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WE’RE LETTING MUSIC CHANGE YOU. WE’RE NOT CHANGING MUSIC.


PonoMusic takes all the musical goodness of an artist’s studio master recordings and liberates it right into your soul. Nothing is lost, but everything is gained, with resolutions up to thirty times that of an MP3, depending on just how great the recording quality of the artist's original master is. Hear and feel it all with PonoMusic.

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WE’RE LETTING MUSIC CHANGE YOU. WE’RE NOT CHANGING MUSIC.


PonoMusic takes all the musical goodness of an artist’s studio master recordings and liberates it right into your soul. Nothing is lost, but everything is gained, with resolutions up to thirty times that of an MP3, depending on just how great the recording quality of the artist's original master is. Hear and feel it all with PonoMusic.

A MESSAGE FROM OUR FOUNDER


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A MESSAGE FROM OUR FOUNDER


 

The heart of music needed a kickstart.

You stood up for sound. When you joined us on Kickstarter, you helped us give music a voice.  

 
 

Thank You

Pono means righteous. It is a Hawaiian word, the one, the pureness. On behalf of Pono, we thank you for helping us give music a voice. You have helped to set the stage for a revolution in music listening. Finally, quality enters the listening space so that we can all hear and feel what the artists created, the way they heard and felt it.

This is done when the artist makes the best available, wanting to share it with you. It happens when the artist lets you hear and feel more than what is on your CD or MP3 of any song. CDs and MP3s are derived from the original masters, and now, with the PonoPlayer, you can finally feel the master in all its glory, in its native resolution, CD quality or higher, the way the artist made it, exactly. That’s the beauty of Pono.

It’s been a long time coming. It was not easy getting this far, but you made it happen by supporting Pono’s vision for better listening. We have been working with the labels, with the artists and producers, and we will continue to do that. We go to the source to find the best and bring it to you. Pono wants to preserve the history of music, in all of its beauty and expression, for all time. Forever.

There is a way to do this right, and we are going to do it. We will be sharing how we will do this with you over the next few months, while we build your first ever PonoPlayers. We are going to do some revolutionary things. We will make music available in a way that has never been done, a way that allows for constantly attaining the best listening experience.

Thank you to the artists, the recording companies, big and small, and most of all, thanks to you music lovers for making this happen with your amazing support.

Thanks for listening,

 

Neil Young

and the PonoMusic Team

 
 
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Your Soul Rediscovers Music


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Your Soul Rediscovers Music


About


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About


Testimonials


These Music Lovers and Artists Listened to PonoMusic: Now Listen to Them.

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Testimonials


These Music Lovers and Artists Listened to PonoMusic: Now Listen to Them.

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NO MATTER WHERE YOU ARE—GET LOST


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NO MATTER WHERE YOU ARE—GET LOST


FAQ'S


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FAQ'S


 

What's the Pono promise?

 

It’s simple yet profound. The Pono promise is to offer you the highest quality digital music albums or songs in the world – at PonoMusic.com.  This is the start, the source, of a listening experience unlike any other – powerful, emotional, satisfying. And, we’ve built a portable music player unlike any other in the world to enjoy this music wherever it takes you. But PonoMusic is more than just a high-resolution music store and music player. Pono is a grassroots movement whose mission is to bring back the soul of music, which has been left behind in the evolution of convenience.   PonoMusic captures all the feeling, spirit, and emotion that the artists put in their original studio recordings.

To make this possible we’ve created an entirely new end-to-end experience, and an “ecosystem” to allow you to effortlessly manage this new world of music quality. We’ve sourced the studio master quality (digital) recordings – and we have also designed the portable PonoPlayer with a “no compromises” approach to bring that original recording back to life. Close your eyes and it feels like the music is being performed live.  Right in front of you.  You hear the nuances, the soft touches, the ends on the echo, the air in the ambiance, and the full texture. It’s only right that if your favorite artist makes that available, then you should hear what was created in the studio, exactly.

Listen to what music lovers and some of the world’s most loved artists have to say about PonoMusic at http://www.ponomusic.com/. The artist’s own words, unscripted, are as powerful and emotional as their own music.

Pono is the voice of music, the real music experience for the 21st century.  It feels good because it is good.


Why do so many musicians support PonoMusic?

 

Do you think Leonardo da Vinci would be happy if we could only see photocopies of the Mona Lisa? The community of musicians cares deeply about their art. They want their music heard and experienced the way they brought it to life with great care and commitment, in the studio. Many people feel that the best vinyl records did a great job of capturing the soul of their music, but that lossy and compressed digital formats such as mp3 just can't deliver the full emotional music experience they intended. Please see http://www.ponomusic.com/.

Many musicians you know and love have told us that they want their fans to have a choice – an opportunity to buy their music conveniently, and listen to it on portable devices, at the highest quality. This lets music lovers hear and feel the full impact of their work. We created PonoMusic to ensure the highest quality version is both available, and easy to buy and enjoy. 
 


What's a PonoPlayer and why should I buy one?

 

PonoMusic is a complete digital music ecosystem: the PonoMusic Store and the PonoPlayer together deliver stunningly clear music, the next best thing to hearing it in the recording studio. The PonoPlayer is a purpose-built device, designed by world-renowned audio engineers, to do one thing, and one thing exceedingly well - to let you hear high quality PonoMusic in its original quality for the original experience.

The PonoPlayer meaningfully improves the listening experience with any quality of headphones, speakers, or playback system. However, when using higher quality headphones and/or speakers, the PonoMusic difference is profound.  The PonoPlayer will show you, via its user interface and a special “light” (to indicate a certified PonoMusic song) exactly what quality level you are hearing - when you are hearing Pono quality, and when you are not. If the light is lit, then the music you are listening to is Pono-certified as the best available quality.   

Should you invest in a PonoPlayer?  If you want to experience your music, feel its soul, and have it run through your veins, then PonoMusic is for you. We want you to know that our Kickstarter campaign is being watched carefully by many key people in the music industry to understand the market interest in high-resolution digital music. Your Kickstarter pledge is not just a vote of support for PonoMusic.  It is also an important voice for the momentum of the PonoMusic revolution - our movement to bring back the soul of music.

The PonoPlayer was created to bring PonoMusic to a broad audience of music lovers, certainly not just audiophiles. It's a portable player that breathes life back into music, it is easy to use, and it won’t break your budget.  
 


Will I really hear the PonoMusic difference in sound quality?

 

Yes. We are confident that you will hear the difference. We're even more confident you will feel it. Everyone who’s ever heard PonoMusic will tell you that the difference is surprising and dramatic. Especially when they listen to music that they know well – their favorite music. They're amazed by how much better the music sounds – and astonished at how much detail they didn’t realize was missing compared to the original. They tell us that not only do they hear the difference; they feel it in their body, in their soul. 

Unfortunately, the way music is often listened to now, it allows us to recognize it as a song we might know, or a new song we might like, but not to hear or feel the music the way the artist created it.  When we see a low quality photograph, we can almost always figure out what we are looking at - but when we study a truly stunning photograph, with the glorious detail and color and light and focus that a talented photographer can create with a great camera, we feel that picture differently – we are almost taken to the place it was shot, and to the same degree as listening to wonderfully recorded music, we can feel like we were “there”.

The difference between “OK”, “good” and “great” is a personal assessment. We all know in our heart and soul what music is supposed to sound like – we have all heard it, in its perfect form – live. At Pono, we work every day to bring you more music to listen to, as you know it’s supposed to sound.    
 


I'm an audiophile. Explain what is so special about the PonoPlayer technology

 

The PonoPlayer was designed with a “no compromises” approach to sound quality.  We partnered with the engineering team at Ayre  (www.ayre.com) to include some of their world-class audio technology in our PonoPlayer.  The Ayre team describes their contribution to the PonoPlayer design as follows:

•    The digital filter used in the PonoPlayer has minimal phase, and no unnatural (digital sounding) pre-ringing.  All sounds made (including music) always have reflections and/or echoes after the initial sound. There is no sound in nature that has any echo or reflection before the sound, which is what conventional linear-phase digital filters do. This is one reason that digital sound has a reputation for sounding "unnatural" and harsh.

•    All circuitry is zero-feedback. Feedback can only correct an error after it has occurred, which means that it can never correct for all errors. By using proprietary ultra-linear circuitry with wide bandwidth and low output impedance, there is no need for unnatural sounding feedback.

•    The DAC (Digital-to-Analog Converter) chip being used is widely recognized in the audio and engineering community as one of the best sounding DAC chips available today.

•    The output buffer used to drive the headphones is fully discrete so that all individual parameters and circuit values and parts quality can be fully optimized for the absolute finest sound quality. The output impedance is very low so that the PonoPlayer delivers perfectly flat frequency response and wide volume range using virtually any set of headphones
 


Is PonoMusic a new audio format? What about PonoMusic quality?

 

No.  We want to be very clear that PonoMusic is not a new audio file format or standard.  It is an end-to-end ecosystem for music lovers to get access to and enjoy their favorite music in the highest resolution possible for that song or album.  The music in the PonoMusic.com store is sold and downloaded in industry standard audio file formats.  
The PonoMusic Store uses FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) audio format as its standard, for compatibility, although the PonoPlayer can play most popular high-resolution music formats from other sources.  PonoMusic has a quality spectrum, ranging from really good to really great, depending on the quality of the available master recordings: 

•    CD lossless quality recordings: 1411 kbps (44.1 kHz/16 bit) FLAC files 
•    High-resolution recordings: 2304 kbps (48 kHz/24 bit) FLAC files
•    Higher-resolution recordings: 4608 kbps (96 kHz/24 bit) FLAC files 
•    Ultra-high resolution recordings: 9216 kbps (192 kHz/24 bit) FLAC files 
 


What's the difference between PonoMusic and mp3s?

 

Generally speaking, mp3 files have a bit rate of 192kbps or 256kbps. These are highly compressed files, and are smaller in size than higher resolution music files.  The good news is that you can keep a lot of them in a small amount of storage on a portable player or mobile device.  The bad news is that they’ve lost a lot of the musical information that often reveals the most pleasant and satisfying aspects of the music – mostly it is the sense of realism, and dynamics, and detail that higher resolution recordings typically capture.

On the “low end” of higher resolution music (CD lossless, 16 bit/44.1kHz), PonoMusic files have about 6 times more musical information than a typical mp3.  With ultra-high quality resolution recordings (24 bit/192kHz), the difference between a PonoMusic digital file and an mp3 is about 30 times more data from which your player reconstructs the “song”. 
 


How much PonoMusic will be available?

 

PonoMusic is supported by all major labels and their growing catalogues of high quality digital music. We are also working with independent labels across all genres to bring a diverse selection of music to the PonoMusic.com Store.  The music industry is excited about making the amazing music they’ve curated conveniently available to music lovers everywhere in its highest available quality. 
 


How much will PonoMusic cost?

 

The record companies set their own digital music prices, label by label. High-resolution digital albums at Ponomusic.com are expected to cost between $14.99 -$24.99, and there may be exceptions.  For this price you get the best quality digital music available anywhere, you own these albums forever - they don’t live only in the cloud, but also on your computer and backup disc, and you can play them anytime you wish on your PonoPlayer or other compatible devices.  

We will also be offering many of your favorite individual songs.  We'll let you know the pricing soon.


How do you use the PonoPlayer?

 

Your PonoPlayer works in much the same way as your other portable music devices.  The PonoMusic App (for Mac or PC) provides you access to the PonoMusic Store, where you can browse, search, purchase and download high-resolution music to your computer.  You then just connect your PonoPlayer mini-USB cable to your computer's USB port in order to sync your favorite music and playlists and then you can enjoy your PonoMusic at the same quality level as the original recording from your PonoPlayer. 

The PonoPlayer has two output jacks:  one is a normal mini-stereo headphone plug, and the output is specially designed for headphones or earbuds and is meant for personal listening; the second is a stereo mini-plug analog output and is specifically designed for listening on your home audio system, in your car, or as an input to your Sonos Connect, so you can share the PonoMusic experience with your friends and family.  Keep in mind that your audio experience may vary depending on the capability of the audio system you use.
 


What are the specifications of the PonoPlayer?

 

The PonoPlayer was designed to meet or exceed the audio quality of portable devices and many home audio components:

•    It is available in yellow or black with a soft touch finish.  It weighs 4.5 ounces (128 grams) and comes in a box with:

•    A 120/240VAC adapter/charger
•    A micro USB cable for charging and syncing files from a Mac or PC
•    64GB of internal memory and a removable 64GB microSD card included (128GB total)
•    Free downloadable desktop software (for Mac and PC) with a built-in music store to browse, purchase, manage and sync Pono certified tracks as well as others
•    A user guide

•    The dimensions of the PonoPlayer are 5” (H) x 2” (W) x 1” (D)
•    It is powered by a built-in Li-Ion rechargeable battery for all-day listening (about 8 hours).

