PonoMusic: We Hear You Loud & Not So Loud, But Clear

A "revolution in the way people can listen" to music says PonoMusic founder, Neil Young. The PonoPlayer was unveiled during the 2014 South by Southwest Festival. It was an event like many, media ready with laptops eager to break any news, first.

Neil Young, and a new music player? It wasn't just any old festival keynote. Many involved with PonoMusic are calling it a "revolution" in the way a consumer will hear music. An audiophile and techie, I listened carefully. As it turns out, listening carefully is exactly what the PonoPlayer allows one to do.

Throughout the process of recording, mixing, and mastering in a studio, one hears the reverb of a crisp clash of a hi-hat or final strum of a guitar. That is, all of the subtleties instruments produce as they are being played and recorded, one hears during playback in a studio. The PonoMusic team created the PonoPlayer, a pocket-sized device, which allows listeners to hear their favorite music in stunning, as close to studio as one can get, quality.

(Photo: PonoMusic Team)

A high resolution master copy of your favorite artist's original recording is a huge file. While demand for portable music has increased, the size of the original file has had to shrink. In order to fit a recording onto a CD, the original file is compressed. In order to carry around thousands of mp3 files on our various pocket sized devices, the files are compressed more, squeezing most of the aforementioned subtleties and all of the incredible ear candy from the original master recording.

The PonoMusic team aims to give the music consumer the choice to hear their music with all of the original ear tingling goodness the artist intended, and heard during studio playback.

From the team, "PonoMusic starts with the best ingredients – artist-approved digital masters sourced directly from all the major music labels. Every artist you know and love, plus new releases as they come out. PonoMusic honors the music at the level it was created – it holds up a mirror to the artists’ original vision, reflecting it with perfect clarity."

Is it worth it? I was geeking out upon first listen. I went to Kickstarter, and preordered ASAP. The PonoMusic project was fully funded within 24 hours. Less than twenty days remain to take advantage of the perks of the Kickstarter campaign. Discounts on the retail price, limited edition "artist series" players are up for grabs (your PonoPlayer will be chrome with the artist's signature etched on the side), etc.

PonoMusic is a complete ecosystem. Purchase your PonoPlayer, which easily fits into most pockets or purses, and next the ear-tingling music. High-resolution digital albums at Ponomusic.com are expected to cost between $14.99 -$24.99. The PonoMusic team states, "For this price you get the best quality digital music available anywhere, you own these albums forever - they don’t live only in the cloud, but also on your computer and backup disc, and you can play them anytime you wish on your PonoPlayer or other compatible devices. We will also be offering many of your favorite individual songs. We'll let you know the pricing soon."

A music fan? It is worth a visit to PonoMusic's website to read more: http://www.ponomusic.com

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