That is an inline oil filter.
Not sure about Alpha-N. Wanna stay close to stock on the engine at this point. Need to do lots of research. I learned my lesson with the 330.
Also never planned on getting an E46 M3 so I never paid close attention.
2013 F30 328i - Melbourne Red
2011 E90 M3 - Monte Carlo Blue
2004 E46 M3 - Imola red