September 3, 2013 at 5:34 pm

Neil Young: Pono To Launch in Early 2014

pono 2014 neil youngWe continue to be intrigued about Pono, your “musical savior,” the service-plus-player music ecosystem that purports to offer better sound than any other portable player on the market.

Neil Young issued a statement on Facebook today that Pono is now set to launch early next year, and confirmed that audio leader Meridian will make its music sound better:

To everyone who loves music –

I’m very happy to bring you some good news. All of us at Team PONO have been focused on getting everything right for our early 2014 launch of Pono.

The simplest way to describe what we’ve accomplished is that we’ve liberated the music of the artist from the digital file and restored it to its original artistic quality – as it was in the studio. So it has primal power.

Hearing PONO for the first time is like that first blast of daylight when you leave a movie theater on a sun-filled day. It takes you a second to adjust. Then you enter a bright reality, of wonderfully rendered detail.

This music moves you. So you can feel. That’s why so many musicians are behind PonoMusic – this is important work that honors their art. This is the way they wanted you to hear their music.

PONO starts at the source: artist-approved studio masters we’ve been given special access to. Then we work with our brilliant partners at Meridian to unlock the richness of the artist’s music to you. There is nothing like hearing this music – and we are working hard to make that experience available to all music lovers, soon.

Our mission is also to make PONO just as accessible as any music you buy and listen to today. So we’ll be launching both the PONO portable player – an updated version of the one I showed on David Letterman’s program – and an online library, with all your favorite music available in PonoMusic quality. Everything you need to feel music anew.

Stay tuned for more updates. And be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest information. We hope you’ll try PONO when it comes your way, and that it brings you the soul of music.

Yours, for PonoMusic –
Neil Young

More on Pono Music:

  • Anonymous

    So….are they offer Super Audio CD-like stuff with 5.1 surround sound or something? I fail to see them doing anything interesting with conventional MP3s.

  • ski-kk

    it’s not .mp3 it’s a new format that Neil invented. Supposed to compress files with close to mp3 efficiency but have the fidelity of an vinyl LP. That’s what Neil is claiming any way.
    And, as the article states, they’ll start with the master tape, not an mp3 or other codec, and then encode it to the new, proprietary PonoMusic format.
    I don’t know if it’ll be stereo-only whether they’ll offer mutli-channel mixes.

  • theorist

    I don’t recall Mr. Young saying that, and I suspect it’s incorrect. Do you have a reference? mp3 offers a compression ratio (vs. Redbook CD) of about 10:1 (varies depending on the final bit rate). By contrast, lossless compression schemes, which I assume PONO will be using, typically offer compression ratios of about 1.5:1 — nowhere near the efficiency of mp3, which is lossy.