Neil Young Debuts MP3 Alternative Player
Neil Young hates MP3’s. As a life-long audiophile, I agree with him. MP3’s compress audio, eliminating all of the highs and lows that should be in your music; They also sound “thin” and increase listener fatigue. But – I’ll step off my “soapbox” and get on with the news.
A number of years ago, Young announced plans to introduce a new high-quality source for streaming music. He calls his invention or system PONO.
Due to restrictions in terms of how smoothly a file can stream, most music services compress songs to low bit-rate mp3 files, often compromising a great deal of the original sound quality and overall impact of the music. While a majority of music listeners have become used to this lesser quality, PONO promises to deliver these same songs, “…as it was in the studio. So it has primal power.” It is the nuances and full frequency range that PONO seeks to keep intact, and to deliver the songs in, “…the way they [the musicians] wanted you to hear the music.”
Specific details about Young’s system have been limited. But he recently was on the David Letterman show this past week showing off a prototype.
As an audiophile that recognizes the convenience of digital song files and the growing evolution towards them, I’m interested in what lies ahead for PONO.