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      11-29-2008, 04:56 PM   #1
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Frequently Asked Questions

1Ronnie has generously provided a set of FAQ's for the Audio/Video/Electronics/Bluetooth/I-Drive/Alarm category. Thanks so much for your hard work, Ron.

Here goes, four subsections included in four sequential posts;

FAQ: Common Audio System Issues
The following FAQ outlines some of the common audio problems listed in this thread. There are too many complaints to list individually but hopfully this reflects the most common, or groups of similar issues. Comments, enhancements, corrections, and suggestions will be added to the FAQ as appropriate.
Following are the topics covered:
1. Why does my audio temporarily go off soon after the car starts?
2. My MP3 player or iPod audio comes and goes, or speakers cut in and out
3. I hear static/vibrations on Bass notes when driving
4. Why doesn't my USB device work?
5. My iPod won't play through a USB Cable
6. Why don't I see the "ART", "ALB", "GEN" or "LIST" buttons on the Head Unit?
7. Why do I occasionally hear 5 high pitched beeps coming through the Sound System?
8. Why does my Radio not work when the rear defroster is on?
9. Volume gets quieter when I slow down, louder when I speed up
10. Sound occasionally goes Fuzzy, Quiet, Loud, Staticy
11. Very poor sound quality from outside the car
12. What diagnostic steps can I take to fix my Audio Problems


1. Why does my audio temporarily go off soon after the car starts?


This is a well known problem if you have the "HiFi" Sound System (the standard shipped in USA/Canada). It is caused by a reset of the MOST bus, causing the Siemens RAD2 system to reset. The document is well described in this thread:
http://www.1addicts.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10816


2. My MP3 player or iPod audio comes and goes, or speakers cut in and out


The most common cause of this problem is a bad cable or bad connection between the music player and the USB / Aux ports under the armrest. Numerous people have commented that the cables can get "pinched" when the arm rest is put down. Others have commented that the connector going into the Aux port can easily be pulled out a small amount causing a bad connection or complete loss of sound.


3. I hear static/vibrations on Bass notes when driving


This is most commonly experienced in cars with the "Top HiFi" or "Premium" Sound Systems installed. There has been an ongoing debate with BMW on the cause of this issue, and has not yet been suitably resolved. It is well documented here:
http://www.1addicts.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14289


4. Why doesn't my USB device work?


There are a number of prerequisites before a USB device will work. Primarily it must work as a standard "Removable Storage Device" on a computer, must be formatted in FAT or FAT32, must have standard MP3 music files, and must not exceed the power capabilities of the USB port. A good diagnostic is to use a small cheap USB memory stick, with a small number of MP3 music tracks on it to verify the USB port is working. More details can be found here:
http://www.1addicts.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19779


5. My iPod won't play through a USB Cable


Use of the iPod in the 1er is best acheived using the BMW "Y-Cable", which allows the iPod to play iTunes files in the AAC format through the Aux input in the 1er. Using a standard iPod USB cable will only work for music on the iPod that is in standard MP3 format. More details can be found here:
http://www.1addicts.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19779


6. Why don't I see the "ART", "ALB", "GEN" or "LIST" buttons on the Head Unit?


The most common scenario is you have not waited long enough. It is common for libraries over 11,000 songs to take 15, 20 or more minutes to scan, before the soft buttons appear on the HU. A simple test to try is to put a smaller number of MP3 tracks onto a USB memory stick, and make sure they appear. More details can be found here:
http://www.1addicts.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19779



7. Why do I occasionally hear 5 high pitched beeps coming through the Sound System?


This is caused buy the Hourly Time Signal in iDrive equipped cards, which can be configured in the iDrive settings, consult page 75 of the iDrive user manual to disable this. The iDrive user manual can be referenced here:
http://www.1addicts.com/goodiesforyo...ve_E82_E88.pdf


8. Why does my Radio not work when the rear defroster is on?


This happens in some cars, not all, and will most likely affect AM Radio. This is due to the Radio Antenna being implemented as wire traces in the window similar to the wires used for the rear defroster. Some drivers experience no problem at all, others find no Radio stations work at all when the defroster us running. Potential implications such as Window Tinting or AM Radio transmission strength may have an impact on your experience.


9. Volume gets quieter when I slow down, louder when I speed up


This is a feature known as Speed Dependant Volume on the "Top HiFi" or "Premium" Sound System, which can be configured in the Audio Settings screen on the Head Unit. The setting can be changed from 1 - 6, where 1 is the least change, and 6 is the most.


10. Sound occasionally goes Fuzzy, Quiet, Loud, Staticy


There are many reported issues of the Audio system going hayware intermittantly, which is extremely hard to reproduce, and may happen extremely irregularly. Should the problem happen repeatedly, it is suggested that you consult your dealer, there may be justification to have the Head Unit replaced.


11. Very poor sound quality from outside the car


This is a common complaint with the 1er, the sound proofing does not prevent rattles or distortion occuring when hearing the car from the outside. The comment "it is what it is" seems to sum up this issue.


