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Pono's mission is to provide the best possible listening experience of your favorite digital music.
Pono's mission is to provide the best possible listening experience of your favorite digital music.
18,220 backers pledged $6,225,354 to help bring this project to life.

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    1. Rocky Mountain Way 6 days ago

      Download the Chrome extension Hola VPN . It tells Hdtracks that you are from the US and they are happy to take your money. As posted by Doug previously NY Hi Res is available to us all from the NY website much cheaper.

    2. Missing avatar

      TMH on April 23


      I get all that, Ever since i got my ponos I have downloaded all my music from other sites, because being in Australia NO-ONE sells me hi-res music, whether i want to pay or not, and they wonder why piracy flourishers..............

      Service may appear available, but it wont last (and i would say will fall off a cliff now Time of Death has been called)

      Don't get me wrong, I am very happy with my ponos as a player, but they wont last forever, I commented below i saw three in a japanese store last week and the owner said they had been there for years wiht no interest. This is a Beta VCR now.

      I will keep it going, but there are equally good players out there (and product of the year doesn't necessarily mean that much). I have used Astell and Kern and their sound is just as good, and my friends sony was amazing. Even my oppo HA2 Dac/Amp that attaches to my phone is awesome, and all of them are easier to use than the pono. I do love the toblerone shape and see through electronics though.

      This site is worth checking out for those geo-blocked from the hi-res stores

    3. Siltech on April 22

      You can download from many sites, transfer to micro sd card to play on Pono. Now as Doug mentioned, service appears available, if needed. It may be a little annoying getting the music on the Pono player, but the sonics are 2nd to none. Voted and named "Product Of The Year" by Stereophile. I love Sony but doubt the sonics will be anywhere Pono player. Pono and Ayre together, make Sonic Bliss, and all the nayers no it. If your not happy and think Sony is sonically better, then why not sell your player.



    4. Missing avatar

      Doug Adams on April 22

      Pono downloading still lives! From Phil Baker on the official Pono community:

      Phil Baker (PonoMusic)
      Just wanted to add a couple of comments based on some of the responses. The Xstream service includes the ability to buy hi-res downloads. And service for players continues to be available by contacting me at Thanks.

    5. Missing avatar

      TMH on April 22

      I have nothing against him for closing it all down, as some of us have said for a while it has been dead for quite some time (some may say DOA), but it is not apples fault, and his hypocrisy in jumping back into the iTunes Store and other Low res formats is breathtaking

      Apple didn't invent MP3s as suggested above. And Pono/omniPhone was so insignificant to apples operation to suggest they bought it just to eliminate the competition is crazy. They bought the tech out of insolvency as that is what tech companies do

      There is probably more credence in what the Jriver guy said, that NY trying to put lipstick on the pig. And it used to really piss me off having to reinstall the pono software every few months, but clearly that was a very strategic move on jRivers part so bravo

      I will continue to use my ponos until they die, and will buy something better. My friend just bought the new Sony player. Great machine, balanced out, solid amplification, user friendly UI and great sound. Pono was a stepping stone

    6. Missing avatar

      Herb Hesse on April 21

      tommy, tommy?

    7. Siltech on April 21

      Jerry Jerry

    8. Missing avatar

      Herb Hesse on April 21

      No PoNo For You! @siltech

    9. Siltech on April 21

      Take care Herb Hesse, or should I say JERRYYYYYYY

    10. Missing avatar

      Herb Hesse on April 21

      @sitech - uh, Fire$ale? happens all day long in Biz. Buy Low (can't get much lower than Bankrupt) sell High. You do know that is how Apple got what they got, right? by gobbling up Fire$ales......Evil Empire yes, But also wicked Mgmnt skills.
      Neil is a hippie musician. Not a businessman. sounds like PoNo was on a path to destruction all along, all by it's lonesome?

