Music downloaders choose iPods over P2P

As legal music downloading takes off as never before, music pirates are shunning peer-to-peer services in favor of using iPods to swap music.

According to a report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, the number of music downloaders using peer-to-peer networks has dropped in recent months. Currently, 21 percent of downloaders use networks such as Kazaa or Grokster for music or video, compared with the 58 percent who downloaded music from file-sharing networks in February 2004.

By contrast, other methods of swapping music are gaining ground. iPods, along with instant messaging, blogs and other sources, are becoming a popular music transfer tool. Eleven percent of former file sharers admitted to using Apple Computer's iPod or other MP3 players to swap songs in the past, compared with the 15 percent of downloaders who currently do.

While Apple's iTunes Music Store allows people to download purchased songs to an unlimited number of iPods, the report states that people are also happy to use complex copyright technology-cracking software to trade music.

A small percentage of Internet users have fallen out of love with the downloading scene as a whole and now no longer get their music from the Net at all. Eleven percent of all Internet users once got music online but don't any more, with 44 percent of those previously using Kazaa and illegal alternatives and another 25 percent having lost interest in legal sites like iTunes, according to the study. Read the full article here.