Neil Young launches PonoMusic on Kickstarter – a ‘righteous’ new high-definition digital music experience

March 12, 2014

PonoMusicThe PonoMusic player  (photo credit:

Neil Young has launched a brand-new music product that may revolutionize the way we listen to digital music. The project launched on Kickstarter yesterday and has already doubled its $800,000 funding target in just 24 hours.

A promotional video for PonoMusic features dozens of major international touring artists singing their praises for Pono, after hearing a demonstration. Rick Rubin calls it “beautiful”. Sting said it was a “striking comparison, even to my ears, when compared to iTunes”. “I haven’t heard a sound like that since vinyl,” is the endorsement by Elton John.

Here is the PonoMusic video in full, with artist reactions:

So what is Pono?

PonoMusic is a high-definition music player, with accompanying software, that uses the FLAC audio format which is up to 30 times the quality of mp3s. PonoMusic is not a new audio format or standard.

It comes in a bright yellow  triangular-shaped digital music player, looking something like a cross between a Toblerone and a Gameboy. Limited-edition silver Pono players are available via pledges of $400 or more on Kickstarter, limited to 500 limited edition Artist Signature Series engraved models by artists including Foo Fighters, Neil Young, Arcade Fire and Dave Matthews Band.

The PonoMusic player will come with 64GB of internal storage, and a 64GB microSD card. It features a DAC (Digital-to-Analog Converter) chip and two stereo outputs: a normal mini-stereo output, and a mini-plug analogue for connecting to home stereos and cars.

Find out more about Pono by visiting the PonoMusic Kickstarter page. The Kickstarter pledge campaign runs from 11 March until 15 April. Limited edition Pono music players are selling out fast.

© Brian Banks, Editor, Music Vice

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Brian Banks

Editor and Founder, Music Vice Magazine. Writer. Photographer. Poet. From Scotland. Not Ireland. Proudly based in Toronto, Canada. Rock N' Roll Don't Pay The Rent... 

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2 Responses to Neil Young launches PonoMusic on Kickstarter – a ‘righteous’ new high-definition digital music experience

  1. James on March 12, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    I’m in for one! The wife will kill me but these are the sacrifices we make for our music…

  2. Jamie on March 12, 2014 at 4:31 pm


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