Music Fans Raise Over $4 Million for Neil Young’s PonoMusic

The service will have a companion device available for $399.


Dr. Dre isn’t the only musical icon making a name for himself in the world of electronics. Neil Young wants to improve your listening experience with PonoMusic.

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PonoMusic is a new high-resolution music service, and so far it’s raised over $4 million, far exceeding the $800,000 original goal on Kickstarter. While that sounds like a huge score for high-resolution music advocates, it’s still only a little more than 9,000 total backers.

“ will offer the finest quality, highest-resolution digital music from both major labels and prominent independent labels, curated and archived for discriminating PonoMusic customers,” the company said in a statement. Rolling Stone is backing up that claim, saying that Warner Music has been working on converting thousands of albums to 192 kHz and 24-bit sound in anticipation of Pono’s release.

Of course, Young doesn’t expect you to play all of this high-end music on your old iPod. Instead, he will launch the PonoPlayer, a 128GB portable device that should be able to hold between 1,000 and 2,000 songs. It will also have a memory card slot for additional playlists and storage.

“It’s about the music, real music,” Young said. “We want to move digital music into the 21st century and PonoMusic does that. We couldn’t be more excited — not for ourselves, but for those that are moved by what music means in their lives.”

In addition to music downloads, the website will offer recommended earbuds and headphones, as well as the $399 PonoPlayer. If you want to ensure you get a PonoPlayer when they first launch you can still get in at the $400 pledge level on Kickstarter. The cheaper $200 level (the early bird special that includes a First Edition Black PonoPlayer) is all sold out.

In the meantime, watch Young show off the PonoPlayer prototype in a 2012 appearance on Late Show With David Letterman in the clip below.

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