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(Engadget)   Hey It's Pono: Neil Young's music player for audiophiles is a go, repeat, a go   (engadget.com) divider line 40
    More: Interesting, Neil Young, Kickstarter  
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1889 clicks; posted to Geek » on 10 Mar 2014 at 5:28 AM (19 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



40 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2014-03-10 12:34:02 AM
Lawl, Audiophiles.
 
2014-03-10 01:48:15 AM
Sorry, Fark. I really can't talk right now. I have to finish putting these magic rocks onto my rare earth thrice-wrapped audio cables. Then I need to calibrate my speakers with the help of devil magic. I think that should get my first-pressing C&C Music Factory vinyl sounding more warm.
 
2014-03-10 02:56:02 AM
Dat din't look lahk no pono tuh me.
 
2014-03-10 03:23:59 AM
Crap design, not enough space. Seriously, I waited for someone to top the 160GB iPod Classic for years.

/Gave up and just stream everything for portable music
 
2014-03-10 03:29:15 AM
I have a feeling that content will be limited, and expensive.
 
2014-03-10 03:45:54 AM
People were not meant to hear music with such clarity. People need to hear snaps and pops in that shiat.
 
2014-03-10 06:28:36 AM
I need a unit to sample and hold
But not the angry one
A new design, new design.
 
2014-03-10 06:53:15 AM
I would buy one IF the audio quality REALLY is that much better, AND if it converts everything I already have in itunes.

I have hundreds of dollars and countless hours already invested in itunes. I am not going to do everything all over again.
 
2014-03-10 07:05:36 AM

AverageAmericanGuy: People were not meant to hear music with such clarity. People need to hear snaps and pops in that shiat.


0/10
 
2014-03-10 07:35:30 AM
Slight problem with the concept.  If I want a portable audio device, it's because I plan to be listening to music on the go.  If I'm on the go, there's background noise.  If there's background noise, "audiophile quality" equipment is pointless.
 
2014-03-10 07:43:03 AM
Needs more barn.
 
2014-03-10 08:04:28 AM
A southern man don't need him around, anyhow...
 
2014-03-10 08:08:13 AM
That's not going to feel too comfortable in my pocket.

/this pong is not a rebel pong
 
2014-03-10 08:25:09 AM
This will pair nicely with the 99-cent earbuds I bought off eBay.

/straight from Guangdong; skip the middle man!
 
2014-03-10 08:51:02 AM
I like how it will fit so easily into your pocket...
 
2014-03-10 08:57:01 AM
Still won't sound as good as the two year old Creative Zen 2.
 
2014-03-10 08:57:53 AM
btw... "ESS" is Regurgistani for "we relabeled a realtek chip"
 
2014-03-10 09:00:25 AM
Despite all the naysayers who haven't RTFA, there are some merits to this thing...

Rolling Stone article

192k/24bit source material... several major labels either archiving or having archived their material in that format, reference quality DAC and OPAMP, etc... however, there some questions as well:

1. will it be tied to DRM?
2. will it therefore only be able to be played on an 'official' Pono player?

Thoughts (random):
History has shown that music labels are unreasonable when they have a monopoly in any area.
History has also shown that labels are fanbois of DRM
This thing could be dead out of the gate due to the labels
Form factors are not an issue because those can always be changed

I still would not call it 'audiophile' as there is no balanced I/O and it is digital (don't bother arguing this point with me - audiophile by definition is always going to live in the analog domain no matter how high the resolution is - it's a snooty term and will always be a snooty term for elitists)
 
2014-03-10 09:17:52 AM
"and "perfectly flat" frequency response with most any set of headphones."

That... is impossible. A suck pair of headphones will not be magically made flat-response when plugged into this thing.
 
2014-03-10 10:05:10 AM
Did Neil Young lose all his money? If not, why doesn't he invest his own?
 
2014-03-10 10:10:37 AM
The Final Countdown!

