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Neil Young to sell PonoPlayer music device through Kickstarter

Neil Young to sell PonoPlayer music device through Kickstarter

Neil Young will debut his new digital audio format Pono at South By Southwest tomorrow [March 11]. Details of the service have now appeared online.

A number of news sources - including The Guardian - report that Young will launch a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for his new PonoPlayer device on 15 March, with early buyers getting a discount on its planned $399 price.

The device will be supported by an online music downloads store called PonoMusic, which will sell files at a higher resolution than rivals like Apple’s iTunes.

Here's the Pono press release in full:

March 10, 2014 – (Burbank, CA.) - PonoMusic is a revolutionary movement conceived and founded by Neil Young. Our mission is to bring the highest-quality digital music to discerning, passionate consumers, who wish to experience music the way the artists intended, with the emotion, detail, and power intact. "It's about the music, real music. We want to move digital music into the 21st century and PonoMusic does that. We couldn't be more excited about bringing PonoMusic to the market," said Neil Young, founder and chairman of PonoMusic.

PonoMusic encompasses both an online music store (PonoMusic.com) and a playback device (The PonoPlayer). The PonoPlayer is a digital-music experience unlike any other, offering the finest quality, highest-resolution digital music from both major labels and prominent independent labels, curated and archived for discriminating PonoMusic customers. The Pono desktop media management application allows customers to download, manage and sync their music to their PonoPlayer and other high- resolution digital music devices.

"Our goal was to offer the highest quality digital music available from all the major labels with the world’s greatest sounding, user-friendly portable music player. We’ve achieved our goal and we are excited to launch our Kickstarter campaign next week to invite music lovers everywhere to join the PonoMusic community and reserve a PonoPlayer for their own enjoyment," said John Hamm, CEO of PonoMusic.

The PonoPlayer is a purpose-built, portable, high-resolution digital-music player designed and engineered in a "no-compromise" fashion to allow consumers to experience studio master-quality digital music at the highest audio fidelity possible, bringing the true emotion and detail of the music, the way the artist recorded it, to life. It also features a convenient, easy-to-use LCD touch screen interface that is totally intuitive. The audio technology in the PonoPlayer was developed in conjunction with the engineering team at Ayre, in Boulder Colorado, a leader in world class audio technology.

PonoMusic and Ayre have collaborated their ideas to achieve their goal -- to make the power and majesty of music available to everybody. “We are absolutely thrilled to be a part of this project. We will always be grateful to Neil Young for changing the landscape of recorded music," said Charlie Hansen, CEO of Ayre Acoustics.

The PonoPlayer has 128GB of memory and can store 1000 to 2000 high-resolution digital-music albums. Memory cards can be used to store and play different playlists and additional collections of music. The PonoPlayer will be sold at PonoMusic.com for $399 MSRP and is available for pre-order at a discount on Kickstarter.com as of March 15th. PonoMusic recommended earbud and headphone products will also be available for purchase on PonoMusic.com.

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