Neil Young's Pono high resolution music service to launch "early 2014"

Neil Young has confirmed that his new high resolution music service, called Pono, is on track to launch in "early 2014".

In a post on the Pono Facebook page, Neil Young – speaking for "PonoMusic" – confirmed the planned launch of a Pono portable music player and an online library of tracks in "PonoMusic quality".

We broke the news back in June that Meridian was working on the Pono project and Young reiterated that "our brilliant partners at Meridian [were working] to unlock the richness of the artist's music".

We first heard of Pono back in 2012, with Young himself showing off a yellow portable music player, purporting to be the Pono music player that would "save the sound of music". In this latest post, Young says the service will launch with an updated model of that music player.

Back then, Pono was said to have the support of Sony Music, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group, and there's no denying Young is bullish about the sound quality.

"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."

He goes on to say that, "so many musicians are behind PonoMusic – this is important work that honors their art. This is the way they wanted you to hear their music."

More updates are promised ahead of the 2014 release of the Pono music service and player.

The news comes during a period of heightened interest in hi-res audio from big consumer electronics companies, with the LG G2 and Samsung Galaxy Note 3 phones both supporting HD audio, as well as the new Sony Walkman F886 music player.

There has also been a complete range of Sony hi-res audio products launched at IFA in Berlin.

by Joe Cox

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Joe Cox
Content Director

Joe is Content Director for T3 and What Hi-Fi?, having previously been the Global Editor-in-Chief of What Hi-Fi?. He has worked on What Hi-Fi? across the print magazine and website for more than 15 years, writing news, reviews and features on everything from turntables to TVs, headphones to hi-fi separates. He has covered product launch events across the world, from Apple to Technics, Sony and Samsung; reported from CES, the Bristol Show, and Munich High End for many years; and written for sites such as the BBC, Stuff, and the Guardian. In his spare time, he enjoys expanding his vinyl collection and cycling (not at the same time).