Neil Young's Pono to Launch in Early 2014

Neil Young's Pono to Launch in Early 2014
Neil Young has had his sights set on nuking the MP3 with his Pono format for a while. Now, it looks as if we'll be able to sample the high-quality audio service in the new year.

A message Young posted on Pono's Facebook page yesterday (September 3), suggests that PonoMusic will be launched sometime in early 2014, and we can expect some stunning results. Rather than compress the tunes digitally, as per the MP3 format, all files being offered up by Pono will be "artist-approved" master recordings that the company has been given special access to. Apparently, the files will deliver the proper studio experience, and will bring out "the soul of music."

"The simplest way to describe what we've accomplished is that we've liberated the music of the artist from the digital file and restored it to its original artistic quality — as it was in the studio. So it has primal power," Young wrote, adding rather poetically, "Hearing Pono for the first time is like that first blast of daylight when you leave a movie theater on a sun-filled day. It takes you a second to adjust. Then you enter a bright reality, of wonderfully rendered detail."

Later in the statement, Young promised that Pono will serve up their own music player, like the prototype he brought onto the Late Show with David Letterman last year, in addition to the Pono online library "with all your favorite music available in PonoMusic quality."

Firm dates have not been delivered for either aspect of Pono.