The Pew Internet & American Life Project has released the findings of a study into the listening habits of MP3 player owners, including iPod users. More than 22 million adults own iPods or other MP3 players, according to the report, and 29 percent of them, or more than 6 million, have downloaded podcasts from the Web.
Podcasts combines downloadable audio files — most often encoded in MP3 format — with Really Simple Syndication (RSS) technology, which enables users to subscribe to a newsfeed that they can then use to download the files from. Users then listen to the podcasts using their computer’s audio file playing software, or download the files to their digital music player.
Other findings from the study conclude that men are more likely to have MP3 players than women — 13 percent of men have them, compared to 9 percent of women. Minorities are more likely to own MP3 players than whites, according to the report — 16 percent of African-Americans and English-speaking Latinos own iPods or other MP3 players, compared to 9 percent of non-Latino whites.
By age group, the highest percentage of those who own MP3 players are between 18 – 28 years old — 19 percent. 14 percent of respondents between 29-40 have them, and 11 percent of people “Baby Boomer” age — 41 – 50 — have the players, according to the report.
The report also says that Internet broadband access is popular with iPod or MP3 players — 21 percent of those who have such a device also have high-speed Internet access at home, compared to 10 percent with dial up access only.
The survey interviewed more than 2,201 adults, including 208 owners of iPods or MP3 players. The margin of error on the sample is plus or minus two points and on the MP3 player sample is plus or minus 7.5 points, according to the researchers.
The Pew Internet & American Life Project describes itself as “a non-partisan initiative of the Pew Research Center that researches the social impact of the internet. The Project has no policy agenda and takes no positions on internet-related issues.” The Pew Research Center is funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts.