Can Neil Young's Pono Player Really Rival The iPod?

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Yesterday Neil Young launched his Pono player on crowd funding platform, Kickstarter, and well it didn't take long before the musician managed to surpass his monetary goal. Less than 10 hours after unveiling his ‘Pono player’, Young's campaign raised the $800,000 they needed , that’s some pretty fast work. But can the player really rival the mighty iPod or is Young just cashing in on his musical credibility to make a few extra bucks?

Neil YoungNeil Young, he's got a new toy that could replace the Ipod

The ‘Pono player’ campaign video looks pretty impressive. Alongside Young himself there’s many other famous faces gushing about how great the sound quality is, especially in their cars. Bruce Springsteen, Jack White, Dave Grohl and the Arcade Fire, are just some of the names enlisted by Young to talk about his new venture. But, hey, if Neil Young asks you to do something you pretty much have to.

The story behind the ‘Pono player’ is that Young feels digital music has lost its magic and he’s going to be the one to bring it back. Named after the Hawaiian word for righteous, if you believe Young and his celebrity friends, the 'Pono player' will bring back the quality to digital music, making the sound as good as the artists hear in the studio. The player itself is a triangular shape and comes in a black and yellow design and special artist engraved ones are also available for pledgers. The player boasts two specific audio jacks, one for headphones and one to use with your home audio system or in your car so you can listen to high quality music anywhere. It will also be accompanied by an online listening platform named 'Ponomusic'.

Dave Grohl Dave Grohl has presumably thrown out his Ipod

Taking on Apple is a big challenge, but judging by Young’s endorsement speech he’s up for it. The problem is, even if the 'Pono player' delivers will people really be ready to switch from their iPods? One of the key technological aspects of the Pono player is that it ditches MP3s in favour of FLAC files, which are said to be of much higher quality. However some have already pointed out that this may mean you just wont be able to hold as many songs as you would on the traditional iPod. Then of course there’s the design, the 'Pono player' has a triangular prism shape. Whilst the design has the advantages of being able to accommodate the two speaker jacks, it's really going to be hard fitting that one in your jeans pocket.

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