Huh. Well, I’ve got a few thoughts here:
- it’s not exactly an ideal time to release a PMP - though I imagine Pono and its backers are well aware of that. This is clearly a technology designed to target middle-aged “audiophiles” with cash to burn and a vague understanding of (pseudo)science to back up Pono’s claims.
- I still have yet to read anything from Pono that explains why their hardware, in particular, smokes the competition. What format are they using?
- Also, will it comes with special headphones? Plugging in a pair of consumer-level earbuds, you’re not going to hear a difference, other than the inevitable placebo effect.
- The advance marketing for Pono has focused on Neil Young’s classic rock contemporaries, who have masters available that are dripping with expensive, vintage goo. How is Pono going to be relevant for music that isn’t produced under such circumstances? If artists have to actively come to Pono with special masters, then I can’t see how it’ll survive.
Basically, it looks a lot like SACD - a similarly trumpeted, aimed-at-boomers, “audiophile” technology that fell flat when people realized that selection was severely limited, the format was outdated, and it wasn’t built to evolve.
ETA: The display also appears to show no metadata. Feels pretty regressive for 2014.