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Survey: Interest in MP3 Players Grows

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) _ Shutterbugs, time to face the music. Portable digital music players are now on par with digital cameras as the most wanted electronics items, a new survey finds.

More than one in five U.S. consumers, or 22 percent, say they plan to buy an MP3 player in the next three months, up from 13 percent from last year, according to the Ipsos Insight survey. Meanwhile, digital cameras held steady at 22 percent for the third year in a row.

A new category _ portable multimedia devices, such as the newer iPods that can display photos or video besides playing music _ also jumped into the mix this year, with 14 percent of consumers expressing interest in buying one.

``This big leap reflects the 'sweet spot' appeal of these portable (media) devices, which balance compactness, simplicity, capacity and features, while managing to maintain affordable price points,'' said Todd Board, a senior vice president at Ipsos Insight.

Interest in cell phones and personal computers dropped this year, though at 20 percent and 21 percent, respectively, they remain high on wish lists.

The random telephone-based survey of 511 adults was conducted Oct. 28 to Dec. 1, with a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4.3 percentage points.
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