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Neil Young Goes Ahead With Pono Player, Best Quality Music

According to Young, the Pono player will be playing the best quality of music you can get.

Young recently showed of a rather clumsy prototype design of Pono - whose name stands for righteous in Hawaiian, he said - without demonstrating it. However, new rumors suggest that Young has a functional device and is currently accumulating a music library and licenses for a music store that would hold 192 kHz / 24-bit recordings. Pono will also cover a "digital-to-analogue conversion technology intended to present songs as they first sound during studio recording sessions". There is not much detail, but Pono is not vaporware, according to Young, and will be released sometime in 2013.

There is reasonable doubt whether a dedicated music player like Pono can be successful in a time when we expect our mobile phones not just to be music playback devices, but entire entertainment multi-talents that can also play videos and run games that we download from application stores. Music streaming via cellular networks will be out of the question for Pono, given the fact that Young's preferred music format consumes about 300 MB of space for five minutes of audio, which makes the data squeezed into a Netflix SD movie (700 MB) look rather small. Even if you were to use music streaming over a commercial DSl or cable broadband network, you would be  brand was an excessive bandwidth user if you were to stream more than 30 songs per day on average. Pono will have to rely on massive local storage that would provide room for about 200 songs in 64 GB of space.

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  • QEFX
    "Neil Young Goes Ahead With Pono Player" ... I so read that wrong the 1st time.

    While I appreciate true high quality music, 300MB per song may just be a little steep at this point in time.

    Can't wait to actually hear the sound quality and see just how much better it is than a high quality CD with a proper sound system.

    Then I will just need the music industry to get rid of auto-tuned no talent musicians who can't read / write music or play an instrument and bring back actual musicians.
    Reply
  • livebriand
    All we need is video that uses a similarly absurd amount of space, and those gigabit google connections can actually be put to use!
    Reply
  • Parsian
    why would i need this when i can play .FLAC on my Android device? I havent tried 24 bit resolution but im certain if it cannot play now, it will be soon as hardwares get faster and libraries grow.

    Reply
  • xpeh
    qefx"Neil Young Goes Ahead With Pono Player" ... I so read that wrong the 1st time.While I appreciate true high quality music, 300MB per song may just be a little steep at this point in time.Can't wait to actually hear the sound quality and see just how much better it is than a high quality CD with a proper sound system. Then I will just need the music industry to get rid of auto-tuned no talent musicians who can't read / write music or play an instrument and bring back actual musicians.
    I read Porno Player and thought "I'll have to consider this sometime"
    Reply
  • tolham
    Neil's heart is in the right place, but his execution is horribly off the mark. 16/44.1 and mp3 are perfectly capable of preserving enough audio fidelity for the human ear. the biggest problem with music production is the *MASTERING* - nearly every album released in the last ~15 years is hellishly compressed&clipped into a solid brick. Neil should put his money and energy into educating the public about this problem and convincing the labels to end the loudness war.
    Reply
  • bavman
    This is great for audiophiles. The thing is though....that if you want to put that format to good use you'll need some hardcore equipment. True audiophile grade headphones run in the range of $1000, and another $1000-2000 DAC/AMP to power it. This is certainly not portable....so why would you make a portable device that is capable of doing this? Very good portable headphones are those that don't need external amplification and run $300-400 tops, but at that level you won't notice a difference between say this and FLAC. So even though its a nice idea, i really doubt anyone will go for it, since it would only be of good use at home.
    Reply
  • Miharu
    Parsian: Your Android device will downgrade the quality to be played properly. You actually need special hardware supporting 24bit for play it correctly - audio chip and speaker. Most hardware stop at 16bit since vendors tell it's the standard.

    tolham: Human can hear the difference between 16bit and 24bit, musicians at least. 16/44.1 mp3 could be consider high quality and 90% fidelity. New format 24 bit would be consider ultra high quality with 99-100% fidelity. The difference it's not so big, probably most people won't buy theirs libraries a second time for that but it's a standard that industry must adopt someday. That industry still sell you CD (in wav format) and haven't figure out a more secure format.

    If Neil do a great job, it's could be the next big thing. There are tons of IThing too be change.
    Reply
  • nukemaster
    tolhamNeil's heart is in the right place, but his execution is horribly off the mark. 16/44.1 and mp3 are perfectly capable of preserving enough audio fidelity for the human ear. the biggest problem with music production is the *MASTERING* - nearly every album released in the last ~15 years is hellishly compressed&clipped into a solid brick. Neil should put his money and energy into educating the public about this problem and convincing the labels to end the loudness war.God yes!
    Reply
  • alxianthelast
    throws money at screen.

    Screw the bandwidth considerations.
    Reply
  • SirTrollsALot
    I always thought converting analog or CD's,or raw fileas to .OGG format was the best format for players, if they could play .OGG formats... Correct me if I am wrong.
    Reply