Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Creating music playlists for BMW iDrive

If you have been using a USB flash drive to playback music files on your BMW iDrive, but is frustrated over the Search function of iDrive, which allows you to filter by Artist, Album, Genre which are rather broad searches, or which needs you to go through multiple selections, in order to select the music folder to play. Why not use Playlists to create your quick lists of music files? 
Good idea, but yet you cannot get playlists to show up in iDrive?
Here is the instructions to get your music playlists working in iDrive.

  1. Make sure your USB flash drive is formatted in FAT32.
  2. Get onto a computer and create a playlist, using whatever software that allows you to do so.
    I used the free VLC media player, which allows me to drag-and-drop music files into a working list.
  3. Export the working list into a .m3u playlist file.
  4. Save the playlist file into the root folder of the USB flash drive.
    Do not put them into any folders.
    You can still keep your music files in their respective folders.
    E:\playlist Jazz.m3u
  5. Open your playlist file with a text application (Notepad on Windows).
    This step is crucial to point the correct location of the music files in your flash drive.
    You will see the content of the .m3u file like this example.
    #EXTINF:105, Example Artist A - Example title
    E:\My Music\Artist A\Song 2.mp3
    #EXTINF:321, Example Artist B - Example title 
    E:\My Music\Favorites\Artist B\Song 4.mp3
  6. Remove all the drive markers.
    If you are using notepad on Windows, use "Ctrl+H" key.
    Find "E:\", replace with " " (leave blank)
    Your result should be as below example:
    #EXTINF:105, Example Artist A - Example title
    My Music\Artist A\Song 2.mp3
    #EXTINF:321, Example Artist B - Example title 
    My Music\Favorites\Artist B\Song 4.mp3
  7. Save the .m3u playlist file.
  8. Check again that all your playlist files are in the root folder of the USB flash drive.
    E:\playlist Jazz.m3u
    E:\playlist Rock.m3u
    E:\playlist Pop Mix.m3u
  9. Plug the USB flash drive with your newly created playlists into the USB port on your BMW.
  10. Go to Playlists on iDrive and you will know see the lists appear.
    Click on the playlist, then click on the first song title, to start playing the list.
    If you need to shuffle the songs, click the options key on iDrive control panel, and check "Random".
Hope this works for you and end your music playlist frustrations.
It worked for my F46 - BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer ///M Sport.
Have fun and enjoy your BMW!

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