    11. Siltech on April 21

      If they went bankrupt, then why would Apple buy the assets. The logical reason, was to destroy Pono site, and protect there own. Trump and Siltech

    12. Missing avatar

      Herb Hesse on April 21

      according to Jim H (JRiver):

      Neil is leaving out parts of the story. Omnifone went bankrupt and only then did Apple buy the assets. I suspect this happened because Pono (Ivanhoe) didn't pay their bills. We always had trouble collecting for our work, and they still owe us $28,000. They may have only paid JRiver at all because the player timed out if they didn't.

      Neil is an idealist, but he is not a business person. In business, you make the calculations first, operate carefully, and pay your bills. It was irresponsible of him to continue to try to build a streaming service when he still owed people money for the past work they had done.

      Admit your mistakes, Neil, and move on. Blaming the problems on the music business is something Trump might do, but it's not something Neil Young should be doing. The music business isn't a boys choir, but they didn't cause the failure of Pono.

    13. Siltech on April 21

      We need Warren Buffett support, to take Apple down. Still, Long Live Pono. Siltech

    14. Siltech on April 21

      It shouldn't be legal for Apple to buy and close it down. Tell the World,!APPLE SUCKS. It's disgusting, what they did. It's only about Money, with Apple. I wish there was someone to take that company done. WHAT GOES AROUND, COMES AROUND. Siltech

    15. Missing avatar

      Herb Hesse on April 21

      @ Rocky Mountain Way, et al. guess that guy was spot on all along?
      Sad News, Indeed.

    16. Rocky Mountain Way on April 20

      Doug- Thanks for the post. We all knew this was coming but nothing will change for me. I have just received my new backup Pono and I am playing it in. They will become a collector's item!
      It is unclear but I presume they will stop production. Hence the backup purchase.
      Long term if the battery fails there are clips on You Tube as to how to replace it.
      I can't see a streaming source from iPad or Phone sounding better than Pono.
      As I suspected - it was Apple who closed down Omniphone - so if anyone is grumpy it should be with them - inventor of the MP3 & the great leap backwards.
      P.S. Thanks Neil. I have played more music in the last 3 years than ever before.

    17. Missing avatar

      Herb Hesse on April 20

      R. I. P. PoNo
      03~11~14 - 04~20~14

      N.Y. statement: No More Than Pretty Black "WORDS" On A White Background. No PoNo Store. No PoNo Promise. No "Version 2". No Shit!
      "I've been living the dream we had, for me it's not over".

    18. Missing avatar

      Doug Adams on April 20

      Post by Neil Young from PonoMusic site.

      Neil Young (PonoMusic)
      Neil Young (PonoMusic)
      It’s time to talk about Pono and the initiative we all started. As you know, together we’ve been fighting a battle to bring high quality music back to the world that’s become used to mediocre, hollowed-out files. The cause seemed to be a win-win for everyone. The artists would allow their fans to hear what they hear in the studios, and the music lovers would hear the music the best it could be. This cause has been something I’ve written and talked about for over 20 years. I cared and I assumed that most of the world would care.

      It’s been almost five years since we kicked off the campaign at SXSW to offer a player and download content that could fulfill my dream of bringing to you a music experience unlike any other for the cost. Thanks to our supporters on Kickstarter, the follow-on customers and some very good friends that supported the effort, we delivered on that promise. Our player won best digital portable product of the year from Stereophile Magazine, and we offered some of the best high resolution content to be found anywhere. We sold tens of thousands of players, every unit that we made. Thanks for that!

      But, despite that success, I was not satisfied. I had to put up with lots of criticism for the high cost of music delivered in the way all music should be provided, at full resolution and not hollowed out. I had no control over the pricing, but I was the one that felt the criticism, because I was the face of it. And I pretty much agreed with the criticism. Music should not be priced this way.

      Last year when Omnifone, our download store partner, was bought and shut down with no notice by Apple, we began work with another company to build the same download store. But the more we worked on it, the more we realized how difficult it would be to recreate what we had and how costly it was to run it: to deliver the Pono promise, meaning you’d never have to buy the same album again if was released at a higher quality; the ability to access just high res music, and not the same performances at lower quality, and the ability to do special sales. Each of these features was expensive to implement.

