October 4, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Guest Opinion: Neil Young Says Pono is Hawaiian for ‘Righteous’

pono player

This guest opinion was reposted with permission by freelance music writer Ed Jennings of Music Of Our Heart, who said in an email about Neil Young’s upcoming Pono music format and player, ”Granted it is in the prototype and patent review stage, but it will have a major positive impact on how we hear music on a quality sound basis.”

Basically, Jennings argues that Neil Young’s Pono format will sound better than today’s digital music. This article is part of a package.

I have loved Neil Young‘s book, Waging Heavy Peace where he writes extensively about what was then called “Puretone,” his solution to save audio. Puretone has now become Pono, pronounced “poh-know,” which is Hawaiian for “righteous.” Neil Young has a home in Hawaii where much of Waging Heavy Peace was authored. Last night on David Letterman he showed a prototype of the Pono cloud music device. Imagine holding and hearing studio quality sound finally. I must have one!!!

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When I finish Neil Young’s audio book, I will offer a more extensive write-up on Neil Young’s “righteous” solution. I was psyched to learn that Neil Young was working with the Sony Bob Dylan master tapes of Highway 61 Revisited and Freewheelin (with Bob Dylan’s full blessing) to make them Pono-based. This is how Pono will succeed, as the music artists want 100% high-resolution audio representation of their music heard, not the 5% sound we get scrunched and distributed to us by MP3.

The most comprehensive article I have read yet about Pono from an industry analysis point of view was published yesterday by Rolling Stone Magazine. I urge you to read and process Patrick Flanary’s column entitled “Neil Young Expands Pono Digital-to-Analog Music Service”. Mr. Flanary wrote a thorough study of how much Neil Young and his Pono team are positively influencing RHCP‘s Flea/Anthony Kiedis, producer Rick Rubin, along with the Big Three record labels, Warner Music, Sony, and Universal Music Group.

Neil Young is getting a lot of traction with Pono, deservedly so. I don’t agree with the perception that it is an Apple iTunes “killer” as naive members of the press are reporting. That’s being written to get you to read content. After all, Neil Young met and corresponded with Steve Jobs to discuss Pono and the audio music dilemma. I see a future partnership in the offering with Pono and Apple very much along the lines of cooperation Pono is achieving with the major labels. Can you say “industry standard?” I knew that you could.

It is pure speculation on my part, coupled with intelligent guessing, that Pono and Apple [will] come together at some future music technology juncture. If I look at the throw down Apple needs to leap-frog or better HTC, HP and Beats by Dr. Dre, Pono could be that secret sauce for Apple. I found the one technology advancement that was missing from the iPhone 5 [and] iTunes announcement was an improved music audio experience to match or better HTC/HP/Beats.

Pono needs a device manufacturer, Apple distributes via iTunes the music of the industry. As Pono becomes the definitive, next level standard for music data files Apple must follow suit with a Pono story as will HTC for that matter. We could see iPono in the next generation iPhone/iPod. Say it ain’t so Ed, hehehe (sorry Neil and Apple), [I] couldn’t resist…

Now that’s what I call waging heavy peace, alright; Neil, this note and more’s for you!

(Image courtesy of The Jethro Tull Forum)

  • Danny W

    I wish for an original name since Puretone is in multi use and Pono is a ukulele mfr. Also the proto looks like a multimeter, with the Fluke yellow color and the big + and – signs. Even though, nothing would make me happier than to realize that I could listen to master quality files of the music that takes me to that place. I wouldn’t care if it was in a paisley wine bottle named Acme.