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USA Spec iPod® Interface for BMW

Connects your iPod to select BMW factory radios

28 Reviews

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Item # 581PA12BMW

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Overview

Our take on the USA Spec iPod® Interface for BMW

You have a factory radio in your BMW, but that doesn't mean you have to leave your iPod at home. Install USA Spec's iPod interface and listen to your favorite tunes through your car's speakers. You can control song selection, and up to five different playlists right from the radio, including shuffle mode. The interface also charges your iPod while it's connected. And with your iPhone® connected, you can even stream music from popular Internet services like PANDORA®, Livio Radio, iHeartRadio, and more.

You have a factory radio in your BMW, but that doesn't mean you have to leave your iPod at home. Install USA Spec's iPod interface and listen to your favorite tunes through your car's speakers. You can control song selection, and up to five different playlists right from the radio, including shuffle mode. The interface also charges your iPod while it's connected. And with your iPhone® connected, you can even stream music from popular Internet services like PANDORA®, Livio Radio, iHeartRadio, and more.

Please enter your vehicle information or call an Advisor at 1-888-955-6000 to find out if this adapter is compatible with your vehicle. The iPod interface uses the CD changer port, so any existing changer that you have must be disconnected.

Compatibility Note: Be sure to check "Details" for specific iPod model compatibility with this iPod adapter.

I had been searching for a way to listen to my thousands of songs on my iPod in our 2001 BMW 325xi without breaking the bank. After the install, I've got 2 words to say: AWE-SOME.

DavidR, Lewisburg, WV

What's in the Box:

  • PA12-BMW iPod-to-BMW interface
  • 72" iPod interface cable (CB-PA85)
  • 15.75' Adapter-to-BMW radio interface (CDL-BMW)
  • Owner's Manual
  • Design Change Notice sheet

Product Highlights:

  • iPod connection adapter for select BMW factory stereos
  • track up/down, fast-forward, reverse, and shuffle play
  • use up to five playlists (select five favorites, or Auto Playlist will let you choose from the first five on your iPod)
  • when iPhone is connected, you can stream tunes from popular Internet services like PANDORA®, Livo Radio, and iHeartRadio
  • Dual Mode lets you control everything via the iPod itself, giving you access to all playlists
  • compatible with all iPod and iPod mini models equipped with a dock connector and iPod software update 2004-04-28, or higher
  • auxiliary input (RCA connectors) for another audio source
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
Reviews

USA Spec iPod® Interface for BMW Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(28 Reviews)
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Details

Hands-on research

Product Research

Features

Overview: This interface connects a compatible iPod to select BMW and Mini Cooper OEM audio systems (not compatible with BMW systems having navigation, DVD, satellite radio, CD changer, or DSP; please see "Outfit My Car" to confirm compatibility). Its on-board software translates commands from your factory radio's CD-changer controls into commands the iPod understands. This interface enables the iPod to take the place of a BMW CD-changer and provides the following benefits:

  • Directs the iPod's audio output to your factory audio system for optimal sound quality
  • Supports your iPhone's audio streaming apps, such as Pandora, Livio, iHeart Radio, SiriusXM & more (in Direct mode only).
  • Controls the iPod via vehicle's radio and steering wheel controls (when applicable)
  • Charges the iPod's internal battery; charging stops automatically one hour after the iPod is paused, the iPod goes into sleep mode when charging stops

Note: Please consult the Crutchfield Car Selector to see if your vehicle is compatible.

iPod Compatibility: The PA-12BMW is "Made for iPod/iPhone" compatible and supports the following iPod/iPhone model features when connected to a compatible BMW factory radio (as of 10/3/2013):

iPod/iPhone Model Generation Tested Version Media Type Control Type Display Type Charge
Audio Video Head Unit iPod/iPhone Song/Artist Text Track Info
video 5th 1.3 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
classic 80GB 1.1.2 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
120GB 2.0.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
160GB 2.0.4 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
nano 1st 1.3.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
2nd 1.1.3 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
3rd 1.1.3 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
4th 1.0.4 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
5th 1.0.2 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
6th 1.2 PC Y N Y Y Y Y Y
7th* 1.2 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
touch 1st 2.2.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
2nd 4.2.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
3rd 5.1.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
4th 6.1.3 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
5th* 7.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
iPhone 2G 3.1.3 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
3G 4.2.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
3GS 5.1.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
4 7.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
4S 7.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
5* 7.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
5C* 7.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
5S* 7.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
iPad 1 5.0.1 N N N N N N N
2 7.0 N N N N N N N
3 7.0 N N N N N N N
4 7.0 N N N N N N N
mini 7.0 N N N N N N N

Notes:

  • *Requires Apple Lightning to 30-pin Adapter cable (472LTN230P, sold separately).
  • Apple iPod/iPhone software updates may change functionality results. If you download a newer software version, you may need to reset the head unit and your iPod/iPhone to regain functionality. If this doesn't work, you may need to wait until a newer software update is available.

Modes of Operation: The PA12-BMW provides two operation modes:

  • Direct Mode: all control functions on your iPod are available, you can search and select music on your iPod directly just as you would when using it as a portable unit, you can also still use the track up down, fast forward and reverse button on your radio to control music playback
  • Dual Mode: the iPod is operated and controlled like a factory CD changer, you can access up to five playlists on the iPod, in Hybrid mode the controls on the iPod are also active (May be referred to as Hybrid Mode in the manual.)

App Streaming (in Direct Mode): Direct mode also lets you listen to the sound from your iPhone's downloaded music apps (such as Pandora, iHeart Radio, SiriusXM, etc.) through your factory head unit & speakers. You will continue to control your iPhone's apps & view song/artist i from its touchscreen.

Note: Your iPhone will need an active Data Plan account with connection to the Internet via 3G, EDGE, or WiFi. You will also need applicable music service accounts.

iPod Text: Artist name and song title information can be displayed on BMW's Business CD model radio.

iPod Playback: All audio tracks on the iPod will be played at Disc 6. The track order is determined by the default order on the iPod. Selecting discs 1 through 5 on the factory radio will allow playback of 5 playlists on the iPod if the Aux Input is not used. You can select a playlist by pressing the Disc Up or Disc Down buttons.

Playlist Names: In order for the adapter/factory radio to recognize a playlist, it must be named BMW1... through BMW5... Text can follow the BMW name and number, such as BMW3_artistname or BMW2-jazz. For a given disc slot (1-5), if there is no playlist named BMW followed by that number, that disc slot will not be available.

Auxiliary Input: In addition to the iPod input on the PA12-BMW there is an auxiliary input (stereo RCA) for use with another source, such as a DVD system, satellite radio, or game system. The aux input is selected at CD 6 Track 1 using the factory radio controls. This aux input can be used with or without the iPod connected.

Note: When the Aux input is used, the "All Tracks" playlist is moved to Disc 5, and playlist "BMW5" is lost.

Controls: The factory radio's controls give you access to the following iPod functions:

  • Scan: plays first 10 seconds of each track
  • Random (Shuffle): songs are played back in random order
  • Track Up/Down: skip tracks forward or backward
  • Fast Track Search: skip 10 tracks at a time forward or backward (i.e. 04, 14, 24...)
  • Fast Forward/Fast Reverse Play: while in Random mode you can fast forward or fast reverse through the current song

Note: Repeat play is not supported by this interface. Switching to another source, such as AM/FM, CD, or Cassette, puts the iPod into pause mode.

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