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iPod owners might be daft fashion victims who are easily parted from their money, but they are not thieves, despite what Steve Ballmer may, or may not, have said.

A survey of US and UK music buyers reveals that although 25 per cent of people admit to downloading music from file-sharing services, only seven per cent of iPod owners do so. Proving that iPod users are either scrupulously honest or more paranoid they'll get sued by RIAA than owners of lesser music players.

iPods make up 44 per cent of all MP3 players. iPod owners are 52 per cent male and 48 per cent female.

The survey also found that iPod owners buy an average of 2.26 albums a month and 29 per cent of them also regularly buy CDs on eBay. Men in their 30s buy the most albums.

But 41 per cent of survey respondents find commercial music download services too difficult to use, and 32 per cent have abandoned an online music store because it was too difficult to use.

Researchers spoke to 1,000 people towards the end of last year. More details available from XTN Data here.®

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