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      09-14-2020, 05:22 AM   #1
drlmiles
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Drives: BMW 2 Active & Gran Tourer
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: UK

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Lightbulb How to play CDs in an i3

I have searched everywhere trying to find out how to play CDs in a car such as the i3, that has no CD player. The answer given everywhere is: Rip the CDs to a USB stick. This takes a lot of time and effort, and also is difficult to navigate in the i3 provided interface.
After a lot of reading, and a bit of experimentation, I have found a solution, although its not yet 100% (still testing).
You need to buy a portable CD/DVD player, that has a USB connection to connect to a PC. This needs to support TV connectivity. The one I have bought is a Hitachi-LG Data Storage GP95NW70 - but there are a few similar models available.
Plug this into a USB socket in the car - ideally, the higher powered USB-C port.
Press the eject button, and (on this model) then press the eject button for over 2 seconds - this switches the default on-power ODD drive mode to TV Connectivity mode. The LED indicator will light up, and stay on.
Then put a CD in the drive and navigate to the USB connection in Media in iDrive. The car may take a little while to recognise the drive and CD.
Turn the sound off (press the volume button in the car to do this), and select a track using iDrive.
Wait until the LED indicator on the CD drive stops flashing (the car appears to be buffering the track), then switch the sound on by pressing the car volume button.
If you don't do the last step, the track will play for a bit, then stutter as more of the track is downloaded.
If stuttering during playback occurs, then pause (turn off volume) for a short while to allow rebuffering of the track.

I have no idea how many tracks will play before buffering is needed, or even how well this will work on the move (I have only just confirmed how to do this on my front drive this morning!)
Has anyone else tried this, or wants to try it? I'd love to have feedback. I can only attest to this working in my i3, but am hoping to be able to do this in our 2nd EV that arrives in December (Mercedes EQC). I suspect other BMWs will work similarly, as long as they can recognise and play WAV files.