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  • andy o
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Neil Young's new iPod killer!
http://www.theverge.com/2014/3/9/5488484/n...r-will-cost-399

I like the design.



I wonder why all these tech blogs don't seem to appreciate that like everything else they report on, audio is also studied scientifically.

BTW, the comments, as in all other tech blogs when hi-res is the subject, are a SIWOTI trigger.
  • Last Edit: 09 March, 2014, 08:50:11 PM by andy o

Neil Young's new iPod killer!
Reply #1
Placebophiles unite! Your wet dreams have finally come true!
Listen to the music, not the media.

Neil Young's new iPod killer!
Reply #2
IMO this player seems far more competitively-priced than most others that can't play files with ridiculously high sampling rates.

128 Gb of onboard flash storage is almost unprecedented...especially at this price-point. Furthermore if PonoMusic dot com can deliver on getting all the majors to offer a decent selection (as opposed to a ghost town like HDtracks) perhaps the audiophoolery could persuade the music industry to stop making productions sound so bad. IOW: if making the music really sound better (like they do for some SACDs and a few vinyl releases) is a consequence of offering music at 24/96 or whatever then count me in. Not only do I have the HDD-space to store it but I also have the software to resample and dither it to portable and sufficient standards like Redbook or a decent lossy encode.

You know what would be funny? ..if this new player had to have some proprietary software (like iTunes) to sync it and it sent usage-reports to the devs telling them that most people who bought it were mostly playing their MP3s on it. I would indeed "lol" haha.
The Loudness War is over. Now it's a hopeless occupation.

  • andy o
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Neil Young's new iPod killer!
Reply #3
IMO this player seems far more competitively-priced than most others that can't play files with ridiculously high sampling rates.

128 Gb of onboard flash storage is almost unprecedented...especially at this price-point.

I agree about the 128GB flash storage, though I'm not sure about the price. Take a look at that tiny screen for example, it doesn't exactly look like they went premium on stuff that's not audio-related, even if that.

Quote
Furthermore if PonoMusic dot com can deliver on getting all the majors to offer a decent selection (as opposed to a ghost town like HDtracks) perhaps the audiophoolery could persuade the music industry to stop making productions sound so bad. IOW: if making the music really sound better (like they do for some SACDs and a few vinyl releases) is a consequence of offering music at 24/96 or whatever then count me in.


I think before going too far with these questions, does Young's music production sound good? Not rhetorical, I'm not into his music, I don't know.
  • Last Edit: 10 March, 2014, 12:18:15 AM by andy o

Neil Young's new iPod killer!
Reply #4
...
I think before going too far with these questions, does Young's music production sound good? Not rhetorical, I'm not into his music, I don't know.


I don't know either. Last song I remember hearing from him was Keep On Rocking in the Free World TBH.

I'm speculating but I don't think any of it would depend on his hearing or personal production choices. The few blurbs I've read from him about his audio-related stuff seems to indicate he really doesn't know what he's talking about either.

Edit: now that I think about it you're probably right: the value really isn't so great considering the UI. This SONY that I was ripping on in another thread, though priced a bit higher, runs Android.
  • Last Edit: 10 March, 2014, 12:25:29 AM by Engelsstaub
The Loudness War is over. Now it's a hopeless occupation.

  • andy o
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Neil Young's new iPod killer!
Reply #5
This SONY that I was ripping on in another thread, though priced a bit higher, runs Android.

Man this is hilarious

Image

I'd pay up to like $250 for that player though.
  • Last Edit: 10 March, 2014, 01:15:17 AM by andy o

Neil Young's new iPod killer!
Reply #6
This SONY that I was ripping on in another thread, though priced a bit higher, runs Android.

Man this is hilarious

Image

I'd pay up to like $250 for that player though.


I'm just really relieved that they thought to support ATRAC. 

...but seriously, it does look really nice.  I don't think it's "£549-nice" either.
The Loudness War is over. Now it's a hopeless occupation.

Neil Young's new iPod killer!
Reply #7
Few tech specs are out. What is there to discuss? You guys get off on the prospect of another placebophile audio device? Sorry to break it to ýou, but overpriced gadgets are a dime a dozen.

