‘It's about the music, real music’

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iol scitech march 11 neil ypung REUTERS File photo: Neil Young arrives at the 56th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles.

Washington - Singer-songwriter Neil Young announced plans on Monday to launch a high-definition portable music player and download service, saying it will improve the experience of listening to digital music on the go.

The Canadian-born musician, a longtime critic of the quality of digital music, said he would be launching an online store for music downloads as well as a portable player through his new company, PonoMusic.

“It's about the music, real music,” Young said in a statement.

“We want to move digital music into the 21st century and PonoMusic does that. We couldn't be more excited - not for ourselves, but for those that are moved by what music means in their lives.”

The PonoPlayer will be sold online for $399 (about R4 000) on the crowdfunding website Kickstarter later this week, the statement said.

The PonoMusic website was not operating on Monday. Young was scheduled to talk about the new service this week at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas.

“Our goal was to offer the highest quality digital music available from all the major labels and build the world's best sounding, easy-to-use portable music player,” said John Hamm, chief executive of PonoMusic.

The technology in the PonoPlayer was developed with the engineering team at Ayre Acoustics, in Boulder Colorado.

The statement did not include technical specifications.

Several companies have begun offering players and downloads of high resolution digital music which restores much of the data lost when music files are compressed into MP3 format. Some experts contend, however, that average listener may not be able to distinguish between standard and high-definition music. - Sapa-AFP

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