With Neil Young currently in Austin, Texas, to deliver a SXSW keynote where’s he expected to detail his Pono digital music service, a leaked press release has provided fans with an advance look inside both the service and its somewhat controversial player.
“It’s about the music, real music. We want to move digital music into the 21st century and PonoMusic does exactly that,” Young said in the release, which was posted on Neil Young News. “We couldn’t be more excited about bringing PonoMusic to the market.”
The service will entail both an online music store and the PonoPlayer, which comes in a long, triangular “Toblerone” shape as opposed to the usual flat look of most digital music players. The unorthodox design, according to the Pono Kickstarter page, enables the company “to use larger audio components and to separate them far enough apart to prevent electrical interference between the various subsystems. It also allowed us to use a large cylindrical battery that’s much more efficient than a flat battery.”
Made for audiophiles frustrated with the limited sound quality found on most digital music players, Pono offers potential users what they call the “highest resolution digital music available,” with a music resolution rate that ranges from CD lossless, 44.1kHz/16 bit at the low end to 192kHz/24 bit high-resolution. That adds up to sound that at worst has “six times more musical information than a typical mp3” to as much as “30 times more data.”
With more than a month left to pledge to help Pono get off the ground, more than half of the $800,000 had already been offered up (the pledge count was over $482,000 and climbing as of March 11).
— Scott Sterling, Radio.com