EDIT: the pic in the original post and the subject title suggest this thread is meant to be nothing but a rant.
  • Last Edit: 10 March, 2014, 03:05:45 AM by whitewidow

Neil Young's new iPod killer!
Reply #8
...What is there to discuss? You guys get off on the prospect of another placebophile audio device?
...


Yes.

I was thinking "Audio Hardware" was the place to discuss dime-a-dozen gadgets, overpriced or not. Even if this thread was meant to be a rant it's not outside the TOS. We're discussing audio hardware, Ray of Sunshine 
The Loudness War is over. Now it's a hopeless occupation.

  • andy o
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Neil Young's new iPod killer!
Reply #9
Missing the point, rant or not. The "tech specs" aren't the main subject, but the claims behind the device. Young has been beating this drum for what, years now?

  • 2Bdecided
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Neil Young's new iPod killer!
Reply #10
Furthermore if PonoMusic dot com can deliver on getting all the majors to offer a decent selection (as opposed to a ghost town like HDtracks) perhaps the audiophoolery could persuade the music industry to stop making productions sound so bad. IOW: if making the music really sound better (like they do for some SACDs and a few vinyl releases) is a consequence of offering music at 24/96 or whatever then count me in. Not only do I have the HDD-space to store it but I also have the software to resample and dither it to portable and sufficient standards like Redbook or a decent lossy encode.
Well, exactly, so who needs a new player?

I guess they could get Toblerone to sponsor it. It makes these...
http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....st&p=860002
...seem quite sensible in comparison.


Tell me, does the next paragraph make me sound like a really grumpy old man?

In a recording studio, someone creates a 24/96 version. That's the master format. They will let me download this for, say, £25. Then they take this master format, ruin it with over-use of dynamic range compression, convert it down to 16/44.1, create a CD master, press some CDs, and will post one of these to my door for £5. What do I "gain" from paying 5x as much? I'm paying them to deliver extra data that I don't want or need. I'm paying them to not deliver a physical item. I'm paying them to not do things. The only useful thing, though it's perverse, is I'm paying them not to ruin the sound with excessive dynamic range compression. It's like paying a chef extra not to sh1t in your food. Forgive me if I don't feel like this is a fantastic deal.

If you could buy a decent downconversion at the same price as a normal CD, that would be fine. Whether that would hurt their business model, or not, I don't know. In a rational world it would kill it, but I don't think the target audience is rational, so maybe it'll happen.

Cheers,
David.

  • skamp
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Neil Young's new iPod killer!
Reply #11
I guess they could get Toblerone to sponsor it.


See my profile for measurements, tools and recommendations.

  • Porcus
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Neil Young's new iPod killer!
Reply #12
if making the music really sound better (like they do for some SACDs and a few vinyl releases) is a consequence of offering music at 24/96 or whatever then count me in.


Me as well. If for once they deliver better sound because they think they have to in order to sell - i.e., offering us less destroyed masters - and the side effect is that they fool nearly all their customers into thinking the difference is in the hi-rez, then the scientist in me will spend five minutes cursing the audiophoolery and the music lover in me will spend the rest of the day blissful.

Neil Young's new iPod killer!
Reply #13
Fingers crossed that happens (ie, masters finally improve) it would be a side effect as welcome as the one that has been happening to blu-ray releases: they've finally started to wake up to the fact that the higher resolution would deem flaws more obvious than during the DVD era and started to yield better scans (specially for old releases) than ever before.
Listen to the music, not the media.

  • julf
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Neil Young's new iPod killer!
Reply #14
the fact that the higher resolution would deem flaws more obvious


TOS #8?


  • 2Bdecided
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Neil Young's new iPod killer!
Reply #15
the fact that the higher resolution would deem flaws more obvious


TOS #8?
He was quite clearly talking about video. I don't think we need to ABX HD against SD.

  • andy o
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Neil Young's new iPod killer!
Reply #16
I  think the problem is that with audio the higher res doesn't make "flaws" more obvious. The only ones complaining about the "flaws" that hi-res would "solve" are the "audiophiles. (<--I ran out of scare quotes.)

