Po’NO’!

I thought I’d take a couple moments to address a couple of quick thoughts I’ve had about Pono. I realize i’m a little late to the game in addressing this, but my newsfeed seems to be congested with the preamble of ‘Record Day’, but when the silent release of Neil Young’s cover album caught my attention it created the connection.

To begin, any ‘Download’ service immediately draws a red flag for me. As a user, I’m moving away from bogging down my laptop, it already runs at a snail’s pace, the collection of various third-party applications, Adobe Files, Microsoft Documents and music files absolutely crush anything that was once magical about my Apple experience.

However, the idea of a loss-less file for me sounds great, but i’d rather stream it. That being said, the difference between a compressed MP3 and Flac File on my shitty earbuds and laptop speakers isn’t likely to make a significant enough difference to validate purchasing additional hardware ( or an application specific one, like the Pono Player ).

In addition, the major issue I have with most streaming/ download services is the lack of depth in the catalogue. I’m interested in user generated content, but I also want to hear every possible version of my favourite songs by artists that i’m interested in.  With the exception of Youtube and in some cases Vimeo, my interests in works have already come and gone by the time they reach these catalogues ( if they do at all ); they are not adapting to the way most users consume content. I also don’t see platforms digging into labels catalogues and remastering the full breadth of music libraries to provide these file formats.  I also don’t see Pono as a service with longevity, It’s too niche to be sustainable and it’s not innovative enough to validate a change in the way I consume information.

Have any thoughts? Leave them in the comment section below.

Pono, the answer to the music industry’s prayers?

Everyone knows that the advent of the mp3 sent the music industry into a frenzy trying to adapt to the digital word.  What with piracy, streaming, and iTunes taking over as the main sources to find, discover, and acquire music the industry is continually met with new opponents.  Many argue that the dominance of the mp3 and digital music has somewhat devalued music and created passive mentality when purchasing music.  After reading various articles and listening to various speakers talk to us about the future of the industry many seem to be waiting for a new product,service, or device that brings back a value in music that was taken away when the mp3 was introduced.  Que, PONO.

The mother of all formats

Pono-logo

Singer-songwriter Neil Young announced that he will be initiating a Kickstarter-funded music service, PonoMusic, and player to deliver high-quality digital sounds. The Kickstarter campaign launched on March 15 and  in the span of about a week and a half as already surpassed its goal of 800,000 to about 4.5 million dollars coming from 13,522 pledgers. Here is a video of Neil Young attempting to explain what Pono is all about.

Most of the conversation with Letterman focused on the new quality that the product will be providing.  ˝The project grew out of Young’s dissatisfaction with the quality of digital recordings after the music industry shifted to the MP3 format˝ and wanting to ˝move digital music into the 21st century”.  The triangle-shaped PonoPlayer will cost $399 and can also be ordered with a discount through the projects Kickstarter, according to the site the player will have enough memory to contain as many as 2,000 albums with memory cards can be used to store more.  So what differentiates this PonoPayer from the likes of iPods?  Well Neil Young says its the quality.  Instead of focusing on a player that can hold all the music in the world this product will hold less but have more quality content.   The Pono mission is as follows;

Pono’s mission is to provide the best possible listening experience of your favorite music. We want to be very clear that PonoMusic is not a new audio file format or standard. PonoMusic is an end-to-end ecosystem for music lovers to get access to and enjoy their favorite music exactly as the artist created it, at the recording resolution they chose in the studio. We offer PonoMusic customers the highest resolution digital music available. PonoMusic is more than just a high-resolution music store and player; it is a grassroots movement to keep the heart of music beating. PonoMusic aims to preserve the feeling, spirit, and emotion that the artists put in their original studio recordings.

So is this the answer to the music industries prayers?  Will it instill a greater sense of value for music due to the focus on quality in sound? Maybe Record Labels can adapt some of Young’s ideas and develop a product incorporates this quality sound into a device consisting of an artist album and additional material, just at thought?

To make your own opinion, check out some more information with testimonials in the video below.

Sources

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-03-10/neil-young-to-start-kickstarter-funded-music-service-with-player.html

http://www.ponomusic.com/#home