Justin Timberlake backing MySpace and Neil Young creating music players? What’s going on with the world? Have celebrities gone completely tech crazy? Well, it sure seems that way. Just yesterday, Neil Young stepped onto the David Letterman stage in order to pitch his new product: the Pono. Sound pretentious? It kind of is. Pono, it seems, is Hawaiian for “righteous.” What does Neil Young have to do with Hawaii? Who knows. But, the Pono player doesn’t look like anything else on the market. Reportedly, it also has great sound.
The Pono Design: Out of the Ordinary
First, forget about flat. The Pono player is triangular in shape – like a pyramid. One the front of the player is a small screen that displays basic buttons (play, pause, stop). The Pono that Young showed off on Letterman is bright yellow in color. Young didn’t say whether the Pono will come in additional colors. If you buy a Pono, you will definitely stand out. So, how’s the sound quality? For that, you’ll have to take Young’s and Red Hot Chili Pepper’s bassist, Flea’s, word.
Young told Letterman that the Pono player produced “the best sound anyone can get.” Flea has also endorsed the Pono player saying that you don’t need “…dogs ears to hear it.” It certainly sounds like the Pono player packs decent sound. There are no specs to reveal at this time, but it is clear that the Pono player will allow you to play songs that were purchased through other stores (like iTunes). However, in order to hear a song in high-definition, you will have to purchase tunes through Pono’s own music interface. Young also told Letterman that major music labels Universal, Warner, and Sony are all backing the Pono.
Will Pono Sell? Time Will Tell
Pono certainly has uniqueness going for it. It’s also a music player created by a musician. But, I’m not so certain that consumers will dig the appearance of the Pono. Most music players are small discreet things that can be slipped into a pocket. The Pono player is a much larger device that may not fit in a pocket so easily. Of course, the objective here is to give consumers a music player that actually projects good sound. If Young and team have been successful at this task, the Pono player may actually sell.
Pricing details for the Pono player haven’t been revealed yet. It seems safe to assume, however, that the Pono will be priced competitively, and maybe even a bit more than competing players. If you want to see Young and the Pono in action on the Letterman stage, make sure to check out YouTube for the video. An official release date has not yet been announced. Whether or not the world is ready for it, the Pono player will be coming to a store near you very soon. Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for a bright yellow pyramid-shaped music player – you’ll want to listen to this one!