      I also realized that just bringing back the store was not enough. While there was a dedicated audience, I could not in good conscience continue to justify the higher costs. When it comes to high res, the record industry is still broken. The industry was such that even when I wanted to remaster some of the great performances from my artist friends at high res, Pono had to pay thousands of dollars for each recording, with little expectation of getting the money back. Record companies believe they should charge a premium for high res recordings and conversely, I believe all music should cost the same, regardless of the technology used.

      As you might imagine, I found it difficult to raise more money for this model: delivering quality music at a premium price to a limited audience that felt they were being taken advantage of with the high costs.

      So now, sadly with Pono gone, for more than eight months I’ve been working with our small team to look for alternatives. Finding a way to deliver the quality music without the expense and to bring it to a larger audience has been our goal.

      That effort has led to a technology developed by Orastream, a small company in Singapore that we’ve been working with. Together we created Xstream, the next generation of streaming, an adaptive streaming service that changes with available bandwidth. It is absolutely amazing because it is capable of complete high resolution playback. Unlike all other streaming services that are limited to playing at a single low or moderate resolution, Xstream plays at the highest quality your network condition allows at that moment and adapts as the network conditions change. It’s a single high resolution bit-perfect file that essentially compresses as needed to never stop playing. As a result, it always sounds better than the other streaming services and it never stops or buffers like other higher res services. When you play it at home with WiFi it can play all established low and high resolutions, including the highest, and thousands more levels of resolution in between. When you are in your car with poor cellular it might play better than an existing low res service, but at a location where robust wifi is available Xstream supports high resolution listening. Xstream is one file, streaming for all with 15,000 seamlessly changing levels of playback quality.

      So, this is what we’ve been working on. But one of my conditions is that it should not have a premium price. I’ve insisted that there be no premium price for this service. Pono tried that with downloads and it’s not a good model for customers. And I’ve told the labels it’s not a good model for them to charge a premium for music the way it was meant to be heard. I firmly believe that music is in trouble because you can’t hear it the way it is created unless you pay a premium. No one gets to hear the real deal, so the magic of music is compromised by limited technology.

      Good sounding music is not a premium. All songs should cost the same, regardless of digital resolution. Let the people decide what they want to listen to without charging them more for true quality. That way quality is not an elitist thing. If high resolution costs more, listeners will just choose the cheaper option and never hear the quality. Record companies will ultimately lose more money by not exposing the true beauty of their music to the masses. Remember, all music is created to sound great and the record labels are the one’s deciding to not offer that at the normal price. The magic of music should be presented by the stewards of that music at a normal price. Let listeners decide on the quality they want to purchase without pricing constraints.

      I’ve been meeting with and speaking with the labels, potential partners such as the carriers, and other potential investors. For many it’s a difficult sell. There are already streaming services, some doing well and others not. While there’s nothing as good as Xstream, or as flexible and adaptive, it’s still proven a difficult sell for companies to invest in.

      So, in my experience, today’s broken music industry continues to make major mistakes, but we are still trying. Bringing back the magic of great sound matters to the music of the world.

      Thank you all very much for supporting Pono and quality audio. Thanks to everyone who is or was associated with Pono, especially the customers who supported us. Thanks to Charlie Hansen and Ayre Acoustics for the great PonoPlayer. It has been a labor of love. I want you to know that I’m still trying to make the case for bringing you the best music possible, at a reasonable price, the same message we brought to you five years ago. I don’t know whether we will succeed, but it’s still as important to us as it ever was.

      Thankfully, for those of my audience who care and want to hear all the music, every recording I have ever released will soon be available in Xstream high resolution quality at my complete online archive. Check it out. We will be announcing it very soon.

      Neil Young

    19. Link on April 17

      I like your optimism Doug but the Pono is quite clearly dead. It was a flawed player from the beginning in hindsight.

