"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 don't really thing you need audiophile quality in a portable device.
How I see it, you use a portable device in places where listening to music is not your first priority. You won't be able to really appreciate the audio quality difference when riding a bus/train, driving/walking, waiting for a service, working out on a gym, etc... MP3 in a small device is perfectly fine for this kind of situation (which are implied by the "portable").
Then you get back to the comfort and calm of your home, fire up your audiophile setup, load up your FLACs and appreciate your music.
> I don't really thing you need audiophile quality in a portable device.
I don't really think you need "audiophile quality" in any device. For most casual listening today, the moderately priced gear is fine and sounds better than the high-end gear of 30 years ago.
You know what the definition of "audiophile" is? Someone who uses music to listen to his stereo equipment!