More than 10 per cent of the US adult population carries a digital music player – that's 22 million people, without even counting teenagers.

Men are more likely to sport such a gadget than women. According to the survey from the Pew Internet and American Life Project, 14 per cent of men own a digital music player such as an iPod, compared to 9 per cent of women.

Ownership of such gadgets also depended on age. Almost 20 per cent of under 30s owned a digital music player, while 14 per cent of 30-39-year-olds, and 14 per cent of 40-48-year-olds did.

The presence of children in the home is also likely to increase music player ownership: 16 per cent of parents living with children under 18 in their home have iPods/MP3 players, compared to 9 per cent of those that don’t have children living at home.

Higher income houses are also more likely to own a MP3 player. According to the survey, 24 per cent of those households that earn more than $75,000 have one. Households earning $30,000 to $75,000 account for 10 per cent of players, and 6 per cent of players are owned households earning less than $30,000.

Web spinning

Internet use also has an impact on ownership of these devices. Those who use the Internet are four times as likely as non-internet users to have iPods or MP3 players, probably because Internet users can get much of the music they enjoy online, says Pew Internet.

According to the research, 15 per cent of Internet users have iPods/MP3 players, compared to 4 per cent of non-Internet users. And the more advanced the Internet user, the more likely it is that he has an iPod/MP3 player. Those with six years or more of Internet experience are twice as likely to have them as those who are relatively new to the Internet – less than three years experience.

Not surprisingly, broadband access is also strongly associated with ownership of iPods/MP3 players. Some 23 per cent of those with broadband at home have iPods/MP3 players, compared to 9 per cent of those who have dialup connections.

And those who have broadband access at home and at work, are the most likely of all to have iPods/MP3 players. Almost a third (31 per cent) of those people had a player.