Category Archives: Pono

Two Neil Youngs On A Tree Stump

I enjoy when Jimmy Fallon does his Neil Young impression. Last night on The Tonight Show Jimmy and Neil performed on a rotating tree stump in the middle of a dark, swampy forest, with animals looking on with them.

The purpose of the song was to promote Neil Young’s newest album, Earth. I have my copy on pre-order at Pono Music. I will be downloading and listening to the Pono edition 192.0kHz/24bit on Friday June 24th. It is perfectly suited for my Neil Young Limited Edition Pono player 😉

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The PonoPromise

One of the benefits of participating in the PONO Music Gentle Revolution is the PonoPromise. It is a very important commitment to us who purchase on PonoMusic.Com and as stakeholders.

From: Neil Young, CEO PonoMusic

To: The Pono Community

Subject: Free Album Resolution Upgrades

Because we love and appreciate our Pono community of music lovers so much, all music purchased at PonoMusic.com will now be upgraded for FREE when a label offers a higher resolution upgrade of the same recording.

That is the PonoPromise!

People have had to deal with changing and eroding quality formats over the years, starting with vinyl, then eight tracks, cassettes, CDs, MP3s and now streaming services. Music lovers have been forced to buy or “rent” their music over and over and over again. We here at Pono, think that sucks…. But with Pono, those days are over.

Now, when you buy your favorite music at PonoMusic.com, the PonoPromise means you will never have to purchase it again, ever! If and when a higher resolution album you have already purchased becomes available, it is yours for FREE!

Read How It Works ———> https://www.ponomusic.com/ccrz__CCPage?oId=a201500000BtJ9CAAV&pageKey=product&type=Update

The PonoPromise is in keeping with the Pono mission; making the best sound and the highest resolution available, always. To hear your favorite music the way it is intended to be heard, use the industry leading PonoPlayer, available at Amazon and other retailers. We are offering the PonoPromise to you, our community. You have supported us through purchasing your PonoPlayers and high resolution music at the only hi-res music ecosystem in existence – PonoMusic.com. You are engaged in the Pono community and you are helping us to raise the bar. So through the PonoPromise we say thank you.

Thank you for supporting the Pono mission to preserve music quality in its highest form.

Neil Young and the PonoMusic team

Pono Review – Stereophile April 2015

I have waited for a reputable audio publication to offer an in-depth review of the Pono Music Player.

Hopefully you haven’t insulted your intelligence by placing any value in David Pogue’s Yahoo Tech hackneyed test of the Pono Music Player. (C’mon David you are head of Yahoo Tech and you don’t have a state of the art audio testing lab? Shame on you and Yahoo. Really Mr. Pogue, you were a former professional musician and Chicago’s Saturday in the Park is the high-resolution audio file to test Pono. Let’s not be L7.)

People who are seriously considering purchasing a Pono Music Player should read John Atkinson’s article, “Pono Pono Player” from the Stereophile magazine April 2015 issue.

What you will appreciate is the depth of Atkinson’s testing analysis and subsequent findings. He shares with the reader what he learned as a result of listening intently. I especially liked his interpretation of Led Zeppelin‘s “Stairway To Heaven“. He has compelled me to buy Led Zeppelin IV Deluxe Edition.

Being a Pono Music Player enthusiast I am always interested in learning more about the dynamics of my device. I applaud John Atkinson’s well structured and balanced report.

If I may just quote two lines of his review:

Considered on it’s own merits, the Pono Player is a well-engineered, high-performance, portable player that is equally at home in a conventional high-end audio system, and is offered at a fair, affordable price. In combination with the Pono Music World app, it offers a plug’n’play gateway to high-quality music reproduction.

Neil Young Limited Edition Pono Music Player Arrives

I heard for the first time today my Neil Young Limited Edition Pono Music Player. It is the warmest, richest sound I have ever heard. When I listened through my headphones to Neil’s Storytone Deluxe Edition Pono tracks I swear to God it sounded like Neil Young was playing his acoustic guitar right next to where I was seated. High resolution audio is an amazing experience, it truly is. The Gentle Revolution is underway and I consider myself fortunate to be participating in the next phase of music listening. I want to thank the Pono Music team and Neil Young for bringing us “early adopters” a great soul-ution

Ed Jennings, Pono Music Evangelist

PonoMusic Quality Spectrum

English: Portrait of Fred Barnard ((1846-1896)
English: Portrait of Fred Barnard ((1846-1896) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“People often say ‘A picture is worth a thousand words.’ I believe the original quote was actually ‘A picture is worth ten thousand words’ as stated by Fred R. Barnard, of Printers’ Ink, 10 March 1927

PonoMusic is heads and heels above what we are currently listening to today. See the PonoMusic Quality Spectrum graph below.