12. What diagnostic steps can I take to fix my Audio Problems


Depending on the type of fault, some of these things may be good to try:
- Check the volume. Distortion is often caused by too much volume, no sound from too little volume
- Check the Aux input volume, there is an input volume for the Aux port in the Audio Settings screen when listening to Aux devices
- Check the sending devices volume when using the Aux port. Distortion is often caused by too much volume, no sound from too little volume
- Check all connectors are pushed in
- Check that cables have not been overly bent, stretched, or creased.
- Test using alternative cables,
- Try alternative audio devices, a different iPod, or a small memory stick with a few MP3's on it.
- Try your audio device in another car (at the dealer or a friends)
- Use a different port, if the Aux port isn't working, try a Memory Stick in the USB port, if the USB port isn't working try an MP3 player connected to the Aux port.
- Try the Radio or a CD if MP3 or iPod is not working, to check if the Head Unit is working
- Check fuses in the fuse panel
- Power the car off and on again
- For USB devices, power the car off, and leave it for some time to "Standby" before trying again (honestly I thought I had blown up my USB port after accidentally shorting it out, but it came back)
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      11-29-2008, 04:58 PM   #2
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FAQ: Using the USB and Aux Ports

FAQ: Using the USB and Aux Ports
This is my first attempt at a FAQ. If people think it’s OK I will try and maintain it, leave me comments or suggestions and I will append them as appropriate.

The questions are as follows:
1. How do I connect my iPod to the car using USB and the “Y-Cable”?
2. How do I connect my Ipod to the car using a standard iPod USB Cable?
3. How do I connect my non-iPod Music Player or Memory Stick using USB?
4. How do I connect a Music player or other device using the Aux port?
5. What devices can I connect to the USB port?
6. How many songs can I store on my Music Device?
7. What are the “ART”, “ALB”, “GEN”, and “LIST” buttons on the HU
8. How does the “DIR” button work with USB devices
9. Why do the “LIST”, “ART”, “ALB”, and “GEN” buttons never appear on the HU?
10. How large can a “Removable Storage Device” be?
11. What USB Memory Stick should I buy?

First a couple of Acronyms I’ll be using
HU – Head Unit
MP3 – Standard, unprotected sound format used in most music players
AAC – Apple’s proprietary sound format, used in iPods, may include DRM
DRM – Digital Rights Management to protect music from being copied, used in AAC and other formats
FAT – File Allocation Table, used on Removal Storage Devices (FAT32 is the same but bigger)
NTFS – NT File System, not to be used for 1er Removable Storage Devices


1. How do I connect my iPod to the car using USB and the “Y-Cable”?


iPods are generally connected to the 1er with the BMW “Y-Cable”, which can be purchased from your dealer. Many people have negotiated this cable in with the purchase of their car, it may cost around $100 to buy it. The “Y-Cable” is an active cable (has electronic components in it) with an iPod connector at one end, and both a USB and 1/8” connector at the other. The USB connector plugs in to the USB port under the armrest (this option may not be installed in all cars), and the 1/8” connects to the Aux port under the armrest.

This option uses the USB connector to charge the iPod, control the iPod, and get track and songlist information to the HU. The iPod decodes the music and plays the music through the 1/8” connector to the HU. The active circuitry in the cable tells the 1er to enable both the USB and Aux port so sound and control work together.

This option MUST be used if you have AAC encoded music on the iPod. If you are not sure you have AAC encoded music, the easiest way to know is if you have purchased and downloaded any music online from iTunes or if you have “Ripped” any music from your CDs using iTunes.


2. How do I connect my Ipod to the car using a standard iPod USB Cable?


If you have a standard iPod USB cable you can connect you iPod to the car with it. The USB connector plugs in to the USB port under the armrest (this option may not be installed in all cars).

In this case the iPod is charged, controlled and delivers track information and the music data files over the USB cable. There is no requirement for a 1/8” connection to the Aux port of the 1er.

If you desire, the Aux port can still be used for another MP3 player, PC, Satellite radio reveiver, or any other music source with a standard Headphone out, as documented below.

This option CAN ONLY be used to play MP3 tracks on the iPod, if you have downloaded or “Ripped” any songs using iTunes, that are in AAC format, these songs WILL NOT play using a standard USB Cable. If you require to play AAC format tracks you MUST use the “Y-Cable” documented above.

If everything is working, select USB from the Audio options on the HU, the “DIR” soft button should appear immediately, and the first track found should start playing, within the next 1 to 60 minutes the “LIST”, “ART”, “GEN”, and “ALB” options should appear on the HU. Due to how music is stored on the iPod, the DIR button will not let you select any music, you will have to wait until the other option buttons are populated (unless you have copied music on the iPod into directories as a “Removable Storage Device).


3. How do I connect my non-iPod Music Player or Memory Stick using USB ?


If you have a digital music device, mobile telephone, or USB storage device, that connects to a computer as an “Removable Storage Device” you MAY be able to connect it to the 1er for playing music files.

To play music of the device, a number of prerequisites must be met ... it must appear as a standard storage device on a computer, it should be formatted using FAT or FAT32, music must be stored on the device in MP3 format, it must not exceed the maximum power draw supported by the 1er’s USB port, it should be USB 2.0 compatible.

Assuming these prerequisites are met, you need an appropriate connector from the device to with a standard USB connector to plug into the USB port under the armrest (this option may not be installed in all cars).

If everything is working, select USB from the Audio options on the HU, the “DIR” soft button should appear immediately, and the first track found should start playing, within the next 1 to 60 minutes the “LIST”, “ART”, “GEN”, and “ALB” options should appear on the HU. If this does not work, then any of the above prerequisites may not have been met.


4. How do I connect a Music player or other device using the Aux port?


Any device with a Headphone socket can be connected to the car using the Aux port, however there is no means of controlling the device using the 1er’s HU, except for volume. For this to work you will need a stereo cable with 1/8” connectors on both ends (the same connector you plug into the Headphone socket). Plug one end into the headphone socket, and the other into the Aux port of the car.

