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Posts Tagged ‘pono’

Young nixes streaming of his music

Neil Young recordNeil Young has announced on his Facebook page that he will no longer be streaming his music.

He does not like the sound, and says it was motivated by “the worst sound quality available in the history of broadcasting.”

 

Young writes:

“Streaming has ended for me. I hope this is ok for my fans.

It’s not because of the money, although my share (like all the other artists) was dramatically reduced by bad deals made without my consent.

It’s about sound quality. I don’t need my music to be devalued by the worst quality in the history of broadcasting or any other form of distribution. I don’t feel right allowing this to be sold to my fans. It’s bad for my music.

For me, It’s about making and distributing music people can really hear and feel. I stand for that.

When the quality is back, I’ll give it another look. Never say never.”

Neil Young

Chris DeVille at Stereogum writes:
“Neil Young has made a big stink about sound quality in recent years, and he continued to do so today, posting a Facebook message and accompanying tweet indicating that he’s taking his music off streaming services because the audio isn’t up to snuff. Young, whose PONO digital music player was predicated on the potentially specious promise of a revelatory sonic experience that far surpasses your basic MP3, explained, ‘I don’t need my music to be devalued by the worst quality in the history of broadcasting or any other form of distribution.’ What about CD-quality streaming offered by TIDAL and Deezer, though? Seems like Young hasn’t thought this through — or is trying to trick entice more people into spending big bucks at the PONO store.

 

Trump calls Neil a hypocrite

Donald-Trump-and-Neil-YoungPresidential candidate, controversial businessman Donald Trump, fired back at Neil Young with a series of tweets, called Young out as a hypocrite.

When Trump played Young’s  “Keep on Rockin’ In the Free World.”  twice during his presidential announcement rally, Young reacted with this statement:

“Donald Trump was not authorized to use ‘Rockin’ In The Free World’ in his presidential candidacy announcement,” a statement from Young’s manager read. “Neil Young, a Canadian citizen, is a supporter of Bernie Sanders for President of the United States of America.”

Not one to take a licking sitting down, Trump called out Young for coming to him a few months back, all smiles, looking for some money to back his PONO endeavor.

See tweets below:

 

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump

.@Neilyoung A few months ago Neil Young came to my office looking for $$ on an audio deal & called me last week to go to his concert. Wow!

For the nonbeliever, here is a photo of @Neilyoung in my office and his $$ request—total hypocrite.

Jobs said “Fuck Neil Young?”

neil-young-record-storeNeil Young has been a vocal critic of the sound of digital music, mostly recently while hawking his new Pono player.

This did not sit well with the late Steve Jobs, according to an article that appeared at Fast Company.

In the book Becoming Steve Jobs by Fast Company executive Rick Tetzeli and longtime technology reporter Brent Schlender, it’s revealed that Neil Young tried to quash the beef over the digital sound Jobs created through Apple, ipods and iTunes, Young offers Steve Jobs a set of remastered vinyl editions of every album in his catalog.

It was an “[attempt] to smoke the peace pipe,” writes Schlender.  “I knew that Steve enjoyed listening to records on vinyl from time to time, so I agreed to call him to see if he’d like to get the LPs. Steve answered the phone on the second ring, and I explained what I was calling about. We had talked about Neil’s criticisms a year or so before, and I thought this might soften his grudge.”

Fat chance.

“Fuck Neil Young,” he snapped, “and fuck his records. You keep them.” End of conversation.

Funny some things begin spontaneously and end spontaneously.

Read more at: http://www.fastcompany.com/3043685/this-is-what-happened-when-neil-young-tried-to-make-peace-with-steve-jobs

More poo-pooing of PonoPlayer

Neil Young holding ponoDavid Pogue says people can’t tell the difference in sound between Neil Young’s PonoPlayer and that of an iphone.

Describing himself as a former professional musician, Pogue said that “the Pono Player story is a modern retelling of ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes,’ ” making claims contrary to science.

He writes on Yahoo Tech News:

“I’m 51 and a former professional musician. I know how to listen. But when I bought Pono’s expensive remastered songs and compared them with the identical songs on my phone, I couldn’t hear any difference whatsoever.

