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Music The Almighty Buck Technology

Neil Young's "Righteous" Pono Music Startup Raises $1 Million With Kickstarter 413

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Jose Pagliery reports at CNN that the 68-year-old rock star unveiled his startup, Pono, at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas raising $1.4 million in a single day. Young has developed a portable music player that stores high-resolution recordings and promises to deliver all the delicate details that get chopped out of modern-day formats, like MP3s and CDs. 'Pono' is Hawaiian for righteous. 'What righteous means to our founder Neil Young is honoring the artist's intention, and the soul of music. That's why he's been on a quest, for a few years now, to revive the magic that has been squeezed out of digital music.' With 128 GB of space, the PonoPlayer can carry about 3,200 tracks of high-resolution recordings while an MP3 player of the same size can hold maybe 10 times that many songs. Young says the MP3 files we're all listening to actually are pretty poor from an audio-quality standpoint and only contains about five percent of the audio from an original recording. But isn't FLAC already lossless? What makes Pono better?"
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Neil Young's "Righteous" Pono Music Startup Raises $1 Million With Kickstarter

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  • Is it just me? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by eclectro ( 227083 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @07:57PM (#46469665)

    I spent five minutes trying to figure out if Slashdot once again misspelled something, i.e. "porno."

  • Re:LOL (Score:5, Interesting)

    by georgeaperkins ( 1715602 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @08:16PM (#46469795)
    Whether it is snakeoil or not remains to be seen. However, the hardware spec featuring a well regarded ESS Sabre digital to analogue converter and seperate output stages for headphone and line-level loads looks well thought out. The prospect of an extensive high-resolution music catalogue to support the hardware capabilities shows some potential. Over hyped? Yes of course. Celebrity endorsed rip-off? Maybe not - I think this is genuinely a product spawned from an artist's vision. Final thought. Over $1M in 24 hrs, How bloody amazing is Kickstarter?
  • by StripedCow ( 776465 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @08:22PM (#46469839)

    No, the real problem is that all the tracks are pre-mixed into a single stereo track, leaving us customers with only a single volume knob to turn.

  • by Overzeetop ( 214511 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @08:26PM (#46469855) Journal

    except for that last 1/10% who think they can hear a difference, or the 1/10000% who actually can.

    Honestly, it's music we don't need. This is like arguing over whether x264 is sufficient to carry all of the visual information in a motion picture. It's not even close - the best BluRay throws close to 99.9% of the information away, but Neal's reckoning. Thing is, you can't tell. You can't tell in a good set up in a controlled environment, much less in a room where the visual/acoustic treatments aren't designed solely for the experience.

  • by Bob9113 ( 14996 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @08:35PM (#46469901) Homepage

    Young says the MP3 files we're all listening to actually are pretty poor from an audio-quality standpoint and only contains about five percent of the audio from an original recording.

    Obviously Young doesn't understand The Coastline Paradox [wikipedia.org]. At a sufficiently high resolution of measurement, a wave contains infinite information. Any finitely sized digital recording actually contains 0.00000% of the information in the original signal.

    Of course, that's only if you include all the information that our brains are incapable of distinguishing. The interpretation of waves by our brains is an inherently fuzzy process, and beyond a certain resolution there is no perceptible difference between a flawed and a perfect recording (even if you had the equipment and sound room to produce a sufficiently high quality set of vibrations in the air to reliably communicate that tiny difference to your tympanic membrane (you don't)).

    Or, more succinctly: Extreme audiophilia is bunk.

  • Re:Well (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Mr. Slippery ( 47854 ) <tmsNO@SPAMinfamous.net> on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @10:34PM (#46470447) Homepage

    Have you ever tried to raise capital in a socialist system? Capitalism makes capital common and available.

    Capitalism keeps capital in the hands of the capitalist class, that's it's whole reason for being. The idea behind socialism is to make capital -- not to be confused with money, but the actual "means of production", and so not something that has to be "raised" -- available to workers without having to get some parasitic aristocrats involved. Unfortunately, Marx was not an empiricist and his version of socialism lends itself to abuse by authoritarians; but even his fscked-up version took an agrarian nation barely out of feudalism (Russia still had legal serfdom until 1861!) and turned it into a space-faring nuclear superpower -- and that in spite of bearing the brunt of the cost of stopping the Nazis. Stalin sucked and Marxism has serious flaws, but the whole "OMG socialism failed!!1!" meme doesn't hold up to serious examination.

  • by Joce640k ( 829181 ) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @05:50AM (#46471597) Homepage

    Do any of you guys have ears?

    128kbs MP3 (which used to be the "standard") is crap, yes.

    320kbs MP3? I doubt many people can hear the difference.

    After I got tired of clicking through the links to "What makes pono better" I eventually googled it on Wikipedia and found out it's FLAC. Aren't we already using FLAC? I know I am.

    Bottom line: He's comparing 128kbs MP3 to FLAC. Nothing to see here, keep moving...

    If you have heard live music vs an mp3, the loss of audio info is very obvious.

    Who's talking about live music? Of course live music is different.

Money can't buy love, but it improves your bargaining position. -- Christopher Marlowe