PonoMusic teams-up with Omnifone to deliver high-res audio catalogue

PonoMusic aims to deliver "a complete music ecosystem", which includes the purpose-built PonoPlayer, the PonoMusic Media Centre desktop app, and the PonoMusic.com music store. The third most successful Kickstarter campaign of all time, having raised over $6.25 million, Pono is set to begin shipping its $399 high-res players in October.

Omnifone’s cloud music platform, MusicStation, has some 35 million tracks and claims to have the industry’s largest catalogue of high resolution audio tracks. Omnifone says it began taking master recordings from labels in 2006, and then takes care of the audio encoding in-house. Files are stored in the "highest possible quality pulse-code modulation (PCM)" format and are delivered to users as FLAC and WAV files. The company has also said it is adding new formats such as Direct-Stream Digital (DSD). Omnifone expects high-resolution digital albums to cost between $15 and $25.

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Pedram Abrari, PonoMusic SVP of Technology, said: “We’re working tirelessly to give digital music listeners the intensity, nuance and emotion originally captured in the studio. We selected Omnifone as our content delivery partner because of its unique experience in end-to-end digital audio quality and its ability to scale globally."

Jeff Hughes, Omnifone CEO, says: “We are innovators in the digital music landscape and the PonoMusic service will showcase that. Now that digital music services are becoming more mainstream, users are turning their attention to audio quality and it is fast becoming one of the deciding factors when choosing a music service. Omnifone has the platform, the passion and the knowledge to deliver it.”

The PonoPlayer promises to be "a high-resolution music player designed and engineered in a 'no-compromise' fashion". It will have a 128GB memory and a memory card slot. The player features two output jacks – a normal mini-stereo output for headphones and a stereo mini-plug analogue output. The former is intended for personal listening, while the latter has been specifically designed for a home or in-car audio system.

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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).