Saturday, 29 September 2012

Neil Young's Pono Digital Music Service

Neil Young's new "High Resolution" music service seems to finally be gaining some traction. Rolling Stone reported yesterday it may be expanded and could eventually rival Apple's iTunes (and will hopefully finally force Apple to actually make available decent quality audio files instead of their totally trash MP3/AAC stuff)... He has also unveiled the first Pono media player device for the service.

Earlier discussions this year had centred around the desire to get all the major record labels on board.

Essentially Neil's Pono service looks like it is simply going to use high resolution material for source (i.e. likely 24 bit / 192 kHz) and stream or download it in a lossless compression format (something that works akin to FLAC files, or the Sony DSD on SACDs) - although it's unclear at present what resolution the end user receives (e.g. it's possible it might only playback at the equivalent of 16bit/44kHz or 24bit/48kHz for the recipient). The talk around "digital-to-analog conversion technology intended to present songs as they first sound during studio recording sessions" is just a simple way one would assume to describe the use of Hi-Res formats to the masses, especially those that live and breath Apple's lower quality iTunes world and similar, and perhaps have no idea what, and how engaging, music can really sound like...

Neil Young talks about Pono on Letterman

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