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Neil Young Plans Hi-Def Portable Music Player for 2014


Nearly a year after unveiling his hi-def music device Pono on ‘The Late Show With David Letterman,’ Neil Young sounds like he’s getting ready to let it out into the wild.

Young made the announcement on the Pono’s Facebook page on Sept. 3, promising an “early 2014″ launch and reiterating his team’s commitment to delivering the highest possible sound quality.

“The simplest way to describe what we’ve accomplished is that we’ve liberated the music of the artist from the digital file and restored it to its original artistic quality — as it was in the studio,” Young explained. “So it has primal power. Hearing Pono for the first time is like that first blast of daylight when you leave a movie theater on a sun-filled day. It takes you a second to adjust. Then you enter a bright reality of wonderfully rendered detail.”

All that detail, said Young, will restore that rush of emotion you felt when listening to your favorite songs as a kid. “This music moves you,” he continued. “That’s why so many musicians are behind PonoMusic — this is important work that honors their art. This is the way they wanted you to hear their music.”

Explaining that the Pono team works with “artist-approved studio masters we’ve been given special access to,” Young pledged to make their wares “just as accessible as any music you buy and listen to today” and promised, “we’ll be launching both the Pono portable player — an updated version of the one I showed on David Letterman’s program — and an online library, with all your favorite music available in PonoMusic quality. Everything you need to feel music anew.”

As Vintage Vinyl News reports, Pono won’t be alone in its quest to improve your listening experience. On Sept. 4, Sony announced the imminent roll-out of its own Hi-Res Audio line, which claims to “make high-resolution audio a more convenient, compelling and cost-effective listening experience for digital music enthusiasts everywhere.”

To that end, Sony’s planning the release of two hi-res players: a 1-TB model that lists for $1,999, and a 500-GB counterpart that will sell for $999. Here’s hoping Young’s Pono player will put a smaller dent in consumers’ wallets.

Next: Top 10 Neil Young Songs

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