Are our ears ready for Neil Youngs PONO?

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Just one of the many "out there" ideas to spring forth from the creative factory known as Neil Young's brain, Pono Music has recently made headlines for it's record-breaking Kickstarter campaign.

Pono (Hawaiian for "righteousness") is Neil's new audio project which is bringing the music world a serious alternative to ITunes and the IPod.

While Neil is fond of many of the technological breakthroughs of the 21st century, the one bone he has to pick is with the decline of home audio quality post 1980.

Beginning with compact discs, the pure, warm sound of vinyl was compressed to be able to fit a whole album onto one side of a small disc.

Then, by 2001, with the advent of iTunes and the iPod, the music was once again compressed to be able to shrink down the audio files so drastically that the user could walk around with the equivalent of hundreds of albums all in his or her pocket.

The most interesting part of this situation is that at the same time the audio quality was declining, so was the business of selling music to the masses.

Neil believes strongly that this is no coincidence, and he is willing to see if the Pono Music system could be the game-changer to bring back the sales of music while it expands the audio quality of an mp3 by leaps and bounds.

Is the world ready for Pono or is this only of interest to audiophiles? Is springing a more expensive, less user-friendly format of audio on the world alienate music listeners who have finally gotten used to the world of iTunes, iPods and Apple in general? Visit the Pono Music page on Kickstarter and see if this is truly where "your soul rediscovers music."

Photo courtesy of Pono Music Team Kickstarter