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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. Saraguie
    Look how long it's taken Schitt to get its Sh,,,t together with its new offerings.
  2. AmberOzL

    It is good that I am into a desktop system right now [​IMG]
  3. Bas72
    I don't think Pono is just a technical gimmick. It's about bringing back life and emotion to music, about experiencing music, about 'feeling' instead of just 'listening to' music. I'll admit: I think a good recording engineer can realise that in 16/44. But you would still need decent equipment to bring that 16/44 to life, and I believe Pono is just that: decent equipment that enables the listener to experience the emotion in the music. In that sense I think Pono is a step in the right direction. And it's a plus that it can also play 24/96, even if just for the placebo effect. (As an aside: I tend to buy everything I want to buy in the highest possible quality, to make sure I'm future proof if ever there comes a time when it does matter.)
  4. miceblue
    I think having good, well-mastered music is more important than shaping the sound of a music-playback device to make the music sound good. Emotion is a pretty subjective term that is usually associated with vinyl records, which we all know is a flawed medium to begin with and has harmonic distortions similar to tube amps.

    Anyway, let's "Give Life Back to Music."

  5. Achmedisdead
    Great song!
  6. Bas72
    To be honest: I'm not really interested in flawed media or harmonic distortions. Also a definition of emotion does not influence if something works for me or not: I'll know emotion when I hear it, and it may just work for me and not for someone else. The intention of the Pono people is to bring that emotion back to music, and that's what matters to me. I'll give it a try - it may just be the best thing I've heard. Or not - only one way to find out.
  7. Replicant187
    Pono players can play other formats so i really don't care about Pono ecosystem itself. i don't get why some people are already writing Pono player off because of that.
  8. Koukol
    What interests me is Neil Young's involvement.
    He's supported obscure bands like SONIC YOUTH in the past with his tours.
    Most of my CD collection are Alternative bands so if the likes of SONIC YOUTH climb on-board...I'm a happy camper.
    Patti Smith's involvement gives me hope.
  9. Sam Edwards
    I order the Patti Smith version for this reason. Sometimes you have to vote with your wallet.  I'm surprised the Beck version isn't sold out. Younger crowd with shallower pockets?
  10. epithetless
    I know I'm voting with my wallet...kept firmly anchored in my pocket. [​IMG]
  11. a_recording
    Forum member tomscy2000 and myself will be doing a live Google hangout discussion on my Youtube channel about the Pono music project and our thoughts on the hardware and software.

