Neil Young’s Pono Ecosystem Will Put a ‘Freemium’ on Sound Quality | Evolver.fm
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As we await the next chapter in the Crazy Horse saga, what's going on in Pono world?
Last we checked, the question was Is Neil Young's hi-res music service PONO still a viable technology? Well, that still seems to be the question.
From Neil Young’s Pono Ecosystem Will Put a ‘Freemium’ on Sound Quality | Evolver.fm by Eliot Van Buskirk:
As the article goes on to explore, who is the target market for PONO? High-end audiophiles? Folks who like free music?
Evolver.fm has learned new details about this promising service, which is expected to launch at some point this year, including which devices it will work with — and how its sound quality will differ depending on which one you use.
The main thing to know here is that only one device will be capable of playing Pono files at their maximum, Neil Young-approved sound quality. You guessed it — this is the Pono player, the yellow thing Neil flashed around on Letterman last year, which, to this former MP3 player reviewer, recalls similarly-triangular iRiver models of the past.
Yes, if you want a Pono file to play properly, you’ll need to play it on the Pono device — no computers, iPhones, Androids, or high-end D/A converters for you (more on that last one later).
However, according to a source with knowledge of the situation, Pono files will play on any digital audio device, just at a lower sound quality (i.e. something like what most of us listen to today). In other words, you should be able to load the songs up on your iPhone — they will just lack the amped up sound that made you go with Pono in the first place.
In that sense, Neil Young and his Pono team have figured out how to do something Spotify did for subscription music, but to sound quality: To make it “freemium.” You might be able to “borrow” a Pono file from a “friend” and play it on whatever you want — but in order to get the top-notch sound quality, you’ll need to play it on a Pono, from what we hear, and you’ll need to be the person who purchased it.
Maybe folks who care enough about sound quality to pay but aren't necessarily high-end audiophiles?
And, here's the big question -- will PONO be the platform of choice for The Archives Volume #2?
If so, then the next question will be whether the PONO format will have a legacy similar to the BluRay format and The Archives Volume #1.
And don't anyone ask about the format for The Archives Volume #3!