practice one or more of the following U. Patents: 5,; 6,; 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, and other patents issued or pending.
During the storage process, the tracks are played in sequence. You can switch to the other audio sources without interrupting the storage process. During storage, information such as the name of the artist is stored with the track, if this information is available in the vehicle database or on the CD. To store music, a suitable device must be connected to the USB interface in the glove compartment.
FAT 32 is the recommended format. General information Your vehicle contains advanced technology for the reduction of fuel consumption and emissions. Fuel consumption depends on a number of different factors. The implementation of certain measures Central locking system The conceptThe central locking system functions when the driver's door is closed.
Switching on automatically Select transmission position R with the engine running. Home New Top Sitemap Search. See also: General information Your vehicle contains advanced technology for the reduction of fuel consumption and emissions.