Neil Young’s PonoMusic And PonoPlayer To Bring Audiophile-Quality Music To The Masses On Kickstarter Soon

What's a man to do after a thrilling career in music? Invent an MP3 player is an unlikely guess, but it's the winning selection in today's Q&A. Neil Young is a name well recognized around the music universe, and at SXSW this week, he is introducing the PonoMusic streaming store as well as the $399 PonoPlayer. Aside from being awkwardly named, the entire notion feels around 10 years behind the times. We're well beyond the concept of a dedicated music player; Apple doesn't even cite iPod sales in its quarterly reports now given that the iPhone and iPad have taken over where the dedicated iPod once ruled.

Seemingly built for audiophiles, the PonoPlayer has 128GB of storage and it supports memory cards, though the design leaves a bit to be desired. Plus, how on Earth will anyone be convinced to tote around a dedicated MP3 player? Thousands of options very similar to this already exist. On the streaming front, even more good fortune will be needed, as we've seen services such as Napster and Rhapsody struggle to compete with the giants of iTunes and Spotify.

The PonoPlayer should launch on Kickstarter soon, and Neil may very well raise enough based on name recognition alone. Such is the benefit of only needing funding to serve a niche, but it's going to be a tough sell for many who have become quite fond of simply using their phone as their music player.