Experience the true sound of music

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Contact Zac Younkins at [email protected]

Zac Younkins

In the digital age, the scope of music entertainment is always changing and there is something to be said for musicians who are able to keep up with the technology and trends. One of those pioneers is Canadian rock icon Neil Young.

Young invented a file type in June 2011 which at the time had several tentative titles, including “21st Century Record Player,” “Earth Storage” and “SQS” (Studio Quality Sound). Young said he was disappointed by the mp3, and that digital music could sound much better. From all of this, Young formed the company Pono Music.

The PonoPlayer was launched via Kickstarter, where Young had an ambitious goal of raising $800,000 to market the device. The pledges have far surpassed that, however, even reaching $2.5 million in 60 hours. The campaign also boasts an impressive teaser commercial featuring earnest testimonials from music legends including Rick Rubin, Sting, Jack White, Dave Grohl, T-Bone Burnett, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, Dave Matthews and just about every other living rock star.

“When you compare the music side to side, you really forget listening to your iPod, how amazing the music can be,” said record executive Todd Moscowitz.

“The CD is like listening to twanging on a f****** rubber band compared to the full scope of what music is,” Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea said on behalf of the campaign.

Young has always been at the head of the music industry revolution. He was sued in 1983 by Geffen Records for $3 million for producing a slew of “intentionally non-commercial” albums, and was the only musician to be the brunt of a suit of this nature. He was also the godfather of the grunge movement and helped popularize the New Wave movement in its early stages.

Young is also a well-versed entrepreneur, having started the Farm-Aid company and inventing an alternative fuel Lincoln Continental called Lincvolt, subject of his 2009 album, “Fork in the Road.”

Earlier this year, Young signed with Jack White’s Third Man Records; White, being an audiophile like Young, will likely get behind the music service which is projected to rival Spotify and even iTunes in sales and popularity. With the rise to prominence of the Blu-Ray disc, HD audio seems like a guaranteed success.

Young describes music as “underwater listening,” claiming an mp3 has the sound quality of being 1,000 feet underwater, a CD at 200 feet, and his 192 K format at the surface. Beck even claims that Pono offers a completely unique visceral experience, how music was meant to be heard.

The PonoPlayer is now available for $399.