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PONO - Neil Youngs portable hi-res music player

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by currawong, Sep 28, 2012.
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  1. inertianinja
    I don't think I saw anyone mention this, but as a business model this seems a little weird.
    It does not appear that Pono wants to make their money selling players - they want to create a music ecosystem. So they're entering a niche market as a competitor. They don't expect everyone to buy their player....but the wildly-popular iOS devices won't play FLAC.
    So let's say this becomes popular, even though the product people would actually buy looks (to me) ridiculous compared to a mass-market player like an iPod Touch, iPhone, or Galaxy S4.
    Apple might respond to the demand by offering an update to iTunes Plus, now offering ALAC versions of existing library. I can't imagine that this would be hard, or that they don't already have this in the works. If they offered an "iTunes Match Pro" for $100/yr that would upgrade my tracks, I'd buy in. It would be vastly more convenient for the mass market (those using iTunes instead of Foobar, etc), and could probably kill Pono.
    This would probably be a good thing for consumers, though - mass-market lossless audio - just bad for Pono.
  2. JacobLee89
    It almost seems to me that the developers of Pono has not considered something as simple as a SWOT analysis. Their plans on expanding Ponomusic is a complete mystery, and seems very much like an afterthought.
    We don't even know why they need the money. We're not talking about young entrepreneurs dipping their toes into business here: Monster Beats headphones weren't a kickstarter.
  3. szeiger
    Or put the info into the metadata. iTunes also has some cryptic metadata in MP4 files (but I don't know if it contains personalized information).

    Let's see what other artists they come up with for the limited Pono Player series. I might just preorder one...
  4. AmberOzL
    So this Pono dap, it has headphone and line out if I am not mistaking, not digital out right?
    Sorry I couldn't read the all thread yet, so my question might have been answered already.
    Metallica version can be nice for me honestly. Foo Fighters is all gone, which is sad.
    The page says there will be more limited edition versions, maybe I should wait and see if something I really love shows up.
  5. miceblue
    Mastered for iTunes stuff can actually sound quite good. That's another problem I have with the campaign. The Mastered for iTunes stuff still undergoes lossy compression, yet they sound nearly as dynamic as so-called HD masters. Lossy vs lossless differences become pretty much indistinguishable from one another if a good lossy compression, such as 256 kbps AAC in the iTunes Store, is used. Again, the master matters, not HD, not good-quality lossy compression.

    Yes, it has headphone out and line out connections. They should really just say line out instead of "a stereo mini-plug analog output specifically designed for listening on your home audio system." -_-
  6. Steve Eddy

    You seem to be confusing digital data compression with dynamic signal compression. They're two different things.

  7. miceblue
    I know what the differences are. Neil seems to correlate dynamic range with lossless formats, suggesting that lossy data compression is the problem. I'm saying that's not the problem as some albums on iTunes have decent dynamic range, yet they still undergo lossy data compression.
  8. Steve Eddy

    He also says "MP3's are less than 5 percent of the sound," which is just industrial strength stupid so I guess it's not terribly surprising that he would confuse data compression with dynamic signal compression.

    Gotcha. Sorry for the confusion.

  9. JacobLee89
    I am glad that I wasn't the only one who noticed that.
  10. miceblue
    I guess I missed that, hahaha.

    Anyway, I was really considering getting Pharrell William's "G I R L" album from HD Tracks since there was a 10% off coupon...I'm kind of glad I didn't. The Mastered for iTunes version has better dynamic range ratings.

    Actually, I may even consider buying more albums from iTunes that are Mastered for iTunes as there seems to be a trend that the iTunes releases have more dynamic range than the ones offered from HD music websites.

    I wonder what kind of music the PonoMusic store will offer.
  11. Jupiterknight
    I don't think my ears could really differentiate this huge difference in dynamic range, I mean 6 vs.7..and I don't really think it really proves anything unless I see some testing involving a larger group of randomly picked people but that's another story that doesn't quite belong here.. :)
  12. miceblue
    True. Therefore, don't buy the HD stuff and buy the lossy stuff from iTunes, which is the exact opposite thing the PonoMusic campaign is aiming for. XD

    "G I R L" is $10.99 USD in the iTunes Store, and whoops it's unavailable in the HD Tracks store.

    "Nevermind" is $9.99 USD in the iTunes Store, $17.98 (nearly twice the price) in the HD Tracks store.

    As it was brought up somewhere, who is going pay the extra bucks for the music in the PonoMusic store when some of the lossless HD music doesn't really provide many benefits over the lossy non-HD music that people already buy from the iTunes Store to use with all of their iDevices?
  13. Steve Eddy


  14. Retrias
    I dont think I will buy the pono after all , since most of my music is not exactly mainstream or even available for HD mastering
  15. Marburger
    I have read many negative comments here and there, also in press, but honestly i do not understand why. (Maybe "others" afraid of competetion?) Price is very competitive for onboard 64gb flash storage. Most importantly, if they manage to implament flawless UI and acceptable sound, it will be quite success.
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