I can’t wait for “Launch” Day in October 2014.

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I’m An Active Member Of The PonoMusic Trusted 10,000

Pono translates from Hawaiian to mean righteous, and the intent is to honor recorded music and get it into the hands of fans without compromising the sound.

I am proud to be involved as a PonoMusic player early adopter. In quick fashion (7+ days) the PonoMusic player has reached the first project milestone of 10,000 units sold. Now to some people that amount is construed as minor in the Internet of Things which will encompass a trillion connected devices and appliances by 2040.

Quite the contrary, Pono is a major achievement in music industry circles. I see a direct correlation between how Microsoft has cultivated a trusted set of 10,000 beta testers to test their products and how the initial Pono community of 10,000 quality music lovers are will feel, share and give feedback.

I now have an active participant role as an early adopter of Pono. I am in the vanguard of perpetual change helping to influence how music will be embraced and felt in the soul of the new machine.

Let Neil Young the inventor of Pono explain why he wants you to truly hear music.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/allsongs/2014/03/19/291130878/neil-young-wants-you-to-truly-hear-music

We are liberated from the entrapment of lossy MP3. Bye bye 5% of the sound, hello 100% high-resolution audio direct from the artists master recording to the expressway of your soul. When it comes to Pono Music we are truly Rockin In The Free World!

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Neil Young and PonoMusic – I Believe In You

I want to thank Neil Young for his pursuant vision in bringing PonoMusic to market. I’ve never been more excited as a music technologist to participate in an audio experience that allows my soul to rediscover how music was designed to be heard.

Pono Team, I Believe in You.

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Coming March 2014, Neil Young’s PONO and new album, A Letter Home

It’s been an interesting week about Neil Young, Jack White’s Third Man Records and Neil’s next two projects, The PONO music player and A Letter Home, 

Project One: PONO

Neil Young announced an update about PONO during his acceptance speech in Los Angeles at the Village recording studio for the President’s Merit award at the Grammy Event of the Producers and Engineers Wing of the Recording Academy.

Michael Kovac/WireImage

Digital. Digital is not bad. But Xerox is not good. I always like to say Picasso was really happy to see original Picassos everywhere, but when he went into some places and saw Xeroxes of Picassos, it didn’t make him as happy, because he thought people thought that we was making those things. The thing we do is, we make great stuff in the studio and then we kiss its ass goodbye, because nobody’s ever going to hear it. That’s unfortunate, and it didn’t use to be that way. That’s something that happened to us – that’s an injury we sustained, and it deeply hurt us. So the time has come for us to recover and to bring music back to the people in a way that they can recognize it in their souls – through the window of their souls, their ears. So they can feel and vibrate and so that they can get goosebumps. We cherish those fucking goosebumps. We really need those.

Being impressed by something, and how cool it is, and how sharp it is, and how snappy it is, is one thing, and that translates into almost any media. But when you’re singing something very soulful from your heart, and the echo is perfect and everything’s great and you’re using maybe an acoustic chamber and everything sounds great. And then you listen to it and you love it, but you hear it somewhere else and it’s gone – that’s terrible. We don’t like that. Not many of us like that, we’re not happy about it. So we’re trying to change that, and we’re trying to make it better. We’re trying to make music sound technically better, and that’s what I want to do. So we have a player that plays whatever the musicians made digitally, and that’s going to come out. We’re announcing that at SXSW, we’re introducing it, it’s called PONO, and that’s my commercial, thank you very much.

Read Neil Young’s entire speech here:

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/read-neil-youngs-full-epic-speech-from-grammy-honors-ceremony-20140122#ixzz2rBLch2Rh

Project Two: A Letter Home

After his speech Rolling Stone Magazine spoke with Neil Young and asked him a few questions. Here are two of those questions that are specific to his next recording project.

Your next record’s coming out in March?
Yeah, it’s one of the lowest-tech experiences I’ve ever had.

How come?
You’ll hear it. It’s called A Letter Home.

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/neil-youngs-low-tech-new-album-a-letter-home-due-in-march-20140122#ixzz2rBcLDbpX 

Could it be that Neil Young recorded the entire project inside Jack White’s Third Man Recording Booth? If you recall, Young recorded a cover of Bert Jansch’s “Needle of Death” inside the booth during Record Store Day 2013.

