"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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Gotta love the misleading summary. This isn't a kickstarter for another portable music player. This is about what PonoMusic describes as "an end-to-end ecosystem for music lovers to get access to and enjoy their favorite music exactly as the artist created it, at the recording resolution they chose in the studio." Yes, they are building a portable music player with the help of high end audio engineers that they feel fits into this ecosystem, but that is just a part of it. Much bigger than that is the idea of a music store where you can buy digital audio at much higher resolution than iTunes, Amazon or even WAV files directly from a CD. "We are pursuing this vision by building a system for the entire music listening experience â€“ from the original master recordings to the PonoMusic.com Store to the portable PonoPlayer". Given that the campaign started two days ago and is already at 300% of their funding goal, it seems to me that they might just be on to something.