PonoMusic, the brainchild of singer-songwriter/musician Neil Young, is finally ready to (rock and) roll (and you read about it here first). The Pono digital music service will include an online music store and a physical playback device. Although Young will be formally introducing Pono products and services until Tuesday at the South by Southwest Music Conference in Austin, Texas, he sent out a press release Monday stating: “It’s about the music, real music.”
Indeed, Young has been voicing his dissatisfaction with the state of contemporary/commercial music on and off for years. He has expressed this not only in occasionally controversial songs and music videos but has even spoken to the press about it. In 2009 he was quoted in the Los Angeles Times as saying: “Apple has made music into wallpaper, so what can I tell you?”
His passion has continued to the present. Young, founder and chairman of Pono, stated: “We want to move digital music into the 21st century and PonoMusic does exactly that. We couldn’t be more excited about bringing PonoMusic to the market.”
The PonoPlayer is reported to have 128GB of memory. It can store as many as 2000 “high-resolution digital-music albums.” The device employs memory cards to both store and play numerous music collections and playlists. It will be available for purchase at PonoMusic.com for $399.
As of March 15 The PonoPlayer will also be available for pre-order at a special, discounted price on Kickstarter.com. PonoMusic CEO John Hamm said: “Our goal was to offer the highest quality digital music available from all the major labels with the world’s greatest sounding, user-friendly portable music player. We’ve achieved our goal and we are excited to launch our Kickstarter campaign next week to invite music lovers everywhere to join the PonoMusic community and reserve a PonoPlayer for their own enjoyment.”
Young also reported that Warner Brothers, Universal and Sony will be among the big names to be participating in the music service. Whether or not the official release of his new CD A Letter From Home will be a part of the Pono launch remains to be seen.
(Image courtesy of Wikipedia)