A new survey by ICM Research has shown that most MP3 players are barely half full, and consumers are buying devices that are bigger than they need.
The average user fills only 58 per cent of their music player, leaving the average player with more than 4GB of free space, enough for the entire music output of Elvis Presley, Madonna and the Rolling Stones.
Two thirds of stored music is ripped from CDs, and just 17 per cent is downloaded. Of the 1,000 people questioned only six per cent admitted to downloading music illegally and one in 10 had copied music from friends.
Leanne Sharman, general manager at Napster, which commissioned the survey, said: "With Christmas around the corner and retailers predicting a bumper year for sales of MP3 players, these statistics show that filling up and using an MP3 player is obviously not as quick and easy as people expect. The problem is that ripping CDs is time consuming."
The survey estimated that 16 per cent of the UK population has an MP3 player, nearly two thirds of which were bought in the past 12 months. 'Convenience' and 'portability' are the key reasons for owning an MP3 player.
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