5-Series (E12,E28, E34, E39, E60)Chat relating to the BMW 5-Series of all generations. Specific models include: BMW 518, BMW 520, BMW 520i, BMW 530i, BMW 528i, BMW 530i, BMW 518i, BMW 524d, BMW 525i, BMW 525e, BMW 528e, BMW 540i, BMW 535i, BMW 520d, BMW 525td, BMW 525d, BMW 530d, BMW 525i/xi, BMW 530i/xi. (BMW 5-Series Forum)
Ordered my car with it, but you are correct, the iDrive, which handles the 6 disc changer needs to have the changer "activated" by the dealer. I'm afraid it is not just plug and play. As for the MP3, no go for now. A new software update later this year (very soon for non-Nav cars, later in the summer for Nav equipped cars) will give the E60 the ability to play MP3 audio.
Yes I think the wiring is there. If not, I guess the dash has to come off to make the connection. Either way, best done by the dealer. You would have to go to them anyway to "activate" the changer so that it is recognized and operable in the iDrive.
As for waiting, no need, the software issue will take care of the MP3 playing, we won't have to go buy a new player to get the MP3 capability. It is only a software issue for the computer.
You bet. As for the Alpine, I don't know that, but I think you're right about the fiber optics. Being so new, I suspect getting any aftermarket equipment, other than speakers or an amp, to work might be difficult. The problem is the integration with the iDrive and using it to control the CD/radio functions. But I don't know for sure.
The cd changer for the e60 runs off of the fiber optic MOST bus. As far as I know there is nothing aftermarket at this time that will work. Coding is definitely necessary with this installation. The difficulty of the install isnt too bad, its basically 2 connections and it installs in the glovebox. It is pre-wired. The main thing is taking care with the fiber optic lines. And of course after you install it you will still need to take a trip to the dealer for coding.
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