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July 7, 2006 at 1:37 PM

Who’s No. 2 in digital music players?

If you removed the iPod from the picture, what’s the next-best selling digital music player? What company ranks second in market share behind Apple Computer?

It’s not Sony or Creative. According to the NPD research group, data storage company Sandisk had the second largest chunk of the U.S. digital music player market in May, with a 10.1 percent share. Apple’s iPod had a 74.3 percent share. And Creative was in third place with a 4.2 percent share.

Sandisk’s best-selling player that month was the Sansa M230, which sells for $49 at Buy.com, according to NPD. The M230 has 512 MB of storage — the same amount as the $69 iPod Shuffle. Unlike the Shuffle, the Sensa has an LCD screen, an FM tuner and a voice recorder.

Digital music players have hit mainstream status, according to research firm Nielsen//NetRatings. The company reports that 24 percent of online adults currently own a digital music player, and that 9.3 percent of online adults have bought one in the last 12 months.

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