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More Pono: critique, wondering

tech_neil_young_pono_2Pono, Neil Young’s brainchild for sound, is starting to sound like a broken record…

Pono, Pono, Pono……. the music player of the future.

Here is another critique of the invention and the idea by audiophile Steve Guttenberg at C/Net.

Guttenberg is wondering what’s up with the release of Pono, now pushed to 2014.

He writes:

“Like everybody else I’m still unsure about how the Pono music service will work. Will we have to buy a Pono music player to fully enjoy the glories of Pono files? In other words, is Pono a closed system? Or can you play Pono high-resolution Master Files on your computer at home or on an iPhone or Android phone? I can’t see how that would be possible in the near term, and I don’t consider phones’ digital converters and built-in amplifiers audiophile-grade devices. Playing a file is one thing; hearing better sound from it is something else.

“The biggest stumbling block for Pono is the scarcity of high-resolution music being recorded today. According to a friend who worked at one of NYC’s biggest mastering studios, only 10 or 15 percent of clients ever bother with true high-resolution masters. Most are no better than 48kHz/24-bit, very few are bona-fide high-resolution 96kHz or 192kHz masters. But even if Young can rack up enough high-resolution music albums, how Pono Master Files will differ from the high-resolution WAV, FLAC, or ALAC files that are already available from other high-resolution download sources, he isn’t saying. How will the Pono player be any different than the Astell & Kern, FiiO, or Hifiman high-resolution players already on the market?”

“Pono,” by the way, it the Hawaiian word for “righteous.”

Read the entire opinion piece at:

/ Why Pono is questionable and doesn’t make sense for the end-terminal, i.e. the ear:

Please discuss this.

Reader Feedback

One Response to “More Pono: critique, wondering”

  • bnbrainer says:

    Pono is dead meat somehow. A sampling rate of 192 kHz is good for the mastering process, but the user can not hear 192 kHz or the Nyquist of it. It is strange to make people believe it would be the sampling rate that makes a difference.

    It is the mastering process that counts. You don’t have to sell 192 kHz at the end, but just maybe use it during the process.

    Who actually will be there out on the streets with their end-gadget terminals and being able to hear the sampling rate if it’s higher than 40 kHz. But you have 6 time-fold downloading time. The girls with the white ear-plugs?

    Don’t get me wrong, PONO is good for the mastering. But no-one explains that the end-user hears the mastering, not these 192 kHz.

    Like Apple, it is no good to have an island on the Internets.

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