When Neil Young revealed Pono on the Letterman show, he mainly talked about how the high-fidelity music service would work. Now that Young and his team have announced an early 2014 target launch, it's looking more likely that Pono might actually happen. In a statement posted on Facebook, the team says it will launch both its online music store for high-quality audio and its player -- an updated version of the one shown on Letterman -- at the same time. Young claims the service can replicate the quality of music played in a studio, but we'll have to wait until next year to find out if it can actually deliver. Sadly, Team Pono isn't sharing other details, but we'll keep an eye out for future updates.
[Image credit: CBS]
Filed under: Misc
Source: Pono (Facebook)
Some big news for lovers of indie music with commitment issues. eMusic's CEO Adam Klein announced this morning that his service will be dumping its subscription requirement, letting customers download music from the site without being forced to buy into a monthly fee. The new model, which puts the site in line with most of its musical competition, kicks off today. There's a press release detailing the move after the break, if you're into executive quotes.
So, what were we doing? Oh yeah, blogging -- fortunately, Focus@Will understands our inability to concentrate 100 percent of the time during an eight hour day, and is now going into public beta with a music service app designed to make things better. The company says it helps productivity by perking up your limbic system at specific intervals with "scientifically and artistically curated" music that keeps you from pondering "danger, food, sex or shiny things" instead of working. You can choose from eight music categories like classical, cinematic or "alpha chill," including many new compositions created since the private beta launched in December. The company's also refined its "focus genome" algorithms since then, which help choose tunes based on user feedback in a similar manner to Pandora's Music Genome Project. If you're in the US, you can grab the cross-platform HTML5 app now at the source below, with iOS and Android apps coming soon. Still with us? Good.
We've known that it was coming for some time now, and today we have a report of an actual launch date for Microsoft's Xbox Music service. According to The Verge's sources, the rollout will coincide with the launch of Windows 8 on October 26th. What's more, the site is also reporting that the service will include a free, ad-supported option in addition to paid subscriptions -- rates for the latter leaked out last month. As expected, the service will be available on Windows Phone, Windows 8 and the Xbox 360 at launch, with iOS and Android apps said to be coming at a later date.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
Neil Young isn't shy when it comes to embracing new technology, something he put beyond question with his latest appearance on The Late show with David Letterman. The artist took the opportunity to reveal plans for his high-fidelity Pono music service. The aim is to tackle the poor quality in which he believes most people receive their music these days -- the humble MP3. Young's offering would comprise a three-pronged approach, including a music store with high-resolution recordings, a digital-to-analog style conversion technology, and portable hardware to listen to it all with. The simple intention is to offer music as it was originally intended to be heard, but at this time there's no detail as to what this actually entails (sorry specification fans).
According to Rolling Stone, the big three labels are interested, and the goal is to unify, rather than diversify, the quality of recorded content. The Pono players (that yellow wedge you see above) will serve up your existing catalog, but you'll likely need to re-buy some of your collection if you want the holistic experience. With no cards fully on the table, we're at the ransom of Young's celebrity endorsements, which all claim that the benefits are tangible. Young, of course, says "You can't get better than this, this is what they do in the studio," but until we get some details, or ears on, everybody knows this is nowhere.
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Brits who've been straining for a reason to care about Amazon's budding Cloud Player service can probably relax. It's live in the UK as of now, offering 5GB of online storage and the ability to stream 250 of your tracks (or 256Kbps matched versions) to a range of devices free of charge. Adding extra storage will cost from £6 per year for 20GB, rising to £320 p/a for a full terabyte. If you're a heavy user, though, you may also need to fork out £22 p/a for the right to stream up to 250,000 of your tracks. Paying to play music you already purchased? Indeed, further exertion may be necessary to figure out if it's all worth it, along with a glance at the detailed press release after the break.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
Spotify users in Germany no longer need a Facebook account to register for the music service, Digital Music News reports. Since Spotify buddied up with the social network last year, users across the globe have had to hand over their Facebook info to create an account and start streaming. Now Germans will have the option to create a Spotify account by providing their email address and creating a username, though the Facebook requirement holds true for all other countries. As TNW points out, that change in policy may have something to do with the fact that less than 30 percent of Germans are on Facebook, compared to more than 50 percent for Americans and Brits -- but we suspect Germany's notoriously heavy emphasis on privacy had something to do with it as well.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
Internet radio purveyors from Spotify to Rdio keep upping the ante with more playlist features and design overhauls, and the competition for your ears' attention is only getting fiercer. One of the newest players is Thefuture.fm (formerly known as Dubset), which launched last month with a focus on DJ-curated mixtapes. Today the service outed its iPhone app, which includes a "smart search" feature for finding mixes by song or artist and lets users sync their web accounts with saved playlists for listening on the go. Looking for a new online-listening destination? Head past the break for a look at the press.Permalink | | Email this | Comments