Funny how reality got in the way of the Pono bashing and Neil Young hating that was all over the internet in 2013-2014.
The emperor has clothes. He usually wears yellow.
- They claimed Young was trying to make us all rebuy our music in a new proprietary format. Yet Pono chose DRM-free open sourced FLAC as their file format.
- They claimed Young was a shyster and would never even ship the thing. Yet they sold out of PonoPlayers faster than they could make them.
- They claimed it was nothing more than marketing and it would sound no better than an iPhone. Yet everyone (except a few notable tech-bloggers at the top of google) is impressed with it’s sound. Read reviews from stereo hi-fi and music production types and you’ll see nothing but raves and it’s already won some industry awards in it’s first year. Hear it yourself and you’ll know.
- They claimed that hi-res titles were overpriced and no one would accept those prices for music. Yet most 24bit albums are <$20, most 16bit albums are <$15 and people are buying again, some getting an album for the 4th time in what could be a final digital format.
- They claimed that the ‘whole hi-res thing’ was a scam of upsampled files being marketed to fools. Yet Pono puts out the Pono Promise and works hard to discover the provenance of each album, buyers are educated, and the company is standing by it’s provenance by guaranteeing you free upgrades if the label raises the bar.
Reality bites. I’m sure there were more attacks I haven’t debunked here. I just wanted the record to show that no matter what happens to Pono Inc. in the long run, they delivered on their promise and more, slapping all the haters and skeptics right in the jaw. Bravo for Neil, Bravo for Pono Inc. and bravo for music.