Big name stars help promote new device
Edward Keeble
10:29 12th March 2014

Neil Young has called on some of his high profile mates to help with the promo drive for new MP3 platform Pono - but tech experts aren't convinced on the new device.

The newly designed MP3 player and platform designed by Young enables users to compile high quality MP3's on a new device. The Pono can hold up to 200 high quality albums and is aimed at the more discerning music listener who expects a higher bitrate from their music collection. It is funded through Kickstarter and is currently taking pre-orders through the site.

In order to help get the word about the new player out, Young has brought in a bunch of his famous friends to provide testimonials. Bruce Springsteen, Eddie Vedder, Tom Petty, James Taylor, Sting and many more have stated that the quality of sound the player emits is equivalent to what can be heard in the studio.

 Check out a review of the new Pono device below

"It’s about the people who make the music and the way it sounds to us when we’re in the studio making it," says Young. "It’s about you hearing what we hear. And that hasn’t happened in a long time."

"I want to bring back real music," he continues. "That’s why we’re on Kickstarter. So that everyone who loves music can share in the release of Pono and the launch of the real music experience in the 21st century."

However the Pono has met with some resistance in the Tech industry due to its lofty claims, with some sites claiming that a high resolution isn't the answer to audio fidelity. The solution is to advocate for a return to CD-quality audio, not for the absurdly high-rate audio proposed by Young and others," writes Gizmodo.

Below: 13 ways to change how you experience music in 2014

  • Buy more singles to truly appreciate B-sides: Yup, the greatest bands tend to have the best B-sides. These hidden gems paint a secret history and often a more experimental side to your favourite artists that's constantly bubbling beneath the surface. Sometimes they're a sign of their future direction, others they're just a spot of throwaway fun. Either way, make sure you pick up more 7"s or download the flipside to singles more in 2014.

  • Spend more time in charity shops: Of course, you could order something specific online or head down to a record store - but those true musical treasures can often be found in a charity shop, just waiting to be found and loved. Plus, they're always dirt cheap. (DISCLAIMER: Meeting Iggy Pop not guaranteed)

  • Listen to more podcasts: Podcasts are a comforting and inclusive way to both be introduced to the best new sounds and to gain a deeper insight into the artists you love - and best of all, THEY'RE FREE! Our tips for the best podcasts are Low Times, The Nerdist and WTF With Marc Maron (pictured, who has in-depth conversations with the likes of Josh Homme, Thom Yorke, Nick Cave and many others from the world of film, comedy and beyond)

  • Buy a record player: If you haven't already, then make sure that 2014 is the year that you pick up something to listen to vinyl on. A record LP is the best way to digest the entire of an album, and the vinyl revival is righteously in full swing. They're not expensive and there are models on Amazon for thirty to forty quid.

  • Listen to more digital radio: Sure, the mainstream radio stations that have been with us for years do a fine job of presenting us with new and more obscure music - but the myriad of choice that comes with digital radio has literally created countless, more exciting channels into the world of music. Pretty much everything on BBC 6 Music is awesome, but you should also check out WFMU, Soma FM, NTS, Absolute, and loads, loads more.

  • Mix-tape exchange roulette: That's right - cassettes can still be found in shops as well as fossils and museums. Why not make the most of that fact by indulging a little mix-tape exchange? Put a whole lot of care and good taste into your selection and maybe even design your own artwork. Record stores up and down the country have days where you can exchange these anonymously, or you could do it with a group of friends. Don't include the tracklist, take a gamble and treat your ears to a true surprise.

  • Get some premium streaming software: No, digital music isn't the enemy. While you can't beat a good slab of vinyl, there's also a lot to be said for a universe of ad-free music being at your fingertips for a small fee. Get it done.

  • Get to gigs as early as possible: Because the support band just might be your new favourite band. For instance, those heading to see Foals on their upcoming UK tour may be lucky enough to see first openers That Fucking Tank (they're pictured here - and are an utterly awesome noise-rock duo from the North).

  • Get yourself some free DJ mix software: You don't have to be a maestro or the next Ibiza superstar to enjoy a little bid of bedroom mixing. Software can be free and mixing can be done on your computer and you can do it purely for your own enjoyment or just to make some playful mixes for friends. Why not?

  • Go see as many unsigned and unknown bands at possible: Even if you know nothing about them or you're going utterly at random, a night of new and unsigned or new music is one of the best things a real music lover can do. It supports your local scene, keeps small venues alive, opens your mind to a world of fresh and awesome sounds, and it's really fun. Pictured are Nottingham noise-botherers Grey Hairs, who you should definitely go see in 2014 if you can.

  • Download Songkick: This creates a personalised gig calendar based on your music library, so you've no excuse for missing the best tours.

  • Get some decent headphones: An insultingly simple way to make music sound infinitely better, and they don't have to cost the Earth.

  • Spend as much time on Soundcloud as possible: The best new mixes and tracks, direct from the bands and labels themselves. No brainer. However, prepare to lose weeks of your life.


Photo: Press