From the HU, select “Aux” as the source, now all sound output from the device should play through the Sound System. Be careful to set an appropriate sound level from the music device, as too lower volume will result in little or no sound from the Sound System, but too much volume may cause distortion or other sound quality issues.

This should work for Laptop Computers, GPS systems, MP3 players, Satellite Radio receivers, Portable DVD players, Game Systems (PSP, Nintendo, etc).

It is important to note that the Aux port will not charge or power devices, so it may be necessary to connect a charger or power supply to the “Cigarette Lighter” under the arm rest.


5. What devices can I connect to the USB port?


As stated above, any device that appears to be a “Removable Storage Device” on a computer may potentially work. Good experiences have been had with MP3 Players, iPods, USB Memory Sticks, USB External Hard Drives, Mobile Telephones.

The device must be formatted using FAT or FAT32, this can be checked from the “Properties” section in “My Computer” on a Windows computer. Larger external Hard Drives are often formatted using NTFS, and will not work without being formatted (or using a 3rd party tool to convert).

All music on the device must be stored in MP3 format. The music can be stored in Directories as desired by the user (hierarchical directory structures can be used to make scrolling through the DIR section more efficient). Music will also be scanned from the device over time, and then will be sorted by “artist”, “album”, “genre”, or “playlist” if appropriate Tags are on the original file.

The device must not exceed the power requirements of the USB port. This actually appears to differ in each car, but it is very common that 2.5” external Hard Drives will not work using the USB for power. In this case it may be possible to provide the power to the Hard Drive using a power adaptor plugged into the “Cigarette Lighter” under the arm rest”

The device should also use “USB 2.0”, this provides performance over 100 times faster than USB 1.1. Although the speed required to download music to the HU is quite low, it is best to get memory devices with the highest possible throughput speed to minimise any risk of “pauses” while playing music, and to minimise the time required to scan for music.


6. How many songs can I store on my Music Device?


While the number of songs supported is ridiculously high, the amount of time it takes to scan all the music and populate the “Artist”, “Album”, “Genre”, and “Playlist” soft buttons on the HU will increase based on the number of songs on the device. Many members of this forum have over 15000 songs, and 1000 Albums on their Memory Device.

You mileage may vary depending on the speed of the USB device, the number of songs, and the amount of “Meta Tag” data associated with the music files.


7. What are the “ART”, “ALB”, “GEN”, and “LIST” buttons on the HU?


Music files generally have information about the song appended to them, this information is commonly known as “Meta-Tags” or “Tags”. The information stored may include many details, but the common ones useful in music are the “Artist’s Name”, “Album Name”, and the “Genre”. In addition you can create lists of favourite or related music into “Playlists”, playlists are stored as separate files along with the music itself.

Once a USB device has been connected to the 1er, the Head Unit scans all of the directories of the device looking for Meta-Tags and Playlists, once these have been fully discovered the soft buttons on the HU display “LIST”, “ART”, “ALB”, and “GEN” which you can then use to browse you music by those categories.


8. How does the “DIR” button work with USB devices?


The “DIR” button allows you to brows the Directory structure of the USB connected device. With devices that appear as “Removal Storage Devices” on a computer, you can place music into folders of your choice, and then browse through them using the “DIR” button and scrolling through the directories on the Head Unit.

While the “LIST”, “ART”, “ALB”, and “GEN” buttons described above take time to populate the DIR button usually appears as soon as the device is connected to the USB port of the Car.

If you transfer music to an iPod using iTunes, the data is stored in a special structure only usable by iPods. The “DIR” button is all but useless in this case. Only music placed onto the iPod as a “Removable Storage Device” can be browsed with the “DIR” button, and music installed in this manor cannot be played by the iPod using the “Y-Cable” or when not connected to the car.


9. Why do the “LIST”, “ART”, “ALB”, and “GEN” buttons never appear on the HU?


Unfortunately this is not an easy question to answer. The most common scenario is you have not waited long enough. It is common for libraries over 11,000 songs to take 15, 20 or more minutes to scan, before the soft buttons appear on the HU. A simple test to try is to put a smaller number of MP3 tracks onto a USB memory stick, and make sure they appear.

Another issue for non-iPod devices is that music may not have the appropriate Meta-Tags, this can happen with certain “Ripping” applications who do not use Meta-Tags in the correct way.


10. How large can a “Removable Storage Device” be?


As the formatting of the device must be FAT or FAT32, the largest device size supported is 32GB (or thereabouts). In theory, you could use a larger device, but this would defeat the purpose as only 32Gb can be formatted for use.


11. What USB Memory Stick should I buy?

This is a rapidly moving target, USB Memory Stick models come and go from the market very quickly, you may need to “try” a few options. Earlier 32Gb Memory Sticks were found to be problematic, but this appears to be reducing. Ensure the device is Formatted as FAT32 before loading all your music on to it. Try a smaller number of songs before committing to loading all your music library on the device, and ensure you have a “return policy” in case the device doesn’t work. Also if you can choose between a 90X performance, or 166X performance or higher, take the higher performance, the quality should be better.
There are commonly up to date discussions in this forum regarding what works and does not
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      11-29-2008, 04:59 PM   #3
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FAQ: 1er Audio System Options

FAQ: 1er Audio System Options
Questions are as follows:
1. What are the Factory Audio Options for the 1er?
2. What is the "Stereo" Audio System?
3. What is the "HiFi" or "Standard" Audio System?
4. What is the "Top HiFi" or "Premium" Audio System?
5. What are Harmon Kardon speakers?
6. What is Logic 7 and what does it do?
7. Which Audio System should I buy?
8. Can I upgrade components or replace the system altogether?
9. What are the USB, Sirius Satellite, and HD Radio Options?
10. How can I use the USB and Aux Ports, HD Radio or Sirius Satellite?
11. Can I play CDs with MP3s on it?
12. Some music CDs come up as MP3 CDs and won't play, why?