•    It has very easy-to-use controls:

•    The O button turns the player on and off.
•    The + and - buttons adjust the volume.  
•    The illuminated color touch display lets you scroll through your music by album, song, artist, ..., and play, stop, fast forward, ... 

It has a 1-year warranty and will retail for $399 at www.PonoMusic.com (Available through Kickstarter.com within the PonoMusic campaign, for a limited time, for $300)
 


How much storage does the PonoPlayer have? Is it expandable? How many songs can it hold?

 

The PonoPlayer ships with a total of 128GB. 64GB of memory is built into the player and another 64GB of memory on a removable microSD card. The expansion slot can accept microSD cards of up to 64GB or SDXC microSD cards of 128GB or higher. Unlike many other portable music players, the microSD cards are designed to be easily swappable. For example, you can build a library of various playlists or genres on different cards and simply swap them in and out, much like you'd swap game cards on a portable gaming console. So in reality you have infinite capacity on the PonoPlayer.

How many songs can it hold? That depends on the quality of your music files:

• CD lossless quality recordings (44.1 kHz/16 bit): About 5000 tracks. 
• High-resolution recordings (48 kHz/24 bit): About 3200 tracks. 
• Higher-resolution recordings (96 kHz/24 bit): About 1600 tracks. 
• Ultra-high resolution recordings (192 kHz/24 bit): About 800 tracks.

This is a LOT of high-resolution music, and we say, “the more the better”. You’ll get hooked on how good this music sounds.

 
 


Can I play digital music files I already own on my PonoPlayer?

 

Yes, you can and it will probably sound better on the PonoPlayer than you've ever heard it.  

The PonoPlayer is designed to play PonoMusic with stunning clarity.  However, the player can play almost any kind of music track including FLAC, ALAC, mp3, WAV, AIFF, AAC (unprotected).  

What this really means is the PonoPlayer can play all your digital music, and all of it will sound great. 
 


Is PonoMusic also available in streaming format?

 

Not today, but hopefully some day. 

Streaming music typically requires highly compressed music files and at this time high-resolution digital music is not well suited for streaming - it can’t yet, based on a lot of technical variables in the “network playback” chain, reliably deliver the sound quality that you deserve from your favorite artists’ finest recordings. 

 

The Company


Neil Young had the vision. Our team made it possible.

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The Company


Neil Young had the vision. Our team made it possible.

Neil Young

Neil Young is our founder and the vision, force, energy, and voice of PonoMusic.

Elliot Roberts

Elliot Roberts is our SVP of Artist Relations.  He is the legendary music manager and record executive.

Bruce Botnick

Bruce Botnick, our VP of Content Acquisition, leads our relationship with the music labels. Bruce's storied career includes producing and recording work with the Doors and the Beach Boys – as well as a partnership with film composer Jerry Goldsmith for over 100 movies. 

Rick Cohen

Rick Cohen, who is responsible for the operational side of the business, has been PonoMusic’s outside general counsel since its inception – and a special advisor to Neil for over a decade.  He is an attorney with a deep business experience, having been the Chief Executive Officer of the California Teacher’s Retirement System, which at the time was the eighth largest pension fund in the U.S., with assets over $12 billion.

Pedram Abrari 

Pedram Abrari is our EVP of Technology. He is a top executive and technology leader in Silicon Valley, with involvement at companies such as Progress, Corticon, Western Asset, and PeopleMover. He has expertise in enterprise, cloud, and mobile computing. He is a strong advocate for online social communities to promote a cause for the greater good, such as the revival of high fidelity digital music. He is also experienced in scaling a technology company from founding through successive phases of growth. Pedram is a hobbyist musician and an avid golfer.

Phil Baker

Phil Baker is our VP of Product Development & Operations. He is one of the most respected leaders in the consumer electronics space – very much in tune with trends and innovations. He’s led the development of over 80 tech products, including the Apple Newton and PowerBook laptops, e-readers, headphones, cameras, printers, appliances, and accessories such as the Stowaway keyboard. He's worked on products for Seiko, Polaroid, Barnes & Noble, Etymotic, and others. He has also authored a book on product development entitled "From Concept to Consumer," and writes a weekly newspaper technology column.

Stay Connected


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Stay Connected


The movement is just getting going. Help give it a Kickstart by pre-ordering a player. Keep up with the PonoMusic Community; follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and sign up for email updates.

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