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Rockin' in the MP3 world: Neil Young is trying to make his own gadget

Neil Young wants to make an app, which he pitched at SXSW, that will play higher resolution audio files than the compressed ones in most MP3 players.

Neil Young went to SXSW to pitch his new PonoPlayer. Credit: Getty Images Neil Young went to SXSW to pitch his new digital music player, PonoPlayer.
Credit: Getty Images

It’s no secret that, comparatively speaking, the music we listen to kind of sounds like crap nowadays. I don’t mean the songs themselves (although, there is Bieber.) I mean the signal. The convenience of having thousands of tunes in our pocket at all times comes at a price, namely the files are compressed to hell and back in order to save HD space. Well, Neil Young of all people is offering up an elegant solution to this modern problem.

The songwriter, who is generally considered one of the world’s greats, took to the stage at last week’s SXSW festival in Austin, Texas to unveil the PonoPlayer. This yellow, Toblerone-shaped contraption is essentially an iPod that plays ultra HD audio, running files at an extreme 96 kHz/24 bit and higher. Audiophiles rejoice.

Neil Young and partners are funding the idea via the only way possible for one of the universe’s most successful rock stars, Kickstarter. It raised over $3 million bucks in a two days.

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Follow Lawrence Bonk on Twitter @sidescrollers

 
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