"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.
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?