This is the second FAQ in my audio series. Comments, additions, and corrections will be incorporated into the document as appropriate.

1. What are the Factory Audio Options for the 1er?

BMW have three different audio options in the 1er, although in USA/Canada, only two are actually offered. Different countries may get different options.

The three options are Stereo, HiFi, and Top HiFi, but in USA/Canada "HiFi" is the "Standard" and "Top HiFi" is known as "Premium Audio".

PDF documents with the details of the three systems can be found here:

http://www.1addicts.com/forums/showthread.php?t=5913

2. What is the "Stereo" Audio System?

The BMW "Stereo" system includes 6 speakers, 2 "Mid Range" in the doors, 2 "Mid Range" in the rear parcel tray, and 2 "Bass" speakers under the front seat.

The BMW "Stereo" system can be power by the "Business" Head Unit, or the "Professional" Head Unit. The Business HU consists of 4 X 40 Watt channels in an integrated Amplifier, and can be distinguished by having only one text line on the console display. The Professional HU consists of 4 X 25 Watt channels in an integrated Amplifier, and can be distinguished by having two text lines on the console display.

The USB port has not included in this offering, and must be purchased as an Optional Extra. An Auxilliary (Aux) port is included in this system, which allows for the connection of an external audio device.

3. What is the "HiFi" or "Standard" Audio System?

The BMW "HiFi" system is the standard offering in USA/Canada, and includes 10 speakers, 2 "Mid Range" in the doors, 2 "Treble" in the door pillars, 2 "Mid Range" in the rear parcel tray, with 2 tiered "Treble" mounted over the Mids, and 2 "Bass" speakers under the front seat.

The BMW "HiFi" system uses a dedicated external analogue Amplifier mounted in the trunk of the car. The Amplifier consists of 2 X 40 Watt Channels and 6 X 25 Watt Channels, driving the Bass and Treble/Mid speakers respectively. All signals from the HU to the Amp are analogure transmitted using dedicated copper cabling through the car.

The Head Unit for the "HiFi" system is always the Professional Unit.
The USB port has not included in this offering, and must be purchased as an Optional Extra. This may have changed in '09 USA/Canada models, but should always be checked with the dealer. An Auxilliary (Aux) port is included in this system, which allows for the connection of an external audio device.

4. What is the "Top HiFi" or "Premium" Audio System?

The BMW "Top Hifi" system is the offered as the "Premium Audio" option in USA/Canada, and includes 10 speakers, 2 "Mid Range" in the doors, 2 "Treble" in the door pillars, 2 "Mid Range" in the rear parcel tray, with 2 tiered "Treble" mounted over the Mids, and 2 "Bass" speakers under the front seat. The Speakers are upgraded from the "Standard" system to Harmon Kardon built, metal cone speakers.

The BMW "HiFi" system uses a dedicated external analogue Amplifier mounted in the trunk of the car. The Amplifier consists of 2 X 70 Watt Channels and 6 X 40 Watt Channels, driving the Bass and Treble/Mid speakers respectively. This is an upgrade from 230 Watts in the "HiFi" system to 380 Watts. All signals from the HU to the Amp are digitally transmitted using the car's Fibre Optic "MOST" bus.

The Head Unit for the "Top HiFi" system is always the Professional Unit, but includes the Logic 7 DSP, not included in the "HiFi" system.

In general the "Top Hifi" system is always delivered with the USB port integrated under the armrest, but this should be checked with the dealer. An Auxilliary (Aux) port is included in this system, which allows for the connection of an external audio device.

A press release for the Premium system can be found here:
http://www.1addicts.com/forums/attac...9&d=1206446053

5. What are Harmon Kardon speakers?

Harmon Kardon is an Audio Equipment manufacturer, who create "high quality" audio equipment for various market applications. BMW use Harmon Kardon to provide higher quality speakers in the "Top HiFi" system, often offered as the "Premium Audio" option in USA/Canada.

The speakers have a higher output rating, to support the more powerful amplifier in the "Top HiFi" system, and use a metallic, rather than fibre cone, to provide longer life, and less sound deterioration at high volumes. These speakers can not be ordered as a separate option from BMW, without the "Top HiFi" system.

6. What is Logic 7 and what does it do?

Logic 7 is both the name of an audio specification, and the name of the corporate division of Harmon Kardon that produce it.
Harmon Kardon acquired the company known as "Logic 7", and began to produce Logic 7 components, that can be incorporated into sound systems, such as the Profession Head Unit in the 1er. The component most commonly related to Logic 7, is a Digital Signal Processor (DSP), that takes a "Left" and "Right" stereo signal, and converts it to a 7 channel surround sound.

In the 1er, the Logic 7 DSP is only included in the "Top HiFi" or "Premium Audio" offering. Identifying whether you have Logic 7 is most easily done from the "Settings" menu on the Head Unit. You can access this setting by pressing the "Music Note" button on the HU while in the Audio display. The presence of Logic 7 can be defined by seeing the "Cinema", "Music" and "EQ" options on the screen. All of these three options are delivered by Logic 7.

