The iPod, and generally most MP3 players, has revolutionized to some extent the way we enjoy and consume music, but has also somewhat lowered the taste for high-quality audio, a problem that musician Neil Young is seeking to solve with his new Pono portable music player and online store. And, if his optimism gets translated to reality, we might be seeing the products really soon.
The history of this project starts way back in early 2012, when Neil Young told AllThingsD that he wanted to continue the legacy of the late Steve Jobs as a pioneer in digital music, referring to the significance that the iPod has played in modern times. Somewhat ironically, he will be doing so by creating not just a music player but a whole ecosystem that would rival the iPod and even iTunes.
One of the major problems that Neil Young saw in today's media players is the low quality audio, both in terms of the music format and the audio hardware. To this end, he developed the Pono audio format in opposition to the lossy compression that the MP3 format offers. He also started developing special digital-to-audio technology to ensure that that listeners will be enjoying music as if it they were in a studio itself.
Neil Young is also creating a download service specifically for Pono. When asked about the potentially huge download sizes and times, Neil Young suggested to simply let Pono download while you sleep. The way he speaks about the experience of hearing the music coming out of the Pono music player, it might just be worth the wait.
The Pono portable music player was already shown at a David Letterman show, but Neil Young says that the current model is an updated version. Considering this is the first news Pono has made since June this year, the music player and online library might already be well on its way.