    We're doing it at 12:00 PM. GMT +10:00.
    It's going to be a live Q/A! If you want to participate in the Q/A section you'll need to hop over to the Youtube page. EDIT: The Q&A functionality is a bit up in the air so I will have to work it out on the day... Obviously we don't have any insider info but hopefully people in this thread might find it interesting as a discussion about Neil Young's kickstarter and the various issues and questions raised by the project.
    Please feel free to share this with anyone who you think might be interested!
  12. Achmedisdead
    Same here!
  13. Kokomo O
    Bas72 and Steve Eddy:
    When the CD rebook standard was announced back in the late '70s I was an undergraduate physics student, and the person who told me about it was my former high school physics teacher, then and now a friend, who went on to get a Ph.D. in acoustical physics; I went on to get my BS in math. My response to him was that the sampling rate was too low to accurately reproduce music, and that they needed to make it higher, preferably at least 90kHz. I didn't then focus on word length, but of course that turns out to be important as well.
    The reason that sampling frequency is important is twofold. First, to sample at 44.1kHz, you need to cut off the bandwidth of the sound you're recording somewhere below 22.05kHz, which means you need to start filtering. Even if you do that in the digital domain, you're going to start introducing distortion into your recording. Second, your ability to accurately reproduce transients is compromised by your inability to record steady-state frequencies above about 20kHz, even though the human ear nominally can't hear those steady-state notes. It's a funny thing, but play a 20kHz tone, and my 55 year old ears are completely oblivious to it. Play a recording of a drum strike that contains information that a fast fourier transform analyzer will tell you contains information above 20kHz, but without that information that's above 20kHz, and my 55 year old ears will tell you that something is missing, and that's exactly the problem with low-res digital recording.
    Now, I've done non-blind A/B testing with myself and recordings in 16/44 vs. 24/96 or 24/192, and I've thought I could hear the difference. Of course, I recognize the inherent flaw in that experiment. So I did some single-blind testing using my 14 year old son as the test subject, on ten pairs of recordings. He never missed calling the HD track, not once. I know, you're going to claim it was single-blind and I telegraphed. Well, I'm going to tell you I did not and ask you to believe me--I know how to run an experiment. And yes, I did level match.
  14. uncola
    I'll be there for the live google hangout, a_recording.  I'm surprised jude or other mods don't do them all the time
  15. Foolwolf
    A few more updates in the FAQ:
    In the meantime, we compiled more frequently asked questions from the comments and messages. Here are our answers. Thanks so much for your support!
    1. I currently use iTunes software to manage my system but don't buy music from Apple. Instead, I try to lay my hands on the highest quality CD I can find and transfer the CD to my computer's hard drive as WAV files. Would my music files be managed by your app? Should I be recording in FLAC for greater realism? 
    Yes, you can use our app for exactly this purpose, either WAV or FLAC; they are both great. FLAC is a little better than WAV with respect to managing MetaData. Also note that the PonoPlayer supports numerous audio formats. Please see our website for a complete list of supported formats (www.ponomusic.com). For the PonoMusic.com Store we have chosen FLAC as our audio standard format. 
    2. Can I use your desktop app now in order to purchase music from you and to manage my music at home? 
    You can also use the Pono desktop app to purchase music from PonoMusic Store and to manage your music. But it will not be available until October 2014. 
    3. What is the expected life of the battery? Any chance of it being longer for this first edition or is that already a closed topic? 
    The battery should last for a day of use, about 8 hours of continuous playback. We continue to optimize our power management and strive to achieve even longer battery life. 
    4. How many cycles can the battery be charged before the PonoPlayer will be thrown away? Can it be replaced when it goes bad? 
    On average 500-800 cycles. The PonoPlayer is generally repairable and the battery can be replaced by Pono once it goes bad. 
    5. I have an email saying my Kickstarter pledge was successful, but it is not showing up in my Amazon account. What is going on? 
    Pending transactions won't appear in Amazon the way a normal Amazon purchase would. The best way to confirm that your pledge is made correctly is via your Backer History, which you can view here: https://www.kickstarter.com/profile/backings 
    6. Why is the PonoPlayer made in China? Why not make it in the USA? 
    Most all consumer products are made in China because that's where the parts are made, where the experienced factories are located, and where there's the flexibility to scale up rapidly as demand requires. We'd love to build products in America but unfortunately the resources and parts suppliers are unavailable. While cost is also an important reason, it's less of an issue than other factors mentioned. But we will be offering PonoPlayer cases and other accessories that are made in the U.S. 
    7. As a buyer from the UK will I have to pay for duty tax and VAT? 
    Yes.  (OUCH!!!- my own comment....)
    8. What are the dates of the listening parties?
    Sometime in the month of October 2014. Dates will be confirmed by June 1st, 2014. 
    9. Will the PonoMusic store support music purchases and downloads to non-US territories? Will people outside of the USA, UK, & Canada be able to download from a PonoMusic Store starting at the launch date in October? Or do they have to source their music elsewhere until a store is set up in their own country? 
    At this time, we only have rights to sell music in USA, UK, Canada. We are working to expand our geographic music rights in the near future. In the meanwhile, you can obtain your music from other sources and enjoy playing them on the PonoPlayer. (Hopefully UK will be the same as for EU - as EU is a region of trade...)
    10. I am recording my vinyl collection into 96kHz/24bit files. Will I be able to play these files on the PonoPlayer? 
    Yes. As long as they are in a standard file format, i.e. WAV, FLAC, etc. Please check the supported formats on our website. 
    11. Will you be offering XXL in the t-shirt? 
    Many people have asked for the XXL, so we are now including this as a size option. S-XXL. 
    12. Will the PonoPlayer only play music purchased from the PonoMusic Store, or will I be able to play the music I currently own on the PonoPlayer? Can I play PonoMusic on other players? 
    You can play music from any source that is in a compatible format. We currently support FLAC, ALAC, mp3, WAV, AIFF, AAC (unprotected). But please check our website (www.ponomusic.com) in the future for file format compatibility. Also, since PonoMusic is based on FLAC format then it can be played on any other devices that supports FLAC. But we can only guarantee the sound quality when our music is played on our own player. 
    13. How much will PonoMusic cost? 
    About $14.95 - $24.95 per album. Pricing is set by the record company. 
    14. I ordered a Limited Edition PonoPlayer, and then pledged again for a T-shirt. The order must have deleted my original order. What happened? 
    Sorry for the trouble. Kickstarter only allows one reward per pledge and one pledge per account. It sounds as though when you updated your pledge, you inadvertently switched your reward from the player to the T-shirt. You can always verify the amount of your pledge and selected reward in your Backer History: https://www.kickstarter.com/profile/backings. That said, you are free to modify your pledge as long as a project is still live. To make changes to your pledge, just visit the project page and click the blue "Manage Your Pledge" button. From there you can adjust the amount of your pledge, as well as the reward you'd like to receive. In addition, it's only possible to pledge once to a given project on Kickstarter. That means no matter how many attempts are made, or how many authorizations are generated as a result of changing your pledge, you will only ever be charged once for your final pledge and receive your final reward. 
    15. For Limited Edition players, will the serial numbers be assigned based on priority order of donation? 
    Yes, they will. So if you were the first person to donate to an artist LE then you'll get serial number 1 of 500. 
    16. For sold out Limited Edition players, will there be additional units made available later? What about the Early Birds? 
    Early Birds are sold out, period. Additionally, when the serialized Limited Edition artist signature series players are sold out, they are gone. There will be no more. It's important to note that the people who sign up for the VIP listening parties will receive a Neil Young special series PonoPlayer, which is different than the Limited Edition Neil Young PonoPlayer series that is already sold out. 
    17. Will you support DSD tracks? 
    Not in the initial release of the PonoPlayer. We may consider adding it via a firmware update depending on the demand from our user community. 
    18. Will you support Linux in addition to Mac and Windows for the Pono desktop app? 
    Not initially. We are considering adding Linux support for the Pono desktop app. However, Linux users have the option of side-loading both the microSD card and the internal storage of the PonoPlayer using the USB connection. This is not an officially supported means of loading the player with music tracks but we are not precluding our users from using it until such time that the Pono desktop app is supported on Linux." (I hope they make it an official way to load the player!!!)
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