Neil Young‘s much-hyped Pono music player has finally been launched.
The device, which according to Young will offer high-quality audio and will be capable of storing 1-2,000 high resolution songs, is now available for order online for a price of (£260) and will be delivered to customers in February. As the Independent notes, meanwhile, users who donated money to the project’s Kickstarter campaign have already received their limited edition versions of the player.
PonoMusic Store has also opened online. So far, Young himself is ranked as the most popular artist on the store ahead of Miles Davis and Simon & Garfunkel, and six of his albums – including ‘Harvest’, ‘After The Gold Rush’ and ‘Tonight’s The Night’ – are among the store’s top 10 releases.
The PonoPlayer has been described in a press release as 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.”
Young previously said that he was determined to release an alternative music playing device after describing the sound quality of MP3 files as “shit”. At a speech held at last year’s SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, he said: “Pono plays back whatever the artist decided to do. My body is getting washed, I’m getting hit with something great. It’s not ice cubes, it’s water – I’m listening. I’m feeling.” Later that month, however, Nine Inch Nails man Trent Reznor likened the design and yellow-and-black colour scheme of the player to a “Toblerone”.
Neil Young released two studio albums in 2014. His 34th album, ‘A Letter Home’, was released in March on Jack White’s Third Man Records label, while a follow-up, titled ‘Storytone’, followed in November of the same year.