  • Hotsoup
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Neil Young's new iPod killer!
Reply #17
the fact that the higher resolution would deem flaws more obvious
TOS #8?
I assumed that meant when and if the hi-rez purchaser realizes, "hey, this sounds just like the [overly compressed, clipping] CD version I had". Only more expensive with little-to-no resale value.
  • Last Edit: 10 March, 2014, 12:12:40 PM by Hotsoup

  • 2Bdecided
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Neil Young's new iPod killer!
Reply #18
I  think the problem is that with audio the higher res doesn't make "flaws" more obvious.
True, but reading the post carefully I don't think includemeout went that far. If he meant that, then julf is right.


  • Kohlrabi
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Neil Young's new iPod killer!
Reply #19
Tell me, does the next paragraph make me sound like a really grumpy old man?

In a recording studio, someone creates a 24/96 version. That's the master format. They will let me download this for, say, £25. Then they take this master format, ruin it with over-use of dynamic range compression, convert it down to 16/44.1, create a CD master, press some CDs, and will post one of these to my door for £5. What do I "gain" from paying 5x as much? I'm paying them to deliver extra data that I don't want or need. I'm paying them to not deliver a physical item. I'm paying them to not do things. The only useful thing, though it's perverse, is I'm paying them not to ruin the sound with excessive dynamic range compression. It's like paying a chef extra not to sh1t in your food. Forgive me if I don't feel like this is a fantastic deal.


It's only audiophile if it's inconvenient.

  • julf
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Neil Young's new iPod killer!
Reply #20
True, but reading the post carefully I don't think includemeout went that far. If he meant that, then julf is right.


I am happy to be wrong and let includemeout have the benefit of doubt.

  • 4season
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Neil Young's new iPod killer!
Reply #21
Placebophiles unite! Your wet dreams have finally come true!


Is it a placebo if it winds up bench-testing better, even if the differences are far beyond the limits of anyone's hearing? I'd argue that it might be a waste of money and storage space, but not necessarily a placebo.

But having said that, I did spectral analysis (in Audacity) of my 24/96 HD Tracks music files, and even there, most of the action happens below 10 kHz. What little that I see beyond 20 kHz is both so low (-70 dB or so) and isolated that I wonder if it's just random artifacts that really should be filtered out.

  • Kohlrabi
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Neil Young's new iPod killer!
Reply #22
Is it a placebo if it winds up bench-testing better, even if the differences are far beyond the limits of anyone's hearing? I'd argue that it might be a waste of money and storage space, but not necessarily a placebo.
If the signal cannot be resolved by the human senses, then there will be no effect on the brain due to the stimulus. If the listener still hears a difference based on the fact he believes the new format is superior, this can only be due to the placebo effect. Just because something is measurable doesn't mean it has any effect on our senses or brain.
  • Last Edit: 10 March, 2014, 03:01:56 PM by Kohlrabi
It's only audiophile if it's inconvenient.

Neil Young's new iPod killer!
Reply #23
Yes, it was an analogy and I was referring to video when mentioning resolution, not audio.

For the latter, I do stand by my first statement: IMO, its apparently excellent specifications apart, pono is just another club meant to be appropriated by placebophiles/audiophools/well-off, sad middle-aged men to go on flogging lossy encoding (I bet they secretly hope maybe to death, this time around) and carry on playing down proven scientific methods (ie, ABX testing) which would just point out how wrong their perspective is -even more so if we consider the not-so-ideal circumstances such a DAP is meant to be used under.



Listen to the music, not the media.

Neil Young's new iPod killer!
Reply #24
Oh, and under this same analogy, my sincere hope (or maybe just a pipe dream ) is that the penny finally drops for the likes of Rick Rubin etcetera, and they finally stop this nonsensical loudness war, for starters (Flea, as a fierce advocate of Pono, could grow the balls to tip him off, perhaps?). As unlike 35, 70mm negatives of yesteryear, and as we all know, albums like his for instance, were already doomed from the production stage - so the analogy would only work if they started it over again - assuming the industry finally embraces this "audiophile"* culture. (*this which IMO is the good definition of the word, not the stereotypical one)
  • Last Edit: 10 March, 2014, 04:56:20 PM by includemeout
Listen to the music, not the media.