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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.

PONO to Launch Early 2014


finally there is a fickle date for the PONO release.  It is still subject to reality. And also what one understands what PONO would really give to the ears for, e.g. the “girls with the white earphones.”

Technical discussion here on BNB:

No one still answers the question why these high sampling rates, that the end-user cannot hear, is good for the end-user. For mastering ok.  For the girls and boys in white earphones it is still difficult why they should change their habit for songs which take 6 more times to download and to store and have no other quality than they have been remastered. Which is independent of the end sampling rate.

Why isn’t it explained to people that Neil Young is beyond physical limits when it goes about marketing, although he should know better as a musician.

It’s about mastering, not just high sampling rates. Yep, you get the studio sound, the re-mastered one. And that is new. And good. No need for Pono-stuff, though  🙂



Published: 2013/09/05

Neil Young’s PONO Digital Music Service to Launch Early Next Year

Neil Young’s highly anticipated digital music service PONO will finally be available in early 2014. According to Young, PONO will improve the quality and compression of MP3s. The legendary singer-songwriter posted a statement on the service’s Facebook page on Tuesday that reads:

To everyone who loves music

I’m very happy to bring you some good news. All of us at Team PONO have been focused on getting everything right for our early 2014 launch of Pono.

The simplest way to describe what we’ve accomplished is that we’ve liberated the music of the artist from the digital file and restored it to its original artistic quality – as it was in the studio. So it has
primal power.

Hearing PONO for the first time is like that first blast of daylight when you leave a movie theater on a sun-filled day. It takes you a second to adjust. Then you enter a bright reality, of wonderfully
rendered detail.

This music moves you. So you can feel. That’s why so many musicians are behind PonoMusic – this is important work that honors their art. This is the way they wanted you to hear their music.

PONO starts at the source: artist-approved studio masters we’ve been given special access to. Then we work with our brilliant partners at Meridian to unlock the richness of the artist’s music to you. There is nothing like hearing this music – and we are working hard to make that experience available to all music lovers, soon.

Our mission is also to make PONO just as accessible as any music you buy and listen to today. So we’ll be launching both the PONO portable player – an updated version of the one I showed on David Letterman’s program – and an online library, with all your favorite music available in PonoMusic quality. Everything you need to feel music anew.

Stay tuned for more updates. And be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitterand NSA for the latest information. We hope you’ll try PONO when it comes your way, and that it brings you the soul of music.

Yours, for PonoMusic
Neil Young

Thanks to Randy G. and BNB team and

Random Quote

It doesn\'t affect me because I look at the internet as the new radio. I look at the radio as gone. [...] Piracy is the new radio. That\'s how music gets around. [...] That\'s the radio. If you really want to hear it, let\'s make it available, let them hear it, let them hear the 95 percent of it.
by -- Neil Young Interview on Steve Jobs and distributing music today, 31.12.2012

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