Neil Young Would Like To Sell You An Expensive Portable Music Player That Is Very Last Century

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Do you love music? Do you want it in a small package so you have music with you all the time on the bus or the stairmaster? Is it 1999 when these things weren’t possible and no one had an iPod? No, it is now and Neil Young is selling you a $400 music player, sucker.

Neil Young plans to release his $400 PonoPlayer portable audio player and the proprietary music download store that goes with it at SXSW, via a Kickstarter campaign set to begin on March 15, according to a press release making the rounds. The device will play PonoMusic files, with audio elements designed by Ayre Acoustics, after a deal to do the same with Meridian apparently fell through.

In some cases, these PonoMusic files have reportedly been remastered for this new format. It’s not clear how much each song download will cost, but it could be more than Amazon and iTunes charge, due to the extra work involved with creating these new downloadable audio files. The player will not support streaming music.

It does tons less than an iPod or an iPhone, since it will only play one type of audio file and will not stream music at you when you are too hungover to figure out which of your own songs will listen to. But it will cost tons more! As will each song, probably! On the other hand, it is shaped like a triangle! GET HYPED.

Look, we know that there are Those People that are super audiophiles and they are made sad by the ostensibly tinny music coming from their smartphone, but that is like 12 people, one of whom you always have to make sure to avoid at parties because he’s always trying to get you to admire his $10,000 turntable and talking about the amp you need to buy.

Are these people really enough to sustain an entire audio player ecosystem, or will most of us just suck it up and listen to Spotify on our phones? Spotify wins, although it doesn’t come with Neil Young Mystic Mumbo Jumbo.

In September 2013, Young updated fans on his Facebook page, promising an early 2014 launch for PonoMusic. “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,” he wrote.

“Hearing Pono for the first time is like that first blast of daylight when you leave a movie theatre on a sun-filled day.”

Man, we have been looking for a way to liberate the artist from the digital file forfuckingever, but we usually solved it just by getting high, which is what we thought Neil Young did also too.

This thing Kickstarts on March 15, so best start saving your drug money now so you can buy it.

[Evolver/Guardian]

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  • edgydrifter

    John Coltrane liberated spirit from the shackles of form. This doohickey liberates money from the wallets of pretentious dummies.

  • Miguelito Perro

    This is why his autobiography sucked. I love the man. It was miserable to watch him shill for this useless gadget no one will need…

    • Farb

      Only one of the reasons why the autobiography was difficult to read. Cars were another. His constant flitting around in time, mostly back to the ’70’s and forth to his current situation, was another. All that substance abuse had its effect. He might not be a gambler, but he’s sure a rambler. I’ll cut him slack because of his good work in the past. (As if he cares.)

  • Fitzgerald Chesterfield

    I can play my vinyl on it, right?

  • Bruce Walton

    We’ve had FLAC, a public-domain lossless digital format, for a long long time already… there’s no need for PONO and proprietary formats. I love Neil, but he’s way off-base with this thing. He’s listening to the wrong people.

    • Zippy W Pinhead

      FLAC works fine and is completely open source. It’s lossless and gives you about a 50% reduction in file size

    • This isn’t lossy versus non-lossy. If Rolling Stone has it right, Pono’s likely to use 24 bits at 192kHz. That’s enough to increase the dynamic range from 96 to 144 dB, which– assuming digital-to-analog converters and speaker equipment capable of keeping up with it– should be perceptibly better.(Note that digital masters are NOT in the 16 bit 44 kHz format of a compact disc; the format doesn’t have enough bandwidth for it.)

      • $73376667

        It’ll come bundled with 10¢ earbuds that never stay in.

  • $73376667

    “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,”

    Except it’s a digital music player. And I’d wager the studio recordings are on DAT to begin with.Maybe it avoids all that lossy-ness of MP3 and AAC, but we already have something for that: the Comapct Disc. And it’s about damn time for CD-DA to make a comeback since we’re not downloading music over 56k modems onto sub-gigabyte HDD’s any more.Maybe Sir Neil will start pushing Monster HDMI cables next…

    • msanthropesmr

      Or, perhaps, Reference Audio Wooden Knobs.

    • davidbix

      They’re talking about high resolution digital transfers from analog tape.

  • Scott

    “Hearing Pono for the first time is like that first blast of daylight when you leave a movie theatre on a sun-filled day.”So, it’s the painful and inconvenient aftereffect of an excellent experience that’s now, sadly, over?

  • BMW

    “…we know that there are Those People that are super audiophiles and they are made sad by the ostensibly tinny music coming from their smartphone…”And have Those People not heard of better quality headphones/speakers you can buy for a fraction of the cost of this new device?

  • AnOuthouse

    Amp? You need a pre amp for that amp. Let me show you this one…

  • Eh, it needs tubes or I ain’t interested.