Neil Young debuted his newly-developed Pono digital music player during an appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman Friday night.
While on hand to promote his newly-published memoir, “Waging Heavy Peace,” Young spent more time talking with the host about Pono while displaying a prototype of the player.
“This plays back master files: the best sound that anybody can get,” explained Neil. “You can’t get better than this – this is what they do in the studio…the highest resolution.”
“It’s like the mother of all formats,” Young continued. “It’s not a new format: it plays back anything: all the digital formats. So, when the artist records at a certain level, that’s it: it doesn’t get dummied down to cd, it doesn’t get dummied down to mp3. Now we can preserve the original works of all the great artists through the years – from Louis Armstrong and Cab Calloway all the way up to Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan and Jay-Z…all the way through.”
“What we do is transfer it to the highest possible resolution digital because analog has got all of the information in it, and you get as close as digital can get to that analog…and that’s what comes out of the player.”
Rolling Stone reports that beginning next year, Pono will release a line of portable players, a music-download service and digital-to-analog conversion technology intended to present songs as they first sound during studio recording sessions.
Warner, Universal and Sony have reportedly already signed on, with Warner having already converted 8,000 titles to 192kHz/24-bit sound to be compatible with the incoming music player.
The title of “Waging Heavy Peace” refers to the response that Young gave a friend who questioned whether the singer-songwriter was declaring war on Apple with his new service.
"I have consistently reached out to try to assist Apple with true audio quality, and I have even shared my high-resolution masters with them," Young writes in his book, adding that he traded emails and phone calls with Steve Jobs about Pono before the tech king's death last October.
Read more at Rolling Stone here.
Neil and Crazy Horse kick off a North American tour on Monday, October 3 in Windsor, Ontario, in sync with of the October 30 release of “Psychedelic Pill,” their second album this year.
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