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Survey: iPods more popular than beer

In a rare instance, Apple Computer's iconic iPod music player surpassed beer drinking as the most "in" thing among undergraduate college students, the Associated Press reports.

The results are from a new biannual market research study by Student Monitor, which found that nearly three quarters, or 73 percent, of 1,200 students surveyed said iPods were "in" — more than any other item in a list that also included text messaging, bar hopping and downloading music.

In the year-ago study, only 59 percent of students named the iPod as "in," putting the gadget well below alcohol-related activities, according to the report. This year, drinking beer and Facebook.com were tied for second most popular.

The only other time beer was temporarily dethroned in the 18 years of the survey was in 1997 — by the Internet, Eric Weil, a managing partner at Student Monitor, told the Associated Press.