PonoMusic, the Hi-Res music service that will accompany the PonoPlayer portable device, has formed a partnership with long-running online music platform Omnifone.
Omnifone, which owns the cloud-based music service MusicStation (on which, among others, Sony’s Music Unlimited runs), has been stockpiling studio master quality Hi-Res Audio files since 2006, already delivers fully lossless WAV and FLAC audio to its customers, and has promised to add DSD format files in the future. So it’s already a pretty big deal when it comes to Hi-Res Audio, and the deal with Pono should only enhance its reputation.
It works both ways, of course, and Omnifone’s infrastructure and tech should also help to establish PonoMusic as one of the premier Hi-Res Audio download services.
The PonoPlayer, which launched via the third highest grossing Kickstarter and is partly the brainchild of rock legend Neil Young (who has just taken over as CEO of Pono), will arrive in the UK, US and Canada before the end of the year, alongside its music service. The player will have 128GB of memory (those Hi-Res files take up a lot of space, you see) and two sets of audio outputs: one designed for headphones and one for connecting the player to a car or home stereo. The device will be priced at $399 (R4,280), which is probably what South African audiophiles will have to pay for Pono. Plus import taxes, of course.