*Synth riff*
 
2014-03-10 10:38:02 AM
img1.wikia.nocookie.net
 
2014-03-10 11:03:23 AM

ChrisDe: Did Neil Young lose all his money? If not, why doesn't he invest his own?


I'm sure he has but to answer your question - it's because he's been a 'have' for a really long time now. Have you not noticed how this works for rich people? They don't make more money and get richer with their money - they might lose it - they get richer with your money. Have your cake and eat it too is the way it's done. I listened to a couple of his schpiels on this thing over the years and he almost had me at one point. But now that a guy with his connections and influence ( who happens to live in the tech/venture cap money center of the world ) is going the kickstarter route I think his idea is DOA. If this thing were worth investing in he'd have had a school bus full of fat cats clamoring to get on board. So, no.
 
2014-03-10 11:21:43 AM
cdn2.ubergizmo.com

forum-images.macnn.com
 
2014-03-10 12:14:04 PM
 
2014-03-10 12:42:55 PM

jtown: Slight problem with the concept.  If I want a portable audio device, it's because I plan to be listening to music on the go.  If I'm on the go, there's background noise.  If there's background noise, "audiophile quality" equipment is pointless.


Often true, but there are exceptions.  I'd love something like this for hotels on business trips, that sort of thing.
 
2014-03-10 01:02:20 PM

ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha: Seriously, I waited for someone to top the 160GB iPod Classic for years.


I didn't wait.  I ordered a 240GB drive and installed it as a replacement in my 5G iPod.

/Gave up and just stream everything for portable music

That's the best way to go, assuming you have ubiquitous network connectivity and cheap data transfer.  Sadly, my hour-long subway commute has neither.
 
2014-03-10 01:08:30 PM

GibbyTheMole: That... is impossible. A suck pair of headphones will not be magically made flat-response when plugged into this thing.


I suppose, if the player had a pair of microphonic "ears" that you could put the headphones on, that you could use that to compare the actual harmonic output of the headphones to the idealized output, and use that information to calibrate an equalizer circuit to flatten out the overall response.

But I'm sure what TFA is actually trying to say is just that the PONO headphone pre-amp doesn't introduce significant additional harmonic distortion beyond what the headphones themselves have.

Also, a prism-shaped digital audio player with silicone earlobes flapping on two of its sides would be even sillier looking than this gizmo already is.
 
2014-03-10 01:43:56 PM

HindiDiscoMonster: 192k/24bit source material... several major labels either archiving or having archived their material in that format, reference quality DAC and OPAMP, etc... however, there some questions as well:

1. will it be tied to DRM?
2. will it therefore only be able to be played on an 'official' Pono player?


My bet's on "yes" to both of those questions. Look at Super Audio CD for an example of the labels' shenanigans; SACD players will only play digitally signed discs, and only the pressing plants have the signing keys. Even though you can get DSD recorders from Korg and Sony, you can't make your own SACDs.

The articles are light on details, but I'd be surprised if this player would accept FLAC files, which makes it dead on arrival for me even if it weren't for the ridiculous price tag. For portable listening, 320 kbps MP3 is more than good enough for me (though Vorbis or AAC can do just as good a job at a lower bitrate).

I'm also wondering how much of that high-resolution material is horribly overcompressed in the name of the Loudness War, making 24-bit sampling moot.
 
2014-03-10 02:51:52 PM
Oh, and the headline is misleading. A kickstarter attempt is not guaranteed to 'go' anywhere. I repeat my earlier reservations - with all the label contacts Neil and his team have the fact that they struck out in music/tech land/venture cap land is pretty telling. It's an expensive geegaw with no guarantee there's going to be much content at all to say nothing of what that content will cost. Nice try Neil.
 
2014-03-10 03:36:19 PM
A device competing in a nearly-dead market segment designed by a guy who hasn't been relevant to charted modern music since the 1970s and probably has no clue regarding the design and manufacture of modern electronics.

I see no way that this could possibly go wrong.
 