Enabling the "Cinema" button will emulate a 7 Channel Surround Sound environment in the car, the expectation is this will make the sound scape seem wider, and make sounds appear to come from a physically wider stage than without.

Enabling the "Music" button will provide a richer music hall environment, with more harmonic response.

The "EQ" button will allow for highly detailed tuning of frequencies in the car, allowing multiple frequency bands to be tuned independantly of each other.

The benefits of all of these options is SUBJECTIVE, some appreciate them, so do not. Your mileage may vary !!

7. Which Audio System should I buy?

This is purely subjective, it is highly recommended that you try the different systems yourself before deciding which one to order.

However, while there is a marked improvement between the "Stereo" and "HiFi" systems, there is a lot more debate about the value of the "Top HiFi" system. Personal preference will be the primary decision maker here, but it is clear that the "Top HiFi" system does provide higher output levels (volume), and some prefer it for the addition of the Logic 7 and USB capabilities.

8. Can I upgrade components or replace the system altogether?

It is not too difficult to upgrade speakers in all of the BMW Audio Systems offered, however care should be taken to research the options and choose speakers well matched to the system.

Upgrading of the Head Unit and Amplifiers is possible, but due to the significant integration of the audio system into the car, this can be a non-trivial exercise. There are numerous threads in this forum about such upgrades, and extensive research is highly recommended before going down this path.

9. What are the USB, Sirius Satellite, and HD Radio Options?

The USB options is the addition of a USB port under the armrest, into which you can connect a USB device to listen to music from. The USB device can be an iPod, or many "Removable Storage Devices" which can hold MP3 songs. This options is documented in a FAQ here:
http://www.1addicts.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19779

The Sirius Satellite option is offered in USA/Canada (and maybe other countries). This option receives Audio signals from Satellite, and can then be played through the Sound System. At present Sirius offers in excess of 130 independant Radio Stations, with varying content, including various music genres, entertainment, sport, news, and other special interests. This option can be installed both at purchase time, and afterwards. The installation includes a receiver which is installed in the Trunk of the car.

The HD Radio option is offered in USA (and maybe other countries). This option allows the Head Unit to receive High Definition Radio signals over the air, in addition to standard radio signals. This option is installed at purchase time (I do not believe there is currently a standard upgrade for this option after purchase).

10. How can I use the USB and Aux Ports, HD Radio or Sirius Satellite?

There is a dedicated FAQ in this forum that addresses use of the USB and Aux ports, which can be found here:
http://www.1addicts.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19779

HD Radio and Sirius Satellite are not currently covered by this FAQ, but input is welcome.

11. Can I play CDs with MP3s on it?

The "Professional HU" supports MP3s on CD, this is also supported in the optional CD Changer. The "Business" version of the Head Unit will not play MP3s on CDs.

12. Some music CDs come up as MP3 CDs and won't play, why?

Some music CDs have a copy protection scheme on them, or may include enhanced features. These CDs will be incorrectly recognised by the Head Unit as "Data CDs", and will appear as MP3 CDs with no music on them. There is no easy way around this other than copying the tracks to a burned CD without the Data components. But of course some may ask ... why aren't you using MP3s for everything ? CD's are so 1990s
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      11-29-2008, 05:00 PM   #4
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FAQ: Locks, Alarms and Comfort Access

FAQ: Locks, Alarms and Comfort Access
The following FAQ covers the Locking System, the Comfort Access option, and the Alarm System. Any comments, corrections, enhancements, or additions will be added as appropriate.
Lock FAQs
L1. Can I open all my windows/sunroof/roof with the key fob?
L2. Can I close all my windows/sunroof/roof with the key fob?
L3. How does the battery in my key fob work?
L4. What range can I expect from my key fob?
L5. How can I enable/disable auto lock when I drive off?
L6. What does the lock button on the dash board do?
L7. Why do I need to pull the door handle twice to unlock/open the door?
L8. Why is my key fob not working to unlock/lock my car?
L9. Do I have a normal key, why is there a key hole in the door handle?

Alarm FAQs
A1. Does my car have an alarm?
A2. What features does the BMW factory alarm provide?
A3. How can I get the BMW factory alarm?
A4. Can I install the alarm myself?
A5. What is the clown nose?
A6. Can I enable the clown nose without an alarm?
A7. Can I enable/disable the alarm chirp?
A8. Can I test my alarm works without breaking in?

Comfort Access FAQs
C1. What is Comfort Access?
C2. Do I have Comfort Access?
C3. Can I install Comfort Access after purchasing the car?
C4. Can I open all my windows/sunroof/roof with the comfort access?
C5. Can I close all my windows/sunroof/roof with the comfort access?
C6. What range can I expect from my key fob?
C7. Why does my trunk or door not unlock with comfort access?
C8. How does the battery in my key fob work?
C9. What happens if I drive away without my keys?
C10. Will the car auto lock when I walk away?
C11. What if I lock my keys in the car?
C12. What if I wash my pants with the key fob in the pocket?
C13. What's that "rattle gun" sound when opening the door?

Lock FAQs


L1. Can I open all my windows/sunroof/roof with the key fob?

By pressing and holding the unlock button on the key fob, all Windows will wind down, the sunroof will open, and the Vertical top will retract. If you let go of the button the open will stop immediately where each opening is up to.

L2. Can I close all my windows/sunroof/roof with the key fob?

In USA/Canada it is not possible to close the Windows, Sunroof, and Convertible roof with the key fob. This is a safety feature. In some other countries it may be possible to do this, comments welcome.

L3. How does the battery in my key fob work?

