Neil Young is a perfectionist who’s grown concerned that MP3s are destroying the quality of the music he and other musicians try so hard to get right. This isn’t based on audiophile paranoia, as it’s possible to get a stereo where you can hear the difference between a properly produced CD or vinyl and a compressed, 128 MP3.
But he has a solution.
Firstly, Young spoke to Apple and Steve Jobs about creating a service with “true audio quality”, but he’s now taking firmer action: next year a new music sales and listening platform called Pono will launch. Look aside from the fact it’s called Pono, and focus on a download service with high resolution music files and portable players which will do them justice.
Young is working with the chairman of Atlantic Records, and their bosses at Warner are converting eight thousand albums for the system. We’re being assured it will make songs sound just like the bands intended.