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posted by girlwhowaspluggedout on Thursday March 13 2014, @03:30PM   Printer-friendly
from the digital-revolution-blues dept.

Marneus68 writes:

"Pono, the Neil Young-endorsed Kickstarter project, is drawing more and more pledges. Now past the $2 million mark (with an expected goal of $800K), this project aims to create a audiophile friendly FLAC player along with its ecosystem (and by that they mean their own music store and syncing application).

The device itself features 2 audio outputs, one 'specially designed for headphones' and the other 'specifically designed for listening on your home audio system'. The player is controlled by an LCD touchscreen, and its triangular 'Toblerone' shape makes it easy to hold it upright with one hand or to lay it flat on surfaces. The player, which has 64GB of internal memory, comes together with a 64GB microSD card.

The board and its components, as well as a 'pre-prototype' model, are pictured in the project's Kickstarter page.

 
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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by cockroach on Thursday March 13 2014, @03:50PM

    by cockroach (2266) on Thursday March 13 2014, @03:50PM (#15925)

    When I read "their own [..] syncing application" I can't help but wonder whether this is going to be some kind of proprietary, DRMish monstrosity or if it's going to be possible to access it as a mass storage device. Does anyone know more about this?

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  • (Score: 3, Informative) by Marneus68 on Thursday March 13 2014, @04:02PM

    by Marneus68 (3572) on Thursday March 13 2014, @04:02PM (#15934) Homepage

    From the kickstarter page :

    Can I play digital music files I already own on my PonoPlayer?

    Yes, you can and it will probably sound better on the PonoPlayer than you've ever heard it.

    The PonoPlayer is designed to play PonoMusic with stunning clarity. However, the player can play almost any kind of music track including FLAC, ALAC, mp3, WAV, AIFF, AAC (unprotected).

    What this really means is the PonoPlayer can play all your digital music, and all of it will sound great.

    I was very suspicious about that too.

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by cockroach on Thursday March 13 2014, @04:39PM

      by cockroach (2266) on Thursday March 13 2014, @04:39PM (#15961)

      While this is interesting, it still doesn't seem to answer the question of whether a proprietary application will be required to put files on the player.

      Also pff, saying "all your digital music" and not mentioning Ogg Vorbis. :)

      • (Score: 2) by stderr on Thursday March 13 2014, @05:30PM

        by stderr (11) on Thursday March 13 2014, @05:30PM (#15997) Journal

        Also pff, saying "all your digital music" and not mentioning Ogg Vorbis. :)

        And what about all my 8SVX and MOD files?!

        --
        alias sudo="echo make it yourself #" # ... and get off my lawn!
  • (Score: 4, Informative) by Nerdfest on Thursday March 13 2014, @04:03PM

    by Nerdfest (80) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 13 2014, @04:03PM (#15935)

    I was wondering the same thing ... are they going to pull a Sony. My guess is not. As long as you can manually load it with FLAC files, it's good, and it gives people not interested in ripping or loading a simple music store where they can legally buy good quality tunes. I think the price is a bit steep and the design is a bit lacking, but the idea is good. Of course, are effectively 128 GB units so maybe the price isn't completely ridiculous.

    It's interesting to see the what artists have have sold out of their allocation of 'signature series' units. Those laser etched units are nice looking too.

    Overall, I'm hoping someone does this for half the price. I think there are already some FLAC capable players that have a 'pretty good' quality and it wouldn't take that much more to push them up to 'great'. Perhaps if this becomes popular enough we'll get some Android phone available specializing in audiophile quality sound.

  • (Score: 1) by skullz on Thursday March 13 2014, @04:06PM

    by skullz (2532) on Thursday March 13 2014, @04:06PM (#15938)

    I don't think the RIAA is going to let most music onto something like this without DRM in one form or another. So you will be left with a few quacks (Neil who?) and indie artists. Or they will slap excessive DRM on it, throttle the quality, and make you pay through the nose for a triangular iPod.

    • (Score: 2, Informative) by TheGratefulNet on Thursday March 13 2014, @05:05PM

      by TheGratefulNet (659) on Thursday March 13 2014, @05:05PM (#15986)

      you need to be more informed. there are quite a few download-only stores that sell DRM FREE flac files that are 88k, 96k, 176k and 192k. some stores are a bit dodgy in the lineage of their 'master tape copies', but not all are dodgy and some are honest about where they got their source from.

      I have not seen a single high res audio download include DRM. you are free to buy these and copy them all you want.

      hdtracks is one that comes to mind. I'd have to do a search to find the others, but they are out there and not hard to find.

      most sources are not done well enough to JUSTIFY this, though. even classical stuff has a high noise floor and when I tried the hd audio stuff on my own (fairly decent self-built system) I didn't hear any magic. but then again, I was listening to 20 yr old music (or older) who was not really well recorded in the first place.

      --
      "It is now safe to switch off your computer."
      • (Score: 2) by skullz on Thursday March 13 2014, @06:13PM

        by skullz (2532) on Thursday March 13 2014, @06:13PM (#16018)

        Thats a neat site but I'm still only seeing outliers and some indie stuff. Not much from the last 10 years. As you said, most sources are not really worth the "hd audio" label.

        • (Score: 2) by hatta on Thursday March 13 2014, @07:44PM

          by hatta (879) on Thursday March 13 2014, @07:44PM (#16061)

          You mean, you're seeing music from people who have had to survive on talent instead of million dollar marketing budgets? That's a bonus.

        • (Score: 1) by TheGratefulNet on Friday March 14 2014, @04:36AM

          by TheGratefulNet (659) on Friday March 14 2014, @04:36AM (#16177)

          here's a good starter list:

          http://www.auraliti.com/About.html [auraliti.com]

          ob disc: I know the auraliti guys and have no problem recommending their gear. its linux based, headless and uses the MPD system. there are some tweaks they did to both hardware and software, but its still mostly a linux system.

          --
          "It is now safe to switch off your computer."
    • (Score: 2) by Blackmoore on Thursday March 13 2014, @09:35PM

      by Blackmoore (57) on Thursday March 13 2014, @09:35PM (#16090) Journal

      Nah - they won't really need to - afterall you'll have to repurchase your entire music library to get the full value of the device. sure you can play your mp3 or flac files, but you cant upgrade the quality from mp3 to flac.

  • (Score: 1) by Fnord666 on Thursday March 13 2014, @11:32PM

    by Fnord666 (652) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 13 2014, @11:32PM (#16125)

    When I read "their own [..] syncing application" I can't help but wonder whether this is going to be some kind of proprietary, DRMish monstrosity or if it's going to be possible to access it as a mass storage device. Does anyone know more about this?

    I'm wondering if it has to do with keeping crappy sounding low bandwidth MP3s off of it so that they don't have to field complaints when it doesn't magically make them sound amazing.