PRESS RELEASE: PONO Launch @ SXSW by Neil Young
UPDATE #2: Here is the correct, single line change in final para: "The PonoPlayer has 128GB of memory and can store from about 100 to 500 high-resolution digital-music albums, depending on the resolution and length of the original recording."
UPDATE: Here is the revised official Press Release for PONO which will be launched next week at the SXSW Conference in Austin, TX by Neil Young.
From Neil young announces the launch of ponomusic | Computer Audiophile Forum:
For Immediate Release:Already, the PR has kicked up a fair amount of discussion over pricing, storage, etc.
NEIL YOUNG ANNOUNCES THE LAUNCH OF PONOMUSIC
March 10, 2014 - (Burbank, CA.) - PonoMusic is a revolutionary movement conceived and founded by Neil Young. Our mission is to bring the highest-quality digital music to discerning, passionate consumers, who wish to experience music the way the artists intended, with emotion, detail and power intact. "It's about the music, real music. We want to move digital music into the 21st century and PonoMusic does exactly that. We couldn't be more excited about bringing PonoMusic to the market," said Neil Young, founder and chairman of PonoMusic.
PonoMusic encompasses both an online music store (PonoMusic.com) and a playback device (The PonoPlayer). The PonoPlayer is a digital-music experience unlike any other, offering the finest quality, highest-resolution digital music from both major labels and prominent independent labels, curated and archived for discriminating PonoMusic customers. The PonoMusic desktop media management application allows customers to download, manage and sync their music to their PonoPlayer and other high-resolution digital music devices.
"Our goal was to offer the highest quality digital music available from all the major labels with the world's greatest sounding, user-friendly portable music player. We've achieved our goal and we are excited to launch our Kickstarter campaign next week to invite music lovers everywhere to join the PonoMusic community and reserve a PonoPlayer for their own enjoyment," said John Hamm, CEO of PonoMusic.
The PonoPlayer is a purpose-built, portable, high-resolution digital-music player designed and engineered in a "no-compromise" fashion to allow consumers to experience studio master-quality digital music at the highest audio fidelity possible, bringing the true emotion and detail of the music, the way the artist recorded it, to life. It also features a convenient, easy-to-use LCD touch screen interface that is totally intuitive. The audio technology in the PonoPlayer was developed in conjunction with the engineering team at Ayre, in Boulder Colorado, a leader in world class audio technology.
PonoMusic and Ayre have collaborated their ideas to achieve their goal -- to make the power and majesty of music available to everybody. "We are absolutely thrilled to be a part of this project. We will always be grateful to Neil Young for changing the landscape of recorded music," said Charlie Hansen, CEO of Ayre Acoustics (www.ayre.com).
The PonoPlayer has 128GB of memory and can store 1000 to 2000 high-resolution digital-music albums. Memory cards can be used to store and play different playlists and additional collections of music. The PonoPlayer will be sold at PonoMusic.com for $399 MSRP and is available for pre-order at a discounted price on Kickstarter.com as of March 15th. PonoMusic recommended earbud and headphone products will also be available for purchase on PonoMusic.com.
PonoMusic: John Hamm / CEO, Pono Music
Neil Young: Rick Gershon at Warner Bros. Records
818-953-3473 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Also, the whole Digital Rights Management (DRM) issue is no longer part of the Pono ecosystem.
As noted in comments, since the format will be 24/192, the issue of compression (to meet the device capacity and realistic download goals), implies a new compression format needing support.
Another interesting angle on the launch is that it will involve a Kickstarter fundraising campaign.
And more from Computer Audiophile Forum:
More info about Ayre's contribution to the PonoPlayer.Regardless of the hardware side, PONO will demonstrate true high resolution music. If more people become appreciative of high quality music, than both artists and consumers will benefit.
1) Ayre's custom designed and implemented digital filter. It is minimum phase, with no unnatural (digital sounding) pre-ringing. All sounds made always have reflections and/or echoes after the initial sound. There is no sound in nature that has any echo or reflection before the sound, which is what conventional linear-phase digital filters do. This is one reason that digital sound has a reputation for sounding "unnatural".
2) All circuitry is zero-feedback. Feedback can only correct an error after it has occurred, which means that it can never correct for all errors. By using proprietary ultra linear circuitry with wide bandwidth and low output impedance, there is no need for unnatural sounding feedback.
3) The DAC chip used is the ESS ES9018, widely recognized in the audio and engineering community as the best sounding DAC chip available today.
4) The output buffer used to drive the headphones is fully discrete so that all individual parameters and circuit values and parts quality can be fully optimized for the absolute finest sound quality. The output impedance is very low so that the Pono Player will deliver perfectly flat frequency response to any headphone made.
As with all things Neil, we'll just have to see how this all plays out over time. We certainly wish Neil good luck on his latest endeavor in the never ending quest for that perfect note.