Neil Young wants to change your digital music listening experience, and now he has the money to do it.
The rock legend and founder of Pono Music (“Pono” is Hawaiian for righteous) shattered his new music player’s Kickstarter crowdfunding goal in all of one day. Young needed $800,000 to fund his April 15 project; at the time of this writing, Pono Music’s Kickstarter had amassed nearly $1.5 million. It still has 34 days to go.
“Pono is about the music, it’s about the people who make the music, and the way it sounds to us when we’re in the studio making it,” Young said in a near-12 minute promo video, embedded below. “It’s about you hearing what we hear.”
In the clip, Young refers to his new technology as a “music ecosystem,” and the “Rockin’ in the Free World” singer utilizes an underwater-to-surface ocean graphic to explain the differences between his player and the competition.
Most people listen to MP3s, which compresses files to the point of what the rocker calls “underwater listening.” CD listening does not give as deep an underwater sound, Young says, but is still “not quite in air.”
“When you make it to 192[kHz], you actually break through the surface and you’re breathing air,” Young says of his format. “It’s actually a visceral release and you feel good, your body feels good.”
Young was not the only music legend touting the sound quality in the promo. Sting, Bruce Springsteen, Kid Rock, Dave Grohl, T Bone Burnett, Rick Rubin, Eddie Vedder, and many more also weighed in. The list — and clip — goes on for a while.
Watch the video: