Neil Young Kickstarts iPod Rival

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Canadian singer-songwriter Neil Young reveals his long-awaited take on audiophile-grade audio with PonoMusic, an online high-resolution music store paired with the PonoPlayer portable music player.

Pono Players"It's about the music, real music," Young says. "We want to move digital music into the 21st century and PonoMusic does that."

The system promises "the finest quality, highest-resolution digital music," with a desktop app allowing customers to download, manage and sync music with PonoPlayer devices and other high-resolution music players.

Meanwhile the player is a supposedly "no-compromise" number. The Toblerone bar-shaped casing and features control via LCD touchscreen, 128GB of storage (holds 100-500 high-resolution files according to Pono), Ayre Acoustics digital-to-analog conversion technology and "perfectly flat" frequency response from nearly any headphones.

Young is a long-time critic of the MP3 format, having led development on the Pono high-resolution format since 2012. Back in 2011 he also publicly proposed "some rich guy" should create "a modern-day iPod for the 21st Century."

Did he find that rich guy... in himself? Not really-- PonoMusic will only officially launch following a Kickstarter crowdfunding/preorder campaign. Until then, customers will have to stick to listening to music via smartphones.

Go Pono Music