"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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There exist FLAC player apps for iOS and Android devices - the ones in your pocket already. What's the rationale for expensive additional hardware over and above something most of us already have in our pockets?
Heck even BB10 devices play all those formats out of the box.
- Battery life- Proper amplification- Expandable storage
Here are at least 3 reasons to buy a dedicated device for all your music needs (I'm not saying you need a $300 device for that tho, the Sansa Clip is enough). Of course that only concern you if you like music enough for that.
Also add "proper decoding (usually allowing gapless playback)" to that list.
I think battery life and expandable storage are questionable advantages. Many andrioid phones let you swap out ever-bigger SD cards, and the battery life on most mobiles isn't awful these days. And if you're worried about battery life, an external USB battery that could power your phone for many times the length of the internal battery are both smaller and cheaper than a dedicated FLAC player with its own battery.
Amplification is the interesting one for me. If you want to drive real speakers, you're presumably going to use an external amp, so I'm assuming you're talking about how the signal is amplified internal to the device (presumably post-DAC) before sending to the jack?
Currently listening to FLAC files on my old 160Gb ipod classic with Rockbox firmware through a decent set of Sennheiser ear phones....
This sounds a lot like a solution in search of a problem.
The fool and his money are soon partying.