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Neil Young Kickstarts Pono

On Tuesday, Neil Young took another step towards making Pono, his new high-resolution digital music service and player, a reality by launching a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the upcoming service. And after only 10 hours, Pono Music had already reached it's goal of $800,000.

Pono's Kickstarter campaign launched Tuesday afternoon, seeking to raise $800,000 by April 15th, and promising prizes like a "VIP Dinner & Listening Party With Neil Young" and 500 limited edition Pono players being awarded to the highest contributors. By 11:00 p.m. est, Pono had already surpassed it's goal, and was closing in on $900,000. According to Kickstarter rules, the campaign gets to keep all extra money it raises.

On Pono's Kickstarter page, you'll find a star-studded video featuring David Crosby, Norah Jones, Eddie Vedder, Rick Rubin, Duane Eddy, Tom Petty, Sting, Jack White, Flea, James Taylor, Dave Grohl, Elvis Costello, Mike D., Elton John, Bruce Springsteen and many others giving glowing testimonials of Pono's unmatched superior sound quality. As Young says in the video, "Pono is about the music. It's about the people who make the music and the way it sounds to us when we're in the studio making it. It's about you hearing what we hear."

Further in the video, Young introduces his idea of "underwater listening," stating that listening to a standard MP3 is comparable to listening to music 1,000 feet underwater, and listening to a CD is comparable to listening at 200 feet below the surface. With Pono, the listener hears music at 192 kHz with 24-bit sound, which delivers a much richer and fuller sound.

It hasn't been announced as to exactly when Pono will officially launch, but some details have been released. The Pono player will cost $399 and have 128 gigabytes of memory, which should hold 1,000 to 2,000 high-resolution songs, depending on the length of the songs. The player is compatible with memory cards, which hold more songs and playlists.

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