The road to digital music player success is littered with failures, most famous among them is Microsoft’s Zune Player. Each one has attempted to take on Apple’s iPod (now mostly subsumed by the iPhone). But from music legend Neil Young comes a new entrant into the category of music players. The PonoPlayer offers listeners something they haven’t gotten much of with the tin-ear MP3 players they’ve come to know, good sound quality. The Pono plays hi-fidelity audio and comes with 128GB of data storage, along with an expandable memory card slot.
The Toblerone-shaped PonoPlayer, which is being built in collaboration with US hardware company Ayre Acoustics, has been designed to allow music fans to experience “studio master-quality digital music….the way the artist recorded it,” PonoMusic CEO John Hamm said in a release that surfaced over the weekend.
Neil Young first talked of Pono back in early 2012, claiming at the time that MP3s only offer listeners a measly 5 per cent of the original sound produced during the studio recording, with CDs hardly any better, offering just 15 per cent of the true sound.
“The convenience of the digital age has forced people to choose between quality and convenience, but they shouldn’t have to make that choice,” the Canadian musician said.
Late last year, Young, famous for tracks such as Heart of Gold and Helpless, wrote on Facebook: “Hearing Pono for the first time is like that first blast of daylight when you leave a movie theater on a sun-filled day.”
Timothy O. Jones
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