You would think that getting a portable media player project off the ground, even on Kickstarter, would be a tough proposition in a world where every smartphone is capable of carrying most of a music library. You’d also be wrong, as a new project backed by singer Neil Young has proved.
The Pono media player, which aims to “…provide the best possible listening experience of your favorite music”, is designed to play back the “highest resolution digital music available” (up to 9216 kbps (192 kHz/24 bit) FLAC files , apparently), according to the Kickstarter pitch page. And audiophiles certainly seem keen on the device.
The recently-launched campaign hit its target of $800,000 within 24 hours and has since passed the $1 million mark, creeping up on $1.1 million with a further 34 days for the campaign to run.
There are a series of pledging tiers for the media player, including a collection of artist signature Pono media players, available. The tier that ships with Neil Young’s signature laser engraved into the triangular music device has already been filled up, while there are a whole lot of other options (at the $400 price point) to choose from. There’s also the option to get your hands on a Pono for $300, which is cheaper than buying them at retail after the Kickstarter is over.
The Pono is expected to cost $399 (R4,370) when it goes on sale after October this year.