    20. Missing avatar

      Doug Adams on April 16

      The battery is a flaw seen in all DAPs. For what these DAPs cost, it should be interchangeable. Haven't studied every machine out there, but not appear to have interchangeable battery. Considering the price of some of these units, that is crazy! Some units like Apple, won't work without at least a partially charged battery. Even if they are plugged into external battery or ac wall power. Not sure if the PonoPlayer will or not. Mine both work fine.

      Unfortunately I don't know of a fix for the memory problem. Except sending it in for repair.

    21. Missing avatar

      Herb Hesse on April 16

      Re: battery failure. I would not worry about that too much. you could always use an external mini usb power pack. I'd be more concerned about the internal memory failing. Then yer screwed. happened to me about a year in on an LE model. PoNo service was Johnny-On-The-Spot, w/ top notch service, quick responses to tickets and a working Tel #. No longer the case and it will get worse as replacement stock gets depleted. Haven't seen a player advertised on Fry's fer awhile now. Just checked Amazon. 1 black player in stock, Yellow players are a wish list or third party sellers. Not a good sign, UNLESS you are an eternal optimist and believe they are working on a PoNo version 2. And it will be delivered by the tooth fairy.

    22. Missing avatar

      Doug Adams on April 15

      @Robert Ryan, if you have been able to load music using PonoMusic World, you will be able to do so with JRiver Media. They are basically the same program. PMW is just a lighter version with video processing removed.

      Pono is not dead. It is all over the OraStream site. There are players that have better gui than the Pono. That was true when the PonoPlayer debuted. What the PonoPlayer has is the best sound. People have to decide if playing with and controlling gadgetry is more important than sound quality. Those that pick gadgetry/convenience, are the lazy people that let mp3 become so powerful, years ago.

    23. Missing avatar

      TMH on April 15

      He is thinking about the next thing because Pono is dead. But he will not call time of death. Other players have become cheaper (astell & Kern, fiio) with better software/GUI and Pono is old kit now. You can always add music through explorer or finder

      Be happy with what you have and use it until the battery dies. Then you will have to buy another brand. Just make sure you back up your music

    24. Missing avatar

      Robert Ryan on April 14

      It's not right that Neil Young is thinking about the next thing when there are 10's of thousands of Pono players out there who don't really have a user friendly system to work with. I don't have the technical expertise or the time to experiment with either iriver or the new Pono thing. I've decided to just stick with the songs I have on my player until (if?) something reasonable becomes available. I'm not willing to risk ruining what I have. I have about 1200 songs on my Pono and almost 300 in hi-res, so this is forcing me to be content with a not insignificant amount of music. I bought a lot of my favorite albums in high-res. Not too long before Pono World blinked out of existence I found a site call Technics Tracks that sells a lot of high-res Van Morrison not on the old Pono store or HD Tracks. So I pray that my player continues to work without issue and I just charge it in a wall outlet. I wish things were different but I love my player - the way it sounds with balanced headphones.

    25. Missing avatar

      TMH on April 14


      I checked out the ponosucks website. Harsh title but had some valid points - the most significant revelation being that the Balanced mode cannot be replaced by any other player.

      The top of the lime Sony hi-red player does balanced mode

      I finally saw a Pono in the wild (except for my two). A second hand portable store in Tokyo. Around USD 250 each, but they had been there a long time according to the guy there

      A second hand portable store in

    26. Siltech on April 13

      I'm lucky to get MP3 music with my internet speed. Ha Ha �

    27. Missing avatar

      Doug Adams on April 13

      Just noticed April 2014 is when I joined this, my first Kickstarter. Wow. 3 years.

    28. Missing avatar

      Doug Adams on April 13

      @Herb, I don't stream either. OraStream is useless with my slow internet. So it reduces file size when speed drops. That means I am no longer listening to hi res. Since my internet isn't magically going to quadruple in speed, what is the point? I can either spend an hour listening to Amused To Death in variable quality or in hi res. I don't have time for less than CD quality sound. Doubt my internet is fast enough to stream CD quality.

      The previous post is good news because Pono said the download store would re open after streaming started. We are moving closer to a re opened store.

