Neil Young Hopes His iPod Rival Will Rock The Free World

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Keeping with the times, musician Neil Young is set to launch a storming attack on Apple’s iPhone iPad iWatch iPod with his forthcoming PonoPlayer.

Young is set to exhibit the PonoPlayer, alongside a music download store called PonoMusic, at this year’s SXSW.

It will then hit Kickstarter, before eventually going on sale with a price tag of $399.

Coming with 128GB storage, the PonoPlayer’s unique market niche is supposedly its high fidelity audio — which leaves in the “natural sound” that the iPod strips out.

“It’s about the music, real music,” Young says in a press release. “We want to move digital music into the 21st century and PonoMusic does that.”

(And, yes, we checked that this isn’t a press release published 15 years ago but only just coming to light now.)

  • http://www.sk1wbw.wordpress.com/ Wayne Williams

    I don’t see this taking the industry by storm in its current form factor. This might not be comfortable in pockets.

  • Steve_Sava

    If neil spent less time bashing the tar sands, he would of realized this is an epic fail. LOL

    • Rob

      Fair point.

  • Chuck McGinley

    LOL! It’s the exact same form and function as my sleep mattress wireless control minus two side buttons to switch between sides.

  • Kyle Trail

    Wow! So the future is digital music? Thanks Neil!

  • http://skinandbonesband.bandcamp.com Rory Parker

    I think that this is a totally cool idea – appealing to a small, niche market which hasn’t really been catered to. That said, the device itself looks archaic. Like, 2004 or 2005 era.
    Really should have taken some cues from more modern devices.

  • bobthenob

    I heard ‘ol Neal talk about them.
    I heard ‘ol Neal put them down.
    I hope Neil Young will remember.
    Apple Fanboys don’t need him around, anyhow.

    • winstonsmith39

      Sweet Home Cupertino?

  • http://www.designstrategies.com Len Williams

    Even if the sound is better than the iPod (which I have zero problem with in the first place), who the heck would carry something like this triangular brick around in their pocket? What awful product design by making it so large and awkward in shape! A gentle curve on the back and slightly thicker at the sides would have been a much better concept for pocketability.

  • Rob

    This isn’t gonna work.

  • Stewart McCall

    Isn’t he a little late to the game or is he targetting those that still haven’t purchased a smart phone with this device that are used to a chunky brick phone in their pocket and have never heard of the iPod?

    This has got to be someone’s idea of a joke, maybe an early April fool’s. If I have going to have electronics to play music just give it to me built into the phone that I carry around anyway and not something that looks like it is designed for use by toddlers in one of their role playing games that they like so much.

  • Aannddyy

    Rust never sleeps, apparently this idea took a nap for a decade before waking up.
    BTW, I love Harvest Moon, played it at my wedding from iTunes.

  • immovableobject

    The CD format (lossless 16/44K), which today’s iPods can play, is capable of producing superb fidelity. We don’t need newer hi-rez formats, The real problem is the way music is recorded and mastered these days (look up “volume war” ).

  • Daniel Wallace MacMullin

    This makes me giggle uncontrollably. Doesn’t Neil know that plastic is made from Oil?

About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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