Yes, Pono is an awkward name. No, it's not a new type of music file. And yes, you can finally get dibs on one. The PonoPlayer was finally unveiled on Kickstarter in March 2014 after years of speculation and delays.
Neil Young's Pono ecosystem consists of two distinct platforms; the PonoPlayer hardware, and the PonoMusic Web store.
While "MP3 player" might as well be a bad word in the audiophile community, that is essentially what the PonoPlayer is. Though it is designed to reproduce high-resolution (24-bit/192kHz) music, it features compatibility with FLAC, ALAC, MP3, WAV, … Read more
Well, that didn't take long. Less than 24 hours after legendary rocker Neil Young launched a Kickstarter page for his long-talked-about Pono music service, the campaign surpassed its goal of $800,000.
As of this writing, the PonoMusic Kickstarter campaign has more than $2 million in pledges from more than 6,200 backers.
One of the reasons this Kickstarter campaign blew through the roof is that music fans and sound aficionados are eagerly looking to get their hands on the Pono music player, or PonoPlayer. The player has been in development for years and will use the Free Lossless … Read more
Leaked from today's 404 episode:
- Neil Young just destroyed his funding goals for a digital music player on Kickstarter.
- Meet the people making new games for Atari, Super NES, and Virtual Boy.
Update 2:39 p.m. ET: The early bird pricing of $200 is now gone, but pledgers who put up $300 or more will receive a PonoPlayer.
Neil Young's PonoPlayer has been in development for several years, but after months of rumor and conjecture of its potential release date it has finally been announced today on the PonoMusic Kickstarter.
Neil Young announced the PonoPlayer on the Late Show with David Letterman in 2012, and despite rumors that Young was … Read more
The Gigaom Web site reported on December 20 that Pono announced it won't be showing at the CES show in Las Vegas in January.
I first heard about Neil Young's Pono music system more than a couple of years ago, and it was supposed to roll out a few months later. Rumors continued to circulate about an imminent debut, then fade away. Young showed a Pono music player prototype on the David Letterman show in September 2012, and it seemed like the launch was within reach.
Like everybody else I'm still unsure about how the Pono music … Read more
Neil Young expects to launch Pono, a music service based on a new high-definition audio format that the rock musician is spearheading, early next year.
Young made the announcement in a Facebook post Tuesday, adding that the Pono team has been focused on fine-tuning the new format, which he said has "liberated the music of the artist from the digital file and restored it to its original artistic quality -- as it was in the studio."
Young also offered a little more insight into the process behind his new format.
"Pono starts at the source: artist-approved studio … Read more
I remember just before the CD was introduced 30 years ago thinking that digital audio would be a giant leap forward in fidelity, but as soon as I heard a few CDs I knew digital wouldn't do a thing to make music sound more realistic. The CD was vastly better than LPs and cassettes in terms of noise and distortion, but voices still didn't sound like they do in real life, and pianos didn't sound as big and powerful as they do in Carnegie Hall. That mystified me; those early digital recordings were compression-free, and I was … Read more
Neil Young's Pono has been in the news a lot recently, but not many people know that the new player is designed as a way to playback FLAC files, primarily those bought from PonoMusic. While you could wait till the Pono Web store comes online sometime in the next year, there are ways you can get your hands on FLAC music right now.
If you want to listen to better-quality digital music, then FLAC files are a great way to do it. They typically use half the storage space of uncompressed music files and should sound identical to music played from a CD. And yes, you can use apps like FLAC Player to listen to them on iOS devices. Or the PonoPlayer of course.
Like MP3s, there are two main ways to get FLACs legally: rip them from CDs, or buy them directly. While we cover how to rip your own music to FLAC format here, there are several sites that offer FLAC album downloads for less than the price of a CD, and yet offer the same level of quality. You'll find that most of these sites are independent and that's because major labels have yet to embrace fully lossless downloads, presumably because of the ever-present "piracy concerns."
Below are the best stores that sell the FLAC format. If you're interested in higher-than-CD quality, some of the following sites also offer 24-bit "HD" downloads for an extra charge.… Read more