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· Go West young MINI!
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Connector vs. AUX vs. Icelink vs. ?


My 2005 MCS is on the way. I had a question about how to best connect the IPod to my MINI. I ordered the AUX input for my MINI, but it seems there are superior options available. From what I can tell, there are adaptors available from Denison, Alpine, and BMW. Can someone provide a Pro/Con for me? I've sifted through the message boards here and there appears to be a lot of disagreement. Here is what I've gathered so far from (I read the reviews for the BMW connector and the Icelink):

If you have a multi-function steering wheel, BMW connector allows you to use it to control sound/navigation the same way you could with your AM/FM stereo. This allows one to stow the IPod away in the glove box. The BMW connector allows you to play up to five playlists and does not display song names.

The Icelink allows you to use the iPod pretty much as you would normally use it, taking the place of the CD player on the stereo. This is an improvement over the AUX input in that the AUX does not charge the iPod and there are some problems with controlling the sound. Like the BMW connector, the Icelink can be integrated for use with the steering wheel. Unlike the BMW connector, you must manually select songs using Icelink (vs. using up to 5 BMW playlists)

From what I can tell, most of the complaints with the Icelink have to do with the installation. If I'm the type of person who would rather pay for someone to install Icelink, how much would it cost? How would this compare to the cost of having MINI/BMW install their connector?

I will not have NAV, or a CD changer on my MCS, so these issues don't play into the decision. From what I've seend, the Icelink will cost $200-$250 in parts and the BMW connector $150. I'm not considering the Alpine adaptor because I don't like the idea of the head unit.

Please help. If I've made any incorrect assumptions, please point them out. I'm really new to this and I'm having a tough time reaching a decision.

Thank you in advance for your help.
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