    29. Missing avatar

      Herb Hesse on April 12

      hey doug. I don't see this as a good thing. Streaming, to me, ain't hi res. just like cd quality (16/44.1, ain't hi res). reminds me of HD FM. Never sounded any better to me, was cool to see artist info and titles scroll by on an FM receiver. seems "gimmicky" and getting further away from what I signed up for. also prob means the end of the PoNo Music Store and "The Promise".
      If Neil threw a trial period in with the cloud for backers I might give it a whirl. Excommunicated Pono forum members included, of course :)

    30. Missing avatar

      Herb Hesse on April 10

      @rocky mountain way @siltech, et al; I did not purchase the stand alone JRiver product once PoNo's version went away. And there was NO way I was going to Alpha test the PoNo vault........I found a very simple workaround to ripping cd's to better than .flac - don't laugh, I'm serious. ITunes. you can change the ripping settings to "Custom", select .wav and 48khz. yes it does take up SLIGHTLY more space than a .flac file but it is a free workaround, if you are not happy or don't otherwise want to purchase the full blown JRiver. After all, MP3's are once again good enough for Neil, so why Not avail yourself of ITunes. Some of Neil's Crappier albums might only be worth listening in MP3 @ better than hi res prices. Everything sounds better on the Pono player, Especially in balanced mode!

    31. Rocky Mountain Way on April 10

      I checked out the ponosucks website. Harsh title but had some valid points - the most significant revelation being that the Balanced mode cannot be replaced by any other player.
      As my 2 systems are both centered around the Pono, the only thing to do was buy another one, just in case they go out of production!
      Siltech - I tried WAV from a CD and compared with FLAC - I Used dbPoweramp Ripper.
      To be fair they both sounded great. It acutally shows how CD's are still valid - You can change the type of file ripped, plus there is always a second hand gem to found really cheap.

    32. Missing avatar

      Herb Hesse on April 9

      *bee(n) btw the little birdie was a "Tweet" from a friend. A good friend.
      for all you professional proof readers out there who also happen to be active Atheist, but also are in the habit of blessing people. you know who you are. you live in a house with NO MIRRORS (or ANY reflective surface) as evidenced by your selfie-avatar. "They don't think it be like it is, but it do".

    33. Missing avatar

      Herb Hesse on April 9

      For anyone who still cares, a little birdie has told me that will cease to exist on or about April 30, 2017. The mission was to keep PoNo honest, since the Forum continues to be controlled by O'Fugly and her minions, and moderated by spineless Morons.
      PoNo, for all intents and purposes, is done. No longer a point to beating a dead horse. PoNo coulda bee so much better. Sad.

    34. Siltech on April 8

      Neil Young was suppose to induct Pearl Jam into the Rock & Roll hall of fame, last night. Apparently his health wasn't up to it. He was replaced by retired tv host David Letterman.

    35. Missing avatar

      Doug Adams on April 8

      Unfortunately artists and record labels severely dynamically compress recordings. Hi res recordings have the potential to offer high fidelity from a pin drop to jet airplane taking off. But if a record label decides to make every instrument as loud as possible, that is what you get.

      Hi res guarantees the recording isn't limited by the technology. It doesn't guarantee the artist knows how to record. Also doesn't guarantee the quality of an artist's playing. Every format, including mp3, is a victim of poor recording ability, poor artistic performance, and major dynamic compression.

      Hi res means you are hearing what the artist did. Good or bad.

      @Siltech, I have started re ripping my favorite CDs directly to WAV.

    36. Siltech on April 6

      Try WAV, more data, but better. I have the new Bryson BCD-3 red book player. It uses dual AKM 4490 dacs, and most CDs sound amazing. I agree, a lot of Hi Rez downloads don't sound great. Obviously, it depends on quality of source, and your equipment. Take care Rock.

