The experience of listening to music has changed since I was a child. I’ve survived the 8-track era, as well as the decline and resurgence of vinyl. I had a Walkman so I could take my cassettes anywhere I wanted, and I’ve even had the CD version of the Walkman. The revolution of digital technology allows me to carry my entire collection of music on my iPhone, which is nice, since I don’t have a record player in my office.
For those of you who speak audiophile, it’s reportedly made with zero-feedback circuitry and a digital filter that stops “unnatural pre-ringing”. Memory cards will be available for storing and playing additional collections of music.
PonoMusic is the device’s accompanying desktop-based “media management” system, which allows customers to download and sync music to player. They’ll reportedly offer “the finest quality, highest-resolution digital music from both major labels and prominent independent labels”. Their online store will also offer “PonoMusic recommended earbud and headphone products”.
The press release promises “studio master-quality digital music at the highest audio fidelity possible, bringing to life the true emotion and detail of the music, the way the artist recorded it.” Young himself has written, “Hearing Pono for the first time is like that first blast of daylight when you leave a movie theatre on a sun-filled day.” The players will be available for preorder through Kickstarter on March 12.
The questions remain: will customers go for a completely different music player in the era of Apple dominance? Will users go for the odd triangular design and small touch screen? Will digital music fans switch to the Pono Music store when they’re used to iTunes and Amazon mp3? I have a difficult time believing that anyone outside of hardcore audiophiles will go for the new technology – at least not until the price comes down.