Macworld readers are split over the need for huge iPod capacity, with 17 per cent convinced that the 4GB offered by the iPod mini is "fine", yet 16 per cent saying 80GB is needed to fulfill their requirements.

Another 15 per cent say the 15GB model meets their needs, 10GB is enough for 12 per cent, 30GB is the choice of 12 per cent, and 40GB for the remaining 10 per cent.

Some readers indicate that they now require more than one iPod (2 per cent), 13 per cent say they don't need an iPod, and 2 per cent have opted for another player.

The findings go some way to counter the predictions of Sussex University's Dr Michael Ball who is studying the iPod phenomenon. Ball told Macworld: "Many of the people I have spoken to are looking to replace their current iPod with one with more capacity. I believe that people are likely to opt for more capacity – especially since the 15GB iPod will only be £50 more than the iPod mini."

But nearly a fifth of Macworld readers feel that the iPod mini would fulfill their requirements.

One reader suggests there is no need for the ever-increasing capacity on offer from iPod: "I doubt anyone that has ripped/downloaded 6,000 songs listens to them all or even a small percentage at any given time. 6,000 sounds like a bling bling factor whereas someone with 2GB of carefully chosen tracks is a music lover."

But many readers disagree. One says: "I have around 3,000 tracks in iTunes. Some are metal, some are rock and some are classical. It depends on my mood as to what I want to listen to. Because I don't know exactly what situation/mood I'm going to be in, I need that many tracks just so there's never a time when I'm sat there thinking 'Curses, I wish I had that album to listen to', which is in my opinion one of the main reasons for having an iPod."

Other readers make the point that in order to listen to music at the highest quality with the least compression requires more space. One reader says: "I'd prefer to use the least amount of compression I can. It irks me that this current revolution in music is a further push to lower fidelity."

Another reader is "irked at the accepted loss of quality".

It's what you do with it

The requirements of iPod users appear to be dictated by lifestyle. One reader said: "I work from home, and tend to listen to music for between six and ten hours per day. With such constant listening, even 8000 songs tend to repeat fairly rapidly."

Another spends a lot of time in his car. "I've just driven for about eight hours today with my iPod supplying the tunes. I'd would have had to have a pile of CDs with me and changed them constantly."

But those readers opting for greater storage are often not only looking for extra song space. As one puts it: "I'd want as much space as possible, certainly 80GB plus, because then I'd be able to use it as a music player and as a genuine back-up/portable HD option."