In yesterday's post RighteousI let you know about Pono, singer Neil Young's project into portable high-end audio and high resolution downloads through the major labels. Many of you responded back very positively about this news. It's good to have someone of Young's stature waving the high quality music flag, as well, it's cool that a designer as talented as Charlie Hansen is involved. Dr. Goodears sent me a link to Pure Music and the efforts of Philips and a few of their labels to release new libraries of higher resolution music stored on Blu-Ray discs. So clearly there's a movement towards higher resolution audio and more are jumping on the bandwagon seemingly daily. Who could not like that? But the largest number of questions I received had to do with this Kickstarter campaign. Why would a rich guy like Neil Young turn to a website to get his funding for the project? I don't know Neil Young. Maybe he's rich. Maybe he's not. But I would have encouraged Neil to go with crowd funding even if he had the money of Warren Buffet. Why? Because crowd funding has an amazing reach to an audience that's probably never heard of high resolution audio. They've never imagined it was possible to have better sound. They didn't have a clue there were even degrees of sound possible; and now their favorite musicians will be telling them it's true. Sure, the great unwashed consumers now know there are better headphones, thanks to Monster and Dr. Dre, and thousands of 20 to 40 year olds have discovered vinyl as an upgrade to MP3s. But better downloads? Who knew? Soon millions of people will hear there's something better out there buried in the actual recordings and it can be enjoyed on headphones, in the car or on a good system. This is good for high-end audio. Very good. My only comment on the Pono Player itself; it looks too big. But I bet they straighten that out. It's gotta slip into the pocket to be really successful to the folks we'd love to have onboard with high resolution music. I'll keep an eye on the Kickstarter program for you and we'll see how many it attracts and educates. It launched yesterday and is already doing well. The video gives you a good notion of the power of this idea because they've got musicians endorsing sound quality and letting their fans know MP3 sucks. That's cool. Thanks Neil.
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