Digital music players beating CDs and MDs


Which type of portable music player do you use the most? graph of japanese opiniongoo Research recently published the results of some detailed investigation into the use of portable music players. Over four days at the end of March they interviewd by means of a private internet questionnaire 2,183 members of their monitor group. The respondents were 48.2% male, with 19.1% in their teens, 17.5% in their twenties, 19.7% in their thirties, 21.2% in their forties, 16.6% in their fifties, 4.8% in their sixties, and 1.2% seventy years old or more.

Note that MP3 player refers to either memory based or hard-disk based players only like iPods or D-Snaps, not CD players that support MP3 file formats. I am not sure under what category phones with music playback support are recorded; perhaps they are “Other”?

I’ve recently been testing a Sony NW-A3000 but I couldn’t really recommend it to anyone. The 20 Gb hard disk is nice, of course, but the PC-based software is unwieldy to say the least, as is the player software. Pet hates include that random shuffle seems not as random as it should be, doing Pause then Play will result in a one-second or so skip, and recharging the player resets the player back to the first track. I’ve heard that the iPod balances out the volume, but the Sony doesn’t, so I have to keep fiddling with the sound levels. On the other hand, I did manage to find an almost complete archive of Just A Minute, but on the downside I perhaps scare the other train passengers as I try to stifle laughs during my commute.

Q1: What types of portable music players do you own? (Sample size=2,183, multiple answer)

CD player47.1%
MD player42.9%
Cassette player35.6%
MP3 player33.4%
Don’t have any17.2%

As one might expect, the younger people were more likely to have MD or MP3 players, the older cassettes and CDs. In fact, over half of the over seventies had both portable CD and cassette players.

Q2: Which type of portable music player do you use the most? (Sample size=2,183)

MP3 player29.3%
CD player20.6%
MD player19.5%
Cassette player4.4%
Don’t use or have any23.6%

Note that I am a bit sceptical of this result above; looking around the train on my commute, MDs perhaps just beat MP3 players, and CDs are quite rare. Perhaps there is some bias built into this survey; since the respondents are all internet users, they tend to download rather than dub to MD?

Looking at the usage trends by age, they are very similar to the ones noted above for ownership.

Q3: Which type of portable music player do you want to buy? (Sample size=2,183)

MP3 player (to SQ)52.8%
MD player (to SQ)5.8%
CD player (to SQ)1.7%
Cassette player (to SQ)0.1%
Other (to SQ)1.9%
Don’t particularly want to buy any37.7%

Again, similar age trends are noted; the younger people want MP3 players, older ones tape or CD, or just nothing at all.

Q3SQ: When do you hope to buy this player? (Sample size=1,152)

Within a month2.6%
Within three months8.8%
Within six months13.6%
Within a year17.8%
Within two years4.0%
Not thought about any time period in particular53.2%

Q4: What type of mobile phone do you have? (Sample size=2,183, multiple answer)

Standard mobile phone90.1%
PHS-style mobile phone4.9%
Have neither type7.6%

Q5: What features of your mobile phone do you use? (Sample size=2,017, multiple answer)

Voice calls97.1%
Still camera76.0%
Ring tones52.9%
QR code reader37.8%
Movie camera36.0%
Video phone11.9%

Q6: Tell me about your mobile phone’s TV and radio features. (Sample size=2,017)

Mobile phone has TV or radio functionality, and I use it (to SQ2)6.1%
Mobile phone has TV or radio functionality, but I don’t use it much (to SQ1)7.4%
Mobile phone has TV or radio functionality, but I never use it (to SQ1)5.9%
Mobile phone doesn’t have TV or radio functionality76.9%
Don’t know3.8%

Q6SQ1: Why don’t you use your mobile phone’s TV or radio features? (Sample size=269, multiple answer)

It costs money to use33.1%
I read a book or listen to other music instead28.3%
No good programming20.8%
Signal is weak and keeps cutting out11.5%
Using the feature is forbidden0.4%

Q6SQ2: What types of programs do you watch or listen to on your mobile phone? (Sample size=174, multiple answer)

Talk show23.6%

Q7: If a mobile phone had music playback functionality, would you use it? (Sample size=2,017)

Definitely use20.2%
Sometimes use22.8%
Wouldn’t use25.3%
No particular interest in music playback features21.0%
Don’t know9.0%

Q8: If a mobile phone had music recording functionality, would you use it? (Sample size=2,017)

Definitely use15.2%
Sometimes use22.5%
Wouldn’t use30.6%
No particular interest in music recording features19.7%
Don’t know11.1%
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