The battery in the standard key fob is rechargeable, and is charged when inserted in to the socket on the dash board. If you only use one of your key fobs most of the time, BMW recommends that you install the spare fob in the dash occasionally to recharge it (for instance once every 6 months). If the battery runs out the buttons will not unlock the door, but inserting the fob into the dashboard will begin the device recharging and allow the car to start.

L4. What range can I expect from my key fob?

The range of the key fob is not that far, distances have been commonly been reported between 6 and 12 meters, or 20 to 40 feet. However, this distance can vary wildly. Tinting of the windows, especially with metallic tint may significantly reduce range; the antenna for the fob is embedded in the wire traces of the rear window. Holding the fob to bare skin on your body (forehead, chin, skin) is known to extend the range by double or more ... and yes it really does seem to work (try it when no-one’s looking).

L5. How can I enable/disable auto lock when I drive off?

This is a feature that can be enable or disabled using the settings controlled by the BC stick on the left hand of the steering wheel. This is fully documented in your user manual.

L6. What does the lock button on the dash board do?

The lock button can be used to centrally lock or unlock the doors of the car, from inside the car. This can be useful in dangerous location, and will control both doors simultaneously. In most cases a locked door will unlock the first time you pull the inside handle, and open the second time you pull it.


L7. Why do I need to pull the door handle twice to unlock/open the door?

The door lock is disengaged the first time you pull the door handle, the door opens on the second pull. If you have automatic door locking enabled, the doors will lock once the car begins to move, at which point you must double pull the handle, or use the dashboard unlock button to open the doors.


L8. Why is my key fob not working to unlock/lock my car?

The most likely scenario for the fob not working would be the battery running flat. The battery is rechargeable, and charges while plugged into the socket on the dashboard. If you have a spare key fob that doesn’t get used in the car often, it may run flat. BMW recommends you plug spare key fobs into the dash occasionally to recharge.

Another common problem is the use of Tinting on the rear window. As the antenna cable for the fob is embedded in wire traces in the rear window, the key fob range can be dramatically reduced when Tint is applied. Anecdotally, metal based tints are far more prone to this problem than ceramic tints.

Finally the key is programmed to match the car, any issues with a fob failing or changing fobs, will require direct involvement of your dealer.

L9. Do I have a normal key, why is there a key hole in the door handle?

If you haven’t discovered it yet, a physical metal key is embedded in the key fob. To use it, there is a release button at the top in the back of the fob, press the button and the key will slide out. This key can then be used to lock/unlock the door, and lock/unlock the glove box. If you are giving the key to a valet, the key can be removed from the fob, preventing the valet accessing the glove box, inside the glove box is also a switch that will also securely lock the trunk, preventing valet staff from opening the trunk as well.

Alarm FAQs

A1. Does my car have an alarm?

As a general rule, BMW does not include an alarm as standard in the 1er. This may change on a country by country, or vehicle by vehicle basis. All 1ers do include a full immobilizer system preventing the car from being started illegally; this will meet the requirements of Insurance companies in most countries.

To identify whether there is an alarm installed, the most obvious tell-tale is that the clown nose under the rear view mirror will flash, and the car will make a chirp when the car is locked/unlocked. The chirp can be disabled, and it is potentially possible to disable the clown nose, in which case it will require more detailed inspection to see if the alarm contacts are installed under the hood

A2. What features does the BMW factory alarm provide?

The Alarm adds a variety of sensors to detect illegal entry to the car, or attempts to steal the car. The sensors include a hood opening sensor, integration with the door open sensors, a motion detector triggered by car movement, and an internal motion sensor in the ceiling to detect broken windows, and people movement inside the car.

From a notification perspective the alarm adds a siren, activates the clown nose, and provides a activation/deactivation chirp when locking/unlocking the car.

A3. How can I get the BMW factory alarm?

The factory alarm can be purchased from your dealer as a spare part, or from online parts dealers available on this forum. In most cases you would also expect to get the parts installed by the dealer as part of the solution, prices may vary significantly, and including the Alarm at initial order time, may provide a good opportunity for large discounts.

A4. Can I install the alarm myself?

The physical alarm can be installed, and to some extent, activated by a relatively handy person. However, full customization of the alarm, setting options in regards to notifications etc, can only be done by a dealer. There will usually be a charge from the dealer to activate the alarm, this may vary from dealer to dealer, and may be affected by the software version in the car, or other variables.
A very complete DIY for the alarm install can be found here:
http://www.1addicts.com/forums/showthread.php?t=7536

A5. What is the clown nose?

The clown nose is a reasonably large red light, which is attached to the underneath of the rear view mirror. The clown nose will blink when the alarm is activated.

A6. Can I enable the clown nose without an alarm?

Officially the answer to this is no, unlike other BMW models (notable the E90 3 series), dealer mechanics on this forum have confirmed there is no setting to enable the clown nose without the installation of the alarm.
Some people have installed their own circuitry to generate power and flash the clown nose, but this requires significant modification, and is not covered in the FAQ.

A7. Can I enable/disable the alarm chirp?

If you have an alarm the chirp can be configured by you dealer.

A8. Can I test my alarm works without breaking in?

A common test for the alarm is to open the windows, exit the car, and lock it, at which point if you lean through the window, the motion detector in the ceiling will trigger the alarm. Another test is to release the hood latch prior to exiting and locking the car, and then open the hood, which will also trigger the alarm.

Note the alarm siren is very loud, and care should be taken not to damage hearing, or cause you or others to hurt themselves based on response to the alarm.

