After a successful kickstarter last year that raised more than six million dollars. Neil Young’s Pono will finally be hitting retail stores this upcoming Monday. Neil Young’s music player, the Pono, will be going on sale later next week selling for $400. The price may be a bit hard to swallow for anyone out there looking for a new music player. However, Young believes that those who want the best quality audio will not be disappointed.
Creating this Ipod rip off out of sheer force of will. Neil Young made it his quest to guide us away from the oppressive MP3‘s and IPods. Steering us into the direction of the glorious Pono. The Pono is a small device that looks much like the iPod Nano, except it’s triangular shaped. The idea behind the shape apparently is to allow the listener to buy high quality audio files. That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but then again neither does Neil Young when explaining his product. On stage at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) Neil Young stated his reasoning behind the Pono, “I didn’t listen to music for the last 15 years because I hated the way it sounded and it made me pissed off and I couldn’t enjoy it anymore.”
When I heard this I didn’t know what to say. Mr. Young could’ve listened to music through various means such as the computer or even sticking with vinyl records. But, apparently, listening to it on an MP3 made him so mad he stopped listening to music for almost two decades. It could’ve been the headphones for all we know but, I’m digressing at this rate.
With the Pono being released next week it begs the question: are portable media players still relevant? With other means to listen and stream music such as Spotify, Soundcloud, Youtube, and even smartphones you have to wonder if handheld music players are even necessary anymore. Is Neil Young hoping to make a product that’s as successful as Dr. Dre’s headphones? Or will his product crash horribly in a market that seems to focus more of its attention on smart-watches and streaming? At this rate, only time will tell what plans hold for the Pono.