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Thread: News - Neil Young's Pono hi-fi music player smashes Kickstarter goal

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    News - Neil Young's Pono hi-fi music player smashes Kickstarter goal

    Device lets you listen to PonoMusic albums in the FLAC audio format.
    Read more.

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    Re: News - Neil Young's Pono hi-fi music player smashes Kickstarter goal

    12 minutes of pure testimonials? Overkill.

    But yes, colour me intrigued...

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    Re: News - Neil Young's Pono hi-fi music player smashes Kickstarter goal

    my phone can play flac.

    need to reword that. it DOES play flac.
    Last edited by iggy; 13-03-2014 at 07:23 PM.

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    Re: News - Neil Young's Pono hi-fi music player smashes Kickstarter goal

    From what I've seen of this it's just a flac player with a flac store, I'm not sure what the innovation is?

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    Re: News - Neil Young's Pono hi-fi music player smashes Kickstarter goal

    The pono store aims to provide studio quality music up to 9216 kbps (192 kHz/24 bit) FLAC files (where available). Which is a lot higher quality than most current formats.
    CD quality is 1411 kbps (44.1 kHz/16 bit).

    The flac player features high quality audio components and from the kickstarter page will retail around $300 - $400.

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    Re: News - Neil Young's Pono hi-fi music player smashes Kickstarter goal

    Well, i can't go against Neil Young! It looks pretty funky aswell.

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    Re: News - Neil Young's Pono hi-fi music player smashes Kickstarter goal

    Quote Originally Posted by sam3 View Post
    The pono store aims to provide studio quality music up to 9216 kbps (192 kHz/24 bit) FLAC files (where available). Which is a lot higher quality than most current formats.
    CD quality is 1411 kbps (44.1 kHz/16 bit).

    The flac player features high quality audio components and from the kickstarter page will retail around $300 - $400.
    Question 1 is whether it will actually be possible to tell the difference.

    Question 2 is how many people will buy it, pair it with a rubbish set of headphones and then claim that they can hear the difference.

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    Re: News - Neil Young's Pono hi-fi music player smashes Kickstarter goal

    Heres a list of top headphones to us with it.
    Sennheiser momentum £260
    AKG k550 £300
    Grado sr80i £200
    B&W p7 £330
    Phillips filelioi £160
    All top rated for the money, the question is is it worth say £550 quid plus whatever you pay for the tracks that won't be cheap.

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    Re: News - Neil Young's Pono hi-fi music player smashes Kickstarter goal

    If it floats the boat of some people, good luck to them. I will still consider them idiots throwing their money away on stuff where they really wouldn't be able to differentiate it from a 256k mp3 in a blind test.

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    Re: News - Neil Young's Pono hi-fi music player smashes Kickstarter goal

    Quote Originally Posted by wasabi View Post
    If it floats the boat of some people, good luck to them. I will still consider them idiots throwing their money away on stuff where they really wouldn't be able to differentiate it from a 256k mp3 in a blind test.
    I take it you haven't taken part in many blind tests?

    I was stunned to hear a £100 record deck blow away a £2500 CD player. Not exactly a blind test as it is pretty obvious when the record is playing, but the difference in clarity was astonishing. That was through separate Musical Fidelity pre and power amp, played through floorstanding speakers which were either Linn (so a record bias) or my Mission 763 which I bought for CD use. The purpose of the evening was to decide if you could hear the difference if you bought such an expensive CD player which we had on evaluation from the local HiFi shop. All the best components from everyone we knew in one room.

    Now the fun part is that whilst that convinced a bunch of us that CD is flawed, none of us converted to vinyl as it is such a pain to use and store. I remember a lecturer at university going through the maths of why CD wasn't very good thanks to the low sample rate, but after that day I believed it.

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    Re: News - Neil Young's Pono hi-fi music player smashes Kickstarter goal

    I use Flac for all my recorded music apart from Vinyl. Have not used my CD player in years. My Nexus 5 has about 15gb of Flac for use in the car at all times. When you compare MP3 to Flac you will be shocked at the difference Flac makes to the quality of the sound. Might just look at buying one of these when they become available.

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    Re: News - Neil Young's Pono hi-fi music player smashes Kickstarter goal

    Key point here is not just that the files are FLAC but that they are taken from the original masters - so there will be all sorts of extra detail in there that you wouldn't get from a CD. If I could afford it I'd definitely be interested - although the selection of artists is not exactly perfect for me!

    oh and <<puts pedant hat on>> Pearl Jam are listed twice. I know they're good, but they're not THAT good...
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    Re: News - Neil Young's Pono hi-fi music player smashes Kickstarter goal

    So.... Still just an awkwardly shaped flac player then?

    So what's stopping people using the store to buy the decent music then using their existing, cheaper flac player?

    Again, i really don't 'get' this, what am i missing?

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    Re: News - Neil Young's Pono hi-fi music player smashes Kickstarter goal

    The store is definitely interesting. The one problem I had with all these stores is they'd give me files in a lossy format maybe with some DRM on top and that's just no good if you plan to keep your music for potentially decades. I hope the prices aren't too high, cheaper than a CD would be ideal. Another point to consider is how badly mastered some CDs are, if you look at the values of samples, you should not be seeing massive spikes at 0 (because then the gain needs increasing) or 1 (because the gain needs decreasing), and if you see spikes at both ends you need more bits. Unfortunately that's fairly common.

    As for the portable player, meh, the sound of the bus driving by tends to mess with your high SNRs and whatnot. For portable stuff I tend to use google music or convert down to whatever format is most efficient while still giving reasonable quality (240kbps MP3 or 160kbps ogg vorbis usually).

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    Re: News - Neil Young's Pono hi-fi music player smashes Kickstarter goal

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob_B View Post
    So.... Still just an awkwardly shaped flac player then?

    So what's stopping people using the store to buy the decent music then using their existing, cheaper flac player?

    Again, i really don't 'get' this, what am i missing?
    I don't think you are missing anything, I just think the market for this sort of stuff is really small.

    I have a DVD player coupled with a surround amp that can do 192KHz at 24 bit. That is perfect, because the technology is cheap these days and the theoretical capability is better than my ears can manage. DVD Audio disks have been a standard for a decade and a half. How many do I own? Same number as I have seen in the shops, none.

    In an era where music is consumed with the attention span of a goldfish whilst either walking down the street wearing tinny earbuds or sat in front of a PC with tinny speakers, backed by the paranoia of the music industry not wanting decent sample rate material released for fear of piracy coupled with the woeful production quality of most material that is so bad it makes CD sound like compact cassette? I think anyone who believes audio quality will sell has their head stuck in the 80's. Convenience is what sells.

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    Re: News - Neil Young's Pono hi-fi music player smashes Kickstarter goal

    Quick comment about phones... Yes, they can play FLAC. It means nothing unless you have the quality components to play them and as far as I know there isn't a phone with a decent DAC chip to hear the benefits.

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