Comfort Access FAQs

C1. What is Comfort Access?

Comfort Access is an option that can be installed into 1ers at build time, to make entry, exit and operation of the car more convenient. The main features are; that the doors and trunk can be locked and unlocked without needing to use or hold the key fob, that the car can be started and stopped without inserting the key fob into the dashboard, that windows, sunroof, and convertible top can all be opened and shut from outside the car, and that cars cannot be accidentally locked inside the car.

There is significant debate on the value of Comfort Access, there is known issues with it, and it does require changed usage behaviour to make the most of. However, when used effectively many drivers wouldn’t want to have to go without it.

C2. Do I have Comfort Access?

The most visually obvious signs that you have Comfort Access is the door handle. The door handle has a number of small ridges on the top of the handle, directly above the key hole, this is a touch sensor for locking the car. Another small feature is the key fob has a removable cover on the back of it, which is used to replace the key fob battery. Otherwise there are no significant visual cues that you have Comfort Access.

From a behavioural perspective, the most obvious feature is that when the car is locked, if you have the key fob on or about your person, the door will unlock when you grab the handle.

C3. Can I install Comfort Access after purchasing the car?

There is no currently known method for installing comfort access after market.

C4. Can I open all my windows/sunroof/roof with the comfort access?

The behaviour of the key fob is identical to a standard key fob, all windows, sunroof, and the vertical top will open when the unlock button is held down.

C5. Can I close all my windows/sunroof/roof with the comfort access?

Unlike the standard lock system, comfort access will allow for closing of windows, sunroof, and the vertical top from outside the car. However, for safety reasons the USA/Canada only permits this from the car. It is achieved by pressing and holding the ridges on the top of the door handle, until all openings have completely closed. This may differ in other countries.

C6. What range can I expect from my key fob?

Using the key fob buttons, the range of the key fob seems identical to the standard key fob discussed above. However, the use of the comfort access features to unlock the doors and trunk requires you to be at the car, and the fob within close proximity of your person. Tinting has anecdotally been shown to have detrimental effect on Comfort Access, especially when the tint is metallic based.

C7. Why does my trunk or door not unlock with comfort access?

The use of the comfort access features to unlock the doors and trunk requires you to be at the car, and the fob within close proximity of your person. Tinting has anecdotally been shown to have detrimental effect on Comfort Access, especially when the tint is metallic based. If you have the keys in pockets, purses, bags, try relocating yourself, the bag, the purse, and seeing if the door works.

Also allow your hand to linger on the door handle or trunk handle a second before pulling to allow unlock to complete.

C8. How does the battery in my key fob work?

Unlike the standard lock system, the Comfort Access key fob includes a removable battery, which must be replaced on occasion. The battery is a button CR-2032 battery which can be purchased at many retail stores, and can be replaced by the owner, but is also covered under the warranty. The car will provide a battery icon with a slash through it on the alert area of the dashboard when the battery is getting low, however, the battery can be replaced earlier if the range of the keyboard appears to be reducing.

C9. What happens if I drive away without my keys?

If you unlock the car, enter the car, start it, then take the keys outside of the car, the car will continue to operate. It will then run indefinitely, but you will not be able to start the car again if you switch it off. A key icon with a slash will appear on the alert area of the dashboard to notify you that the key fob is not present in the car.

C10. Will the car auto lock when I walk away?

Comfort Access will not lock the car automatically when you walk away from the car. You must still lock the car by pressing the ridges on the top of the door handle, or pressing the BMW roundel on the key fob.

C11. What if I lock my keys in the car?

In theory you cannot lock the keys in the car or the trunk, antennas mounted in the trunk, and in the back of the arm rest will prevent the car from locking if it detects a key fob inside the trunk, and will cause the trunk to open again if you shut it.

C12. What if I wash my pants with the key fob in the pocket?

Yes it happens, your mileage will vary, but the key fob is not sealed due to having a battery installed and is less likely to survive a wash than the standard key fob.

C13. What's that "rattle gun" sound when opening the door?

A common issue experienced with Comfort Access is a rattling noise when you pull the door handle to open it. This is generally caused by touching both the handle and the lock ridges on the top of the door handle at the same time. The car is rapdily flicking between locked and unlocked. Be careful to only grasp the handle while opening the door, and do not rest your thumb or other part of your handle on the lock ridges.
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      11-29-2008, 05:10 PM   #5
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Hey Ronnie,

Thanks again for taking the time, putting in the effort to compile this extensive FAQ section, you're one good 1ADDICT.

Thanks, bud.
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      02-05-2009, 10:16 AM   #6
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nice write up, but it didn't say stuff like how to unlock the passanger door with comfort access, i am sick of going in my self press unlock to unlock the door for my girl.
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      03-17-2009, 11:21 AM   #7
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I disagree with the ipod information found here. Please see this link.http://discussions.apple.com/thread....sageID=6845419 It shouldn't matter what format you use on your ipod as it is doing the decoding ESP through the aux cable, the format doesnt matter at all, think about it, do you headphones have to decode the information from the ipod, no, bc the pod is sending an audio signal. Mine is working fine with Ma4 file extensions and you do not have to reformat your pod either.
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      03-17-2009, 11:24 AM   #8
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I should have looked more closely at this post it is very old and there are others with more complete information, sorry my bad.
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      04-18-2009, 02:19 PM   #9
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the links in the first post should be updated to reflect the merger, as its taking me to unrelated posts
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      03-18-2011, 02:42 AM   #10
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Great read! Thanks!
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      08-12-2011, 07:26 PM   #11
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Any know where this PDF is hiding?

