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Neil Young’s PonoMusic Player Announces Pre-Order Date

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For years, Neil Young has bemoaned the fidelity losses that digital music consumers have had to accept as a tradeoff for portable convenience. Later this month, he’ll finally introduce his own solution to the marketplace.

Announced back in 2012, Young’s PonoMusic player promises to show MP3 listeners what they’ve been missing all these years — and do it at a price point that’s not only competitive with popular devices such as the iPod, but well below the level set by hi-def players announced by other manufacturers. “The simplest way to describe what we’ve accomplished is that we’ve liberated the music of the artist from the digital file and restored it to its original artistic quality — as it was in the studio,” Young explained in a Facebook post last year. “So it has primal power. Hearing Pono for the first time is like that first blast of daylight when you leave a movie theater on a sun-filled day. It takes you a second to adjust. Then you enter a bright reality of wonderfully rendered detail.”

According to the latest reports, the PonoPlayer will cost $399 for a 128GB model, and although no official street date has been announced, the company will roll out a Kickstarter campaign on March 15, allowing backers to pre-order units at “a discounted price.” The company claims that much storage is enough to hold “1,000 to 2,000 high-resolution digital-music albums.”

Of course, as anyone who hoards WAV, FLAC, or other lossless music files is well aware, hi-def albums tend to eat up a lot of megabytes, so a number of onlookers are already wondering how exactly Pono intends to stuff all that audio daylight into a relatively small amount of space. It’ll definitely be interesting to take a look at more detailed specs when that Kickstarter campaign begins.

Next: Top 10 Neil Young Songs

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