Dension has made a key upgrade to its already popular Ice>Link iPod adapter (reviewed last spring). For those that don't know the Ice>Link was the first to integrate the iPod and the MINI's radio controls (including the multi-function steering wheel) in simple yet effective process.
But this new version has several key improvements over the previous version. The Ice>Link not only has all of the functionality inherent in the iPod (being able to choose any playlist, album, artist, etc directly from the iPod) but now also takes on the functionality that the official MINI iPod adapter delivers and more. Dual mode operation (as Dension calls it) means that you can use your radio or iPod user interface to navigate through playlists, albums and songs. The Ice>Link Plus translates your vehicle's head unit commands into iPod commands emulating a fully loaded CD changer with advanced features.
That means you can also select playlists from the iPod or from the head unit itself. This is especially important in helping drivers keep their eyes on the road as opposed to their iPods. This essentially takes the best of both worlds and effectively one-ups the official adapter.
But there's one other key thing the new Ice>Link Plus offers. ID3 text display. The new adapter now allows you to read the song title and artist information right from your radio. This is the same information that is typically displayed on your iPod. ID3 tag display works on head units that support text display, something the MINI's unit is indeed capable of doing.
Ice>Link Plus will retail for $199 and will be available December 1st.
You can read about the new adapter here.
Updated: Tom Guagliardo from Dension has cleared up some of the questions we had about the Ice>Link Plus:
We have a planned firmware update that will be released shortly thereafter for the ID3v2 Text support on the BMW and Mini displays, this will support both the Multi-Functional Displays and Navigation units.
When the firmware is released, it will be available as a free upgrade from our website. Load the software into your iPod and flash the ice>Link and ID3v2 support will be added!