    37. Rocky Mountain Way on April 6

      I get it and yet I don't. My path has been LP to CD to Pono & FLAC. I missed out on Cassette & MP3. My 20 year old CD's I can convert to FLAC. Now as I understand it we have different grades of FLAC. This is too much for your average listener who is happy with Spotify.
      How I listen to music - Hegel amp top end - On/Off button no added anything is my view but I do appreciate that it may not suit others and my ideas may not actually be 'right' whatever that is..
      My newly purchased Hi Res NY Albums are noticeably better than FLAC from CD but a Hi Res album from The Band has been very disappointing. Loud like an MP3. I checked and found it was remastered ( for poor listening devices maybe) and the FLAC from CD actually sounds better so even Hi Res ( to me anyway) is not the total answer.
      My test is ( when my wife is out!) turn the volume right up.. If my ears hurt it is not a great recording. We tried the same music from a Phone & Pono - Wow what a difference.
      To me the better recording sounds quieter for the same volume setting- compression seems to crank up the volume.
      That's me anyway...

    38. Missing avatar

      Doug Adams on March 30

      @Siltech, I am a little confused about what you are asking? Are you saying playing music via JRiver, with computer, sounds flatter than the discontinued PonoMusic World? Or that using JRiver to rip CDs then playing those on the Pono sound worse than using PMW for ripping?

      I usually use dbPoweramp for ripping CDs. It compares your rip codes to others to verify a bit perfect file. Haven't compared that rip to a JRiver or Pono rip.

      The buggy as heck Pono Vault sounds better than JRiver or PonoMusic World when used with a computer to play files. I only downloaded the first firmware version - and it wouldn't rip CDs correctly. That may be fixed now with new version. Your ears are fine!

    39. Siltech on March 28

      Sorry, shows, not shoes

    40. Siltech on March 28

      Is there a way we can get exact original Pono version. The new River version sounds like MP3 to me. Flat, dull, emotionless. On my computer shoes flac or uncompressed WAV, as selected. It also shows same on Pono. As a audiophile, my hearing is pretty good. I'm I the only one with this issue ? Siltech

    41. Siltech on March 28

      Cd rip to flac or WAV sounds flat compared to original Pono software. I now have the paid version of River. I even redid some cd to uncompressed WAV, on same micro SD card. I'm 100% sure, sonics on paid River software, no where near the same. If this is the case, I'll try and sell Pono for something. I'm Pissed Off. SiltechIjusmmm

    42. Missing avatar

      Doug Adams on March 16

      @Rocky Mountain Way, glad the Neil Young hi res worked out for you. It is amazing how easily the record label was able to part the sea of red tape so anyone, anywhere could download music. If only music was always these prices and so easily accessible. The labels might be surprised how much more money they would make.

      Your Neil Young vinyl should sound great on the Mag-Lev.

    43. Siltech on March 15

      Rocky, cool. My Mag Lev comes in October

    44. Rocky Mountain Way on March 15

      Thank you very much for the heads up. I am a huge fan of NY and had to take this opportunity as I agree it won't last. Even though I already have them in vinyl and CD I now have 7 x NY albums in Hi Res. There's nothing obsessive about me! I am in the enviable position of now having a sound system that cannot be improved. The Hi Res is a delight to listen to. Especially really loud.
      Interesting the Warner site is available to all countries and I was able to pick NZ from a drop down menu. The files had to be unzipped after download but no problem there.
      I also have a mint copy of Everyone's Rockin on vinyl - now that is rare! I can't remember why it was mostly unplayed but will find out when my MagLev turntable arrives in October.
      Thanks again Doug. Most appreciated & best regards.

    45. Missing avatar

      Doug Adams on March 13

      @Siltech, I find that flac converted to WAV still sounds better than straight flac on my system. I will rip a WAV directly from cd and compare to the flac rip converted to WAV.

      @Rocky Mountain Way, congrats on joining the hi res train. Don't know if you are a Neil Young music fan? If so check out his Warner record website. Many of his hi res albums are on sale (24-192) for $9.99! Bought Psychedelic Pill for $12.99. Amazing prices for hi res. May be a test. Also no region restrictions. People have been buying from Europe. Check it out.

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