Third Man Records unearths NEIL YOUNG’s A LETTER HOME

An unheard collection of rediscovered songs from the past recorded on ancient electro-mechanical technology captures and unleashes the essence of something that could have been gone forever. — Homer Grosvenor

I also refer you to Michael Goldberg’s blog post from 1/16/14, “Exclusive: Neil Young and Jack White Collaborate for New Covers Album” for the best specifics about A Letter Home.

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Neil Young’s PONO Product Announces in Early 2014! Count Me In

Posted on Facebook by Neil Young, 9/3/13…

To everyone who loves music –

I’m very happy to bring you some good news. All of us at Team PONO have been focused on getting everything right for our early 2014 launch of Pono.

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. 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.

This music moves you. So you can feel. That’s why so many musicians are behind PonoMusic – this is important work that honors their art. This is the way they wanted you to hear their music.

PONO starts at the source: artist-approved studio masters we’ve been given special access to. Then we work with our brilliant partners at Meridian to unlock the richness of the artist’s music to you. There is nothing like hearing this music – and we are working hard to make that experience available to all music lovers, soon.

Our mission is also to make PONO just as accessible as any music you buy and listen to today. So we’ll be launching both the PONO portable player – an updated version of the one I showed on David Letterman’s program – and an online library, with all your favorite music available in PonoMusic quality. Everything you need to feel music anew.

Stay tuned for more updates. And be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest information. We hope you’ll try PONO when it comes your way, and that it brings you the soul of music.

Yours, for PonoMusic
Neil Young

Beta Test Feedback

If you are like me you are eager to learn firsthand how well the PONO experience feels and sounds. I found this write-up on the Neil Young Times Web page and thought I would include it for your edification.

A few players are now in use experimentally. The following is a musician’s account of hearing PONO:

As a choral singer with the San Diego Master Chorale, I have had the opportunity to perform with the San Diego Symphony several times each year – an ultimate surround sound experience. As I sing my part or listen during orchestral interludes I am able to hear the purity of tone of each individual instrument, as well as the overtones of the orchestra that give such richness to the sound. In addition, we often perform in acoustically alive venues such as Saint Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral, where the precision of such works as the Bach B Minor Mass and his Christmas Oratorio are enriched with the reverberation of the acoustics of the cathedral.

I have never experienced this quality of sound in a home setting – not even close. However, last night, using the PONO player and Audeze headphones (These are top of the line audiophile planar magnetic technology headphones, the LCD-3  phones are $1,945 list price, yikes!), I listened to Roberta Flack singing “Killing Me Softly” and was amazed by the purity and fullness of the sound. Her voice was rich and sonorous and at the same time the instrumental background allowed the overtones to come through, along with just enough reverberation.

Jane Baker , San Diego Master Chorale

Don’t Want Amazon MP3

In the much ado about nothing digital music category Amazon announced its MP3 App for iPhone. The Music of Our Heart says, “Don’t Bother” with this waste of technology.

There is no Amazon MP3 iPhone App. When the magician says, “Nothing up my sleeve, presto”.  No Amazon Mp3 App Rabbit in the magician’s hand. Just this Amazon image on their Web site (Funny it has two different colored ears like a rabbit…)

Amazon MP3 store for iPhone and iPod touch

It’s like that Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoon segment when Bullwinkle says, ” No Doubt About It, I Gotta Get Another Hat”.

But if the magician’s pretty assistant takes away the Apple magician hat and hands the magician the Android magician hat.

“Voila we have an Android Amazon Mp3 Play and Purchase App” Can you say Apple proprietary, I knew that you could 😉

Trust me, the Apple App Store Search will point you to the Amazon Cloud Player App (Huh?when you choose “amazon mp3” or “amazon mp3 player”, slap your face like Curly Joe in the Three Stooges because that App isn’t the Amazon MP3 Store App.

The sleight of hand or better yet, the Amazon HTML5 Apple iPhone workaround (and that’s ALL it is…) is as follows:

You can explore and buy new music from your Apple iPhone Safari App by visiting amazon.com/mp3 on your iPhone or iPod touch device. Then you mark the Amazon MP3 Web page as a Safari favorite so you can recall this task.

It’s a huge “Non-Whoop” to be able to buy inferior MP3s directly from my iPhone.  I was never clamoring for this from Amazon, were you?

Stifling a second yawn here, I am just not interested in an HTML5 Amazon MP3 purchase option?

Thank you Amazon for one more major reason to wait for Neil Young’s PONO High Resolution Audio solution.

Don’t want my MP3, Sing it loud with Neil Young and I.

Amazon, everyone knows MP3 is nowhere