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Author Topic: Neil Young's Pono music player hits kickstarter  (Read 12209 times)

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Offline bobstammers

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Re: Neil Young's Pono music player hits kickstarter
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2014, 05:11:13 PM »
I might have grabbed one for $200. $300 is borderline since I haven't heard any first hand reports on how it sounds. $400 is just too much for something I won't use that often. Most of my headphone listening is done at home in front of my computer or at the office. For $200 I'd consider one for plane trips, on the bus, etc. For $400, I'll live with my phone.

The fact that it plays FLAC is HUGE. I have a ton of stuff from HDtracks. If I had to re-buy everything I wouldn't even consider it.

Hopefully the price goes back down after a little while.
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Offline Colin Liston

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Re: Neil Young's Pono music player hits kickstarter
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2014, 05:32:17 PM »
I think I would get this instead.  Can use dual 128 gig cards, and will eventually be ale to use dual 512 gig cards.


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Offline dhora

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Re: Neil Young's Pono music player hits kickstarter
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2014, 06:48:23 PM »
I think the most interesting part of this is to see if this makes more people use flac.

From the kickstarter FAQ:
Is PonoMusic a new audio format? What about PonoMusic quality?

No. We want to be very clear that PonoMusic is not a new audio file format or standard. It is an end-to-end ecosystem for music lovers to get access to and enjoy their favorite music in the highest resolution possible for that song or album. The music in the PonoMusic.com Store is sold and downloaded in industry standard audio file formats.

The PonoMusic.com Store uses FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) audio format as its standard, for compatibility, although the PonoPlayer can play most popular high-resolution music formats from other sources. PonoMusic has a quality spectrum, ranging from really good to really great, depending on the quality of the available master recordings:

• CD lossless quality recordings: 1411 kbps (44.1 kHz/16 bit) FLAC files
• High-resolution recordings: 2304 kbps (48 kHz/24 bit) FLAC files
• Higher-resolution recordings: 4608 kbps (96 kHz/24 bit) FLAC files
• Ultra-high resolution recordings: 9216 kbps (192 kHz/24 bit) FLAC files
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Offline dyneq

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Re: Neil Young's Pono music player hits kickstarter
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2014, 07:00:58 PM »
I'm a big fan of Neil's music, but IMO this is a misguided project funded by the labels so they can re-sell old releases in an unnecessary format. I know that Neil feels in his heart that it's the right thing to do, but I'd like to see if he could ABX these files from the 44.1/16 files. I have done ABX testing and cannot tell the difference.

Here is an old article, but still relevant to the subject. It has links to a few papers where double-blind testing showed that listeners could not perceive any difference between higher resolution files and 44.1/16.

http://people.xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html

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Re: Neil Young's Pono music player hits kickstarter
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2014, 08:07:51 PM »
This is a big fail so far, if the name wasn't bad enough it's too expensive and too ugly!  What were they thinking when they came up with the shape and colors of the thing, had to have been designed by committee   :facepalm:

Looks like 'ole' Neil is gonna let us down on this unless the name and form factor changes along with a price drop before it's actually released.
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Offline H₂O

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Re: Neil Young's Pono music player hits kickstarter
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2014, 08:42:45 PM »
I am glad it's flac based but there are to many other alternatives on the market in the same price range - I don't see this going anywhere other than offering another hires PCM Webstore (maybe some new catalogs will be avail in hires PCM - such as Neil's) - the player is vaporware imo.

You can get apps (such as the Onkyo Player) that play back hires FLAC and even DSD files back on an iphone or andriod phone - and even interface them with a portable Headphone amp such as the sony PHA2 ($550) and get full quality of the DSD or hires PCM.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2014, 08:44:50 PM by H₂O »
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Re: Neil Young's Pono music player hits kickstarter
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2014, 09:08:32 PM »
The shape of the player is ridiculous . Who wants a triangular player to fit in your pocket?
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Re: Neil Young's Pono music player hits kickstarter
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2014, 08:49:19 AM »
I have the Fiio X3...it's been a very underwhelming experience sadly.  Based on multiple reviews, I hoped that it would blow the Rio Karma out of the water.  Nope.  Not even close.  It's simply lackluster.  Far too sterile for my tastes. Ironically, in reviews people describe the sound signature as warm and then I saw the frequency response...it's pretty flat.  Plus, the controls are awful.  I really wish the Rio Karma chipset was re-used in a high end player.  That sucker sounded incredible.

Oh, the X3 is being returned today.  Guess I'll just settle for a iPod classic  :-\
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Offline Jamos

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Re: Neil Young's Pono music player hits kickstarter
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2014, 02:02:46 AM »
Here's a recording of Neil at SXSW explaining his background and philosophy for developing Pono:
http://www.npr.org/player/v2/mediaPlayer.html?action=1&t=1&islist=false&id=289435279&m=289465657

Honestly, if this gets the common person to understand 24/192 and the difference between it and a 256k mp3, it will be worth it.  If it makes artists be sure to record masters at 24/192 instead of 24/48, it will be worth it. 
To be successful, I'm sure they'll need to evolve the product and the specs, but if they offer a webstore competing with itunes or amazon where I can download an album at 24/192, I'll use it.  For sure.
Not sure that I'll buy a Pono player though.

I guess I thought it was a new format or standard before listening to his explanation.  And kind of funny that tapers were at the forefront of this stuff years before this gets released to the masses.

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Re: Neil Young's Pono music player hits kickstarter
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2014, 09:18:52 AM »
One of the main problems with commercial music nowadays is the way it's mastered, not the way it's listened to.  I can't remember the last time I ripped a commercial music file into my DAW and it wasn't fairly close to being a solid block.  So what if I listen to a POS master file at 24/192!  It's one of the many reasons I prefer listening to live stuff we record over the commerical shit the 'pros' put out.

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Re: Neil Young's Pono music player hits kickstarter
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2014, 11:53:21 AM »
I'm a big fan of Neil's music, but IMO this is a misguided project funded by the labels so they can re-sell old releases in an unnecessary format. I know that Neil feels in his heart that it's the right thing to do, but I'd like to see if he could ABX these files from the 44.1/16 files. I have done ABX testing and cannot tell the difference.

Here is an old article, but still relevant to the subject. It has links to a few papers where double-blind testing showed that listeners could not perceive any difference between higher resolution files and 44.1/16.

http://people.xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html

+1 all around.

This is DOA in my book.
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Re: Neil Young's Pono music player hits kickstarter
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2014, 12:20:43 PM »
Apparently the triangular shape was to enable use of large output capacitors, at least from the picture on the Kickstarter. 

It could be using Prism light beam dispersion to deliver the full spectrum of sound.

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Re: Neil Young's Pono music player hits kickstarter
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2014, 05:02:54 PM »
Apparently the triangular shape was to enable use of large output capacitors, at least from the picture on the Kickstarter. 

It could be using Prism light beam dispersion to deliver the full spectrum of sound.

That wuz my first thought, too...... :P :yack: :spin:
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Re: Neil Young's Pono music player hits kickstarter
« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2014, 05:37:52 PM »
Endorsed by Jack White in the Kickstarter video.  Considering his Intense Volume War approach to producing records they could have left out his celebrity endorsement.

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