Quote:
1. What are the Factory Audio Options for the 1er?

BMW have three different audio options in the 1er, although in USA/Canada, only two are actually offered. Different countries may get different options.

The three options are Stereo, HiFi, and Top HiFi, but in USA/Canada "HiFi" is the "Standard" and "Top HiFi" is known as "Premium Audio".

PDF documents with the details of the three systems can be found here:

http://www.1addicts.com/forums/showthread.php?t=5913
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      10-08-2011, 10:48 AM   #12
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Quote:
Using a standard iPod USB cable will only work for music on the iPod that is in standard MP3 format. More details can be found here:
http://www.1addicts.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19779
Quote:



2. How do I connect my Ipod to the car using a standard iPod USB Cable?


If you have a standard iPod USB cable you can connect you iPod to the car with it. The USB connector plugs in to the USB port under the armrest (this option may not be installed in all cars).

In this case the iPod is charged, controlled and delivers track information and the music data files over the USB cable. There is no requirement for a 1/8” connection to the Aux port of the 1er.

If you desire, the Aux port can still be used for another MP3 player, PC, Satellite radio reveiver, or any other music source with a standard Headphone out, as documented below.

This option CAN ONLY be used to play MP3 tracks on the iPod, if you have downloaded or “Ripped” any songs using iTunes, that are in AAC format, these songs WILL NOT play using a standard USB Cable. If you require to play AAC format tracks you MUST use the “Y-Cable” documented above.

If everything is working, select USB from the Audio options on the HU, the “DIR” soft button should appear immediately, and the first track found should start playing, within the next 1 to 60 minutes the “LIST”, “ART”, “GEN”, and “ALB” options should appear on the HU. Due to how music is stored on the iPod, the DIR button will not let you select any music, you will have to wait until the other option buttons are populated (unless you have copied music on the iPod into directories as a “Removable Storage Device).
I'm not sure when it happened, but certainly on the 2012 128i non-idrive, this is no longer viable. Even with an ipod full of MP3 files, using just a standard ipod cable doesn't work. One now has to use the "Y" cable, suffer the lower sound quality of the headphone output, and occupy both the Aux in and the USB connection.

Hopefully those reading the FAQ read through the comments, too, until it is updated.

(and of course, since the rebirth of the forum numbering scheme, the link no longer goes to the right place either)
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      10-08-2011, 01:52 PM   #13
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I don't know why he said this either, AFAIK that doesn't apply to any E82 - only to late E9x with 6FN. You need the special "Y" cable.

I am interested in replacing the 6FL with the Mobridge or Dension pieces and seeing how they do SQ-wise in a car with MOST support (many 2010 and 2011 E82 w/base Stereo have an odd HU without a MOST port on the back).
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      10-08-2011, 04:01 PM   #14
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If I understand correctly, my 2012 128 has a MOST port? In any event, I'm going the route of a hard drive in the armrest in stead of an ipod. Not quite as easy to navigate but hold more, and better sound.

You guys still doing a Bay Area install tour/trip later this month?
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      01-11-2012, 12:08 PM   #15
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Adding some more info to this thread.

Photo of the location of the "hifi" amp, in an e82, and the official BMW spec sheets for the three audio systems. Useful for understanding the power output, wiring, frequency range, etc. of the various systems.
Attached Images
 
Attached Images
File Type: pdf Audio systems_ E87, E90, E91, E92.pdf (191.5 KB, 773 views)
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Last edited by nato-main-man-5am; 01-11-2012 at 07:41 PM. Reason: Accuracy
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      01-11-2012, 07:21 PM   #16
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It would be great if Top HiFi amp WERE here... but incorrecto, Armando. Top HiFi amp is aft of the B pillar driver's side. Check Real OEM.

And like many manufacturer's spec sheets, I don't think "40-30K +/- 3dB" tells you how bad it sounds, does it?
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      01-11-2012, 07:40 PM   #17
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I've only heard the top hifi system once, but for the upgraded drivers and better processing, I'd say if one only had 800 bucks for an "upgrade" (by which I mean if one never wants to do a further upgrade, and one is ordering the car new and can get it as an option), it's not too bad. That is, I do think the stock "top hifi" system does image better than the stock "hifi" system, and has a little better defined bass.

It's not worth a retrofit, and it's not worth getting if you intend to do any real (as in aftermarket) upgrades, that's for sure.

And I got much more out of investing in a jbl ms-8....



(Original post amended to correct the erroneous info from bmw....)
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      04-17-2013, 10:23 AM   #18
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Nice work. Is there any way that we can add a list of which speakers come with each package and where we can buy them?

I'm having to replace my two door pillar tweeters because they're blown (I'm assuming).

Thanks.
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      10-09-2013, 07:53 PM   #19
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"iPods are generally connected to the 1er with the BMW “Y-Cable”, which can be purchased from your dealer. Many people have negotiated this cable in with the purchase of their car, it may cost around $100 to buy it. The “Y-Cable” is an active cable (has electronic components in it) with an iPod connector at one end, and both a USB and 1/8” connector at the other. The USB connector plugs in to the USB port under the armrest (this option may not be installed in all cars), and the 1/8” connects to the Aux port under the armrest."

Yeah. You can get that exact cable from a cheap place in china on eBay. Its about $4. I ordered 3 for my 09 328i. One broke after a year, I used one of my replacements. Don't spend $100, guys!

http://www.ebay.com/itm/3-5mm-Car-AU...item48527b64dc
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