We’ve been hearing about Neil Young’s high-quality audio player Pono since last September, when he compared the listening experience to “that first blast of daylight when you leave a movie theater.” Around Grammy time, news broke that Pono would launch in March, and on cue, hand-held PonoPlayers will be available for pre-order through Kickstarter starting 3/15. Explains a press release:
PonoMusic encompasses both an online music store (PonoMusic.com) and a playback device (The PonoPlayer). The PonoPlayer is a digital-music experience unlike any other, offering the finest quality, highest-resolution digital music from both major labels and prominent independent labels, curated and archived for discriminating PonoMusic customers. The PonoMusic desktop media management application allows customers to download, manage and sync their music to their PonoPlayer and other high-resolution digital music devices.
The release also explains that PonoPlayers will sell for $399 MSRP but will sell at a discount through Kickstarter. Each device holds 128GB of memory and can store 1,000 to 2,000 high-resolution digital music albums. Memory cards can be used to store and play different playlists and additional collections of music. No word yet on when the devices will be on sale outside of Kickstarter or when the service goes live. In the meantime, you can sign up for more info at PonoMusic.com, where they’ll also be selling Pono-specified headphones and earbuds. Young will unveil the PonoPlayer Tuesday at SXSW.