questionshas anyone else checked out the new music player…

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PS. I am a music lover, not particularly tech savvy. I read what they wrote to explain it. Any of the many techperts here able to explain and decipher it further ? Thanks.

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First off, it's a TERRIBLE NAME. It looks like the name is just missing an R in the first half and is something to play adult content. It also looks a bit (a lot) like a Toblerone.
But really, it's an expensive FLAC player claiming to have a particularly good digital to analogue converter.
Is it worth spending $400 on? Probably not. Are people going to buy them? Some will (and clearly there are a lot of Kickstarter pre-orders). Will they then want to spend $15-25/album to purchase these special high-density audio files? Not sure.
Interestingly, the device has 64GB internal storage, and comes with 64GB additional SD storage that can be replaced. This makes managing music slightly more complex, especially if you plan to swap several SD cards as suggested by the Pono site. I do find it shocking that they would build in separate headphone and audio-out jacks, yet offer no digital audio out.
Honestly, you are probably better off grabbing a 160GB iPod Classic MSRP $249 (or a Sansa).
-=C=-

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@curtise: They say right in their write up they took the design from Tobler chocolate bar ! I actually like the shape.

I was really disappointed in the lack of bluetooth. My non tech brain thinks that is what you meant by no digital out ?

Can you please explain a FLAC file vs other types of music files ? And why this will or won't make a difference w/ music sound? Thank you.

Personally, I doubt they needed any Kickstart donations to get their product going. I don't see the artist listed exactly incapable of investing or having trouble with a loan. I think it is a smart clever way to promote a new product though. Kickstarter has become so trendy that it now becomes more marketing than true crowdsourcing . In some cases anyways.

Even if it does what it says it does. It still lacks the visceral experience of vinyl.
It's a wait and see for me.
I'm not really enough of a fan to pay for the special musician versions. I am curious as to what music of theirs they chose to include !

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Cool video. This left me with a couple of questions:

1. If the sound is so good, why not have a sample player available with even a short clip to give us the same apparently overwhelming audio experience all the rock stars got to have? I know they probably want to control the playback environment and all that, but still.

2. If this takes over the digital music distribution "ecosystem" (their word) as a donor do I get a cut of the profits? If not then why am I donating to a project that is being launched by people who are financially able to fund it themselves?

3. They admit that there is little possibility of widespread streaming of music in the new format, but streaming is one of the only music formats that grew last year. Are they developing a product without a market? An expensive player with limited storage that uses huge file sizes seems at odds with people's growing desire and expectation to have easy access to anything they want, anywhere they want it.

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One of the biggest immediate questions I would have is about storage. FLAC files are H-U-G-E. I download a lot of live music and the sites I use go for quality and are almost exclusively FLAC.

I just checked a few of my files and most of them are 44/24 and run about 10MB per minute of audio. This is the second lowest quality they use.

That would mean at best assuming a 4 minute average per song you'll get 25 tracks per GB. I suspect this is on the low side as it is. They say the low end has 6 times more data than MP3 and the high end has 30 times. So assume the high end has maybe 5 times more data than my sample, that means 50MB per minute or 20 minutes per GB.

While that's a fair bit, that really means maybe a dozen CDs loaded at once. Will people want to constantly keep shuffling music on and off their player? I know I don't.

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@bingo969: Not to mention the transfer rates on SD cards are limited. So if you can't load more than 12-15 albums at once, they'll likely want to change it out every week or so. I hope you didn't have plans Saturday night.

I still can't understand why Neil Young needs financial backing from average Joes. Sure his career has treated him better than that.

And the shape of this player makes carrying in your pocket awkward.

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@capguncowboy: "I still can't understand why Neil Young needs financial backing from average Joes. Sure his career has treated him better than that."

He doesn't. It's all marketing strategy imo. Kickstarter is trendy. They know it may not be a mainstream item. Go for the trend seekers and make them feel they are apart of the whole thing. Smart play on Neil and Co actually. Look at all the people who gave them $5 just to be thanked. Those people will create buzz. Those donors paid to do advertising for Neil. Then with all the kickstarter "donations" and "rewards" {aka early orders} they get some free media to go with it.

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@ceagee: The shape makes it cute but impractical for most pockets.
When I mentioned digital output, I was referring to the combo analog/digital 1/8" jacks found on devices such as the AirPort Express or all the Apple laptops that you are expecting to plug into a sound system. Use a standard audio cable and it outputs analog, but plug in the digital cable and it sends pure digital audio out over fibre optics. I guess I just expected that a device that bothers to have two separate jacks (one for headphone and one for line out presumably) would offer digital line out at least.
Bluetooth Audio is a whole different story. Audio over Bluetooth is compressed and lower quality by default, so it's not ideal for an audiophile's device. Audio over WiFi, however, like Apple's AirPlay (which brings us back to the AirPort Express and the combo digital port) allows for full quality uncompressed digital audio to be streamed.
FLAC is simply one of the existing lossless compressed audio formats.
-=C=-

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@curtise: Thank you for taking the time to explain. I understand better.
I think they have a lot of bugs to work out. I will sit back and watch.