2014-03-10 04:01:32 PM

RockofAges: bbqsandwich: This will pair nicely with the 99-cent earbuds I bought off eBay.

/straight from Guangdong; skip the middle man!

*cringe*

Not an audiophile, but damn, man. Buy a $50-$100 pair of Sennheisers. You must not enjoy music.


Oh lord, so very much this. Overpriced audiophile stuff is overpriced and no better than reasonable priced stuff... but the cheap garbage is just garbage.
 
2014-03-10 04:36:25 PM

ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha: Crap design, not enough space. Seriously, I waited for someone to top the 160GB iPod Classic for years.


Yep. Cowon had me hopeful for a while but they never put it together properly (the O2 with a 240GB HDD would be perfect, of course 32GB flashmem is the max size). All I want is a FLAC player that'll hold enough music to be worth spending a couple hundred dollars on.. one that'll fit in my damn pocket please Mr. Young..
 
2014-03-10 06:39:28 PM
MORE BARN !!!!!!
 
2014-03-10 07:23:48 PM

ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha: Crap design, not enough space. Seriously, I waited for someone to top the 160GB iPod Classic for years.

/Gave up and just stream everything for portable music


I'm going to be really honest here, and equally polite, but why could you possibly need 160 gigs of music on the go, all the time? Do you really need to carry your entire collection at once (actually, I'll assume that's only part, and that you have over a TB of music) but how much of it do you really listen to with any regularity which can't be beat by 'ok, 1st of the month, let's throw off some of this, and throw on some of this'?

The market just isn't there for massive portable MP3 players.
 
2014-03-10 07:52:13 PM

kroonermanblack: how much of it do you really listen to with any regularity which can't be beat by 'ok, 1st of the month, let's throw off some of this, and throw on some of this'?


The way I obsess over my music, that once-monthly review process could end up eating up half my day.  It's not very effective.

I like never having to think about what I do and don't have accessible.  (Although if it comes to it -- maybe when 128GB solid-state devices become affordable -- I'll compromise and do without most of my bootleg live recordings and all the tracks that still have zero plays.)
 
2014-03-10 07:54:07 PM

Marine1: a guy who hasn't been relevant to charted modern music since the 1970s


Oh, that isn't fair.

Some rock journalist I guess decided that Neil Young was the godfather of grunge music, and that was a mere twenty years ago.
 
2014-03-10 08:38:38 PM

poot_rootbeer: kroonermanblack: how much of it do you really listen to with any regularity which can't be beat by 'ok, 1st of the month, let's throw off some of this, and throw on some of this'?

The way I obsess over my music, that once-monthly review process could end up eating up half my day.  It's not very effective.

I like never having to think about what I do and don't have accessible.  (Although if it comes to it -- maybe when 128GB solid-state devices become affordable -- I'll compromise and do without most of my bootleg live recordings and all the tracks that still have zero plays.)


Do you work near computers? Why not just buy an external drive and shift stuff whenever the mood strikes? Plus then you have a backup.
 
2014-03-10 10:29:41 PM
This is doomed from the start.

iPhones and many other phones can already play 192/24 FLAC files.  The audio quality is already pretty damned good, but if you're still not satisfied, outboard amp/DACs are easy to get hold of,  which are going to be cheaper, no DRM, no lockdown, not farking triangular, and no *less* hassle than carrying a music player separately to your phone.

Of course there are no balanced outputs.  Balanced outputs are for carrying a signal long distances to a powered amp.  The only outputs needed are your headphones, or possibly digital.


192/24 files are great for mastering/ archiving,  although they are overkill for the human ear, it means you can manipulate the sound later without any loss of quality in the human hearing range.  Great for DJs, samplers, remixers etc...
 
2014-03-10 10:57:11 PM

lindseyp: 192/24 files are great for mastering/ archiving,  although they are overkill for the human ear


QFT. For listening you'll never need anything over 48/24. Nyquist wasn't wrong, people, stop pretending he was! No human will ever ever ever hear the difference between 48/24 and anything higher.
 
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