<p data-reactid=".ocejpqdyww.$cover-mosaic-transition-group.$=1$cover-mosaic-0:0.$article-109496883039.0:$Pos-r.$article-inner-container.$inset-container singulair inhaler.$grid-template.0.$col-left.$content.$grid-content.0.1.$text-body.0.2.$p-7″>I got worried. Is the Pono story a modern-day “Emperor’s New Clothes” fable? Were those famous rock stars just imagining things?

There was only one way to find out: conduct a blind trial, using identical songs on identical headphones, comparing the Pono with a standard audio player — an iPhone. So that’s what I did. You can watch the process in the video above.”

You can watch the video at: https://www.yahoo.com/tech/it-was-one-of-kickstarters-most-successful-109496883039.html

The majority of testers picked the iphone over Pono in a blind test. He writes:

“How does it sound? I found 15 volunteers, ages 17 through 55. Each subject put on nice headphones — Sony MDR 7506 — and listened to three songs of different styles (“Saturday in the Park” by Chicago, “Raised on Robbery” by Joni Mitchell, and “There’s a World” by Mr. Pono himself, Neil Young). I bought these songs twice: once from the Pono store, in high resolution, and once from the iTunes store.

Each subject then listened to the same songs again, using standard Apple earbuds.”

He posts a good argument and it’s an interesting read.

Pogue is a former New York Times columnist.

Engineers at Neil Young’s company allegedly admit doubts on music player

<a href="http://www.bad-news-beat more helpful hints.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Neil-cartoon-with-pono.jpg”>Neil cartoon with ponoThe Pono naysayers are speaking out, since it recently went on sale for $400 to the public.

According to New York Post, and other sources, product engineers for Neil Young’s  newly released Pono digital music player have privately admitted they aren’t convinced that the high-resolution audio files it plays have any significant technical advantage over CD-quality files, sources told The Post.

“It has been clear throughout that Neil Young himself is all about the hi-res,” one source close to the situation said. “There’s no doubt in his mind that it sounds better.”

But for some of Pono’s other tech-savvy execs, selling files with more musical data than what’s available on a CD is mainly “a business decision,” the source said.

“Their take is that the serious audiophile has convinced himself he has to have it,” the source added. “They’re saying, ‘We don’t necessarily believe it, but nobody’s going to buy it if we don’t do it.’”

“I think Neil is barking up the wrong tree,” says Lukasz Fikus, a digital audio designer whose high-priced Lampizator components have earned a following among hard-core enthusiasts.

The benefits of hi-res files may be detectable on high-dollar stereo systems, but “the difference is so miniscule that it’s not even worth talking about,” according to Fikus.

The sound quality on Led Zeppelin’s second album is notoriously poor, Fikus notes. A hi-res version of it won’t change that, he says, although a recent remastering by Jimmy Page helped.

“There are many, many factors that contribute to the final pleasure (of digital music),” Fikus adds. “The density of the media file is only one of those factors — and probably not the first priority, but almost the last.”

Read more at: http://nypost.com/2015/01/11/do-consumers-really-care-about-digital-quality/

At Gizmodo, Marlo Agullar, writes that “recalcitrant rocker isn’t wrong for wanting to reclaim audio quality in the digital age, but in the service of that goal he’s peddling junk science, and supporting expensive gear and music files you don’t need. ”

Though Young and Pono have failed to produce double-blind studies on the benefits of high-rate audio or their music player, inquiring minds have taken the time to do it. In a 2007 paper published in the Journal of the Audio Engineering Society, Brad Meyer and David Moran outline the results of a study in which they presented a large sample of “serious” listeners with a double blind test comparing 44.1 kHz audio from “the best high resolution discs we could find.” The goal was not to show which was better, but simply to find out if people could even tell the difference.

“None of these variables have shown any correlation with the results, or any difference between the answers and coin-flip results,” they write in their conclusion. Later they note, “Further claims that careful 16/44.1 encoding audibly degrades high-resolution signals must be supported by properly controlled double-blind tests.”

Read more at: http://gizmodo.com/dont-buy-what-neil-young-is-selling-1678446860

Random Quote

Down the windy halls of friendship To the rose clipped by the bullwhip The motel of lost companions Waits with heated pool and bar.
by -- Neil Young

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