Neil Young Launches Kickstarter For High Resolution Device Called PonoPlayer

Justin Stanger

by Justin Stanger

Published March 10, 2014

Neil Young has revealed a brand new music service called Pono, which will include the PonoPlayer, a music player that will play in high-fidelity, and PonoMusic, an online music store. Pono's main focus is to bring the highest-possible quality digital music to the audiophile market. The service has been in the works for years and was originally called PureTone. Young explained in his book Waging Heavy Peace, "An MP3 has about five percent of the data that can be found in a PureTone master file." Young seems to think that the mp3 format is a thing of the past, stating:

"It's about the music, real music. We want to move digital music into the 21st century and PonoMusic does that. We couldn't be more excited - not for ourselves, but for those that are moved by what music means in their lives."

The PonoPlayer will feature an LCD touch screen interface and will hold 128 GB of memory or 100-500 high-resolution albums. Albums will be available in FLAC format, with the best quality files playing in 9216 kbps (192kHz/24-bit). The device is triangular and can stand up straight or rest on its side. See what it looks like below.


On the Pono Kickstarter, it states the reason for the player's triangular shape:

"It allowed us to use larger audio components and to separate them far enough apart to prevent electrical interference between the various subsystems."

You can watch Pono CEO John Hamm explain in detail what the PonoPlayer does and how it will work in the video below.

According to The Guardian, Young claimed to have been working with Steve Jobs to bring a higher sound quality to the iTunes music store, but said that he hasn't heard back from Apple since Jobs' death. Instead, the project will be funded through a Kickstarter campaign.

If the campaign is successful, PonoPlayers will retail for $399 at You can preorder it on if you pledge at least $200. A $400 pledge will get you a limited-edition, signed PonoPlayer, which will come with the your choice of a laser-engraved signature from Willie Nelson, Tom Petty, Patti Smith, Pearl Jam, Beck, or other artists. Production is planned to start in late Summer, with rewards for donations delivered in October.

For more music, news and tour dates, head over to Neil Young's Zumic artist page.

Source: Computer Audiophile

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