The Future of the MINI & the iPod

Reading the this months EVO I was struck by their first take of BMW's new 1 series including an actual driving review. However it was a quick mention of something that got me thinking:

“Upfront, there's plenty of storage space and a central console with an iPod input plug for the stereo.”

While this is the first I've read of a feature like this specific to the 1 series (it's not even in the brochure) it has been mentioned for the next generation 3 series. Here's a quote from a recent Autospies scoop regarding the new 3 series:

“Audio system will finally have a CD/MP3 capable playback and an interface connection to iPod-like devices… we're even hearing rumblings out of the Palo Alto Technology office regarding a potential deal in the works with Apple.”

They mention that this is still unconfirmed.

Now how cool would it be to be able to plug in your iPod and have it, powered, controlable and viewable from the headunit?

So does this point to a feature we'll see in the next generation MINI? As the electronics of the current car are based on the current 3 series – we can expect the next generation MINI's system to also be based on the next generation 3 series and current 1 series. Because of that it's a safe bet that any feature seen in the 1 series or the next generation 3 series will show up in the MINI as well.

Granted this is all very speculative and it may simply be a better intregrated AUX input that currently available through the glovebox but the idea of something more directly iPod related is very intriguing.

  • …well,I hope you're right Gabe. I had to have Hank Arron MINI in Atlanta to install one(mp3 player adaptor)in my '03 Pepper White MC. Too bad they won't make this an option/or standard on the '05 models. Oh well,it won't stop me from getting the Cabrio MCS at the end of this year.

  • I'm just waiting for the Alpine iPod-link that's “due in late summer”. We'll see.

    For now I recommend using the Belkin DC adapter, because it has an aux-out built into it, and will amp that output. Plug its dock connector into your iPod, then run an aux cable from the built-in aux port to the dealer-installed aux port in the glovebox.

    Since you've already blown a wad of cash on an iPod, blow $40 more for an iPod remote. Hide the iPod in the glovebox, and run the remote out to the console. I normally clip the remote to my pants so it's within easy reach while driving. You'll be able to pause and skip tracks using the remote, and you can adjust the volume with the steering wheel controls [if you've got that option].

    This setup has worked pretty well for me for a few weeks so far. Next up will be to clean up the cable runs so they're not so conspicuous.

  • Of course my current preferred method of iPod intregration is the ICE-Link which I reviewed this past winter: Dension Ice Link. Until the Alpine unit comes out it's really ultimate solution out there.

  • Frank

    I am very interested in the Alpine MP3 solution as it seems more transparent than the Dension Ice-link setup.

    However, the Alpine website does not specify whether their integration will work with Alpine OEM factory stereos such as ours (Alpine/BMW GROUP Model CD35 R50).

    I will give them a call today to find out more details.

  • Philip

    Personally I'll go for the ICE-Link solution once my Mini is delivered.

    However, if you want to check a quite nice and probably cheaper and easier Belkin integration, here is a link: (Scroll down to see the pictures).

    This is a post on a German Mini Site. The person used the Belkin CarAdapter along with an iSkinExo2 cover and clip, which he bolted to the dash with a single screw mount.

  • R

    I've tried the irock with limited success the itrip with almost no success. I tried to get an ICE-link and I'm still waiting for that.

    I have a 2002 MCS with MFSW will the ICE-Link connect into that and allow me to use the MFSW to adjust, sound level, change tracks ETC, on my mini ipod? So it sits as I don't think you should drive with head phones.

    No one, even the dealer, has ever been able to tell me if a newer MINI radio wouldwork with my 2002 car. If it did then I would just do that…R

  • R – here's a full review that should answer all your questions:

    The short answer is yes you can control the iPod through the MFSW and it works on 2002-2005 radios.

  • R

    Thanks Gabe that helped…R