Tuesday, March 19, 2019 10:35

Pono? PONO! pono.

I’m a little late to the party. I hadn’t heard of Pono until reading Paul McGowan’s Righteous commentary. Paul is the CEO of PS Audio and produces daily musings, mostly dealing with music and audio.  Righteous introduced me to Pono.  It showed up yesterday.

I forwarded Paul’s comments to Bob Lefsetz. Bob is a music industry pro, commentator, and gadfly.  He sends out and posts the Lefsetz Letter, mostly dealing with music, artists, the recording industry, and technology.  Along with Paul’s Righteous observations, I included my own as follows:


Pono?  Paul McGowan says “You’ve no doubt heard of Pono.”  I hadn’t.

Apparently Neil Young’s going to try to roll his own digital music distribution service.  Apparently he figures he can do it better than Apple, Amazon, Spotify, Pandora, SiriusXM, and all that.

The way I read it, Pono is going to sell files…okay license files…that sound better than current digital distribution (files or streaming).  That’s a damn low bar of course.

But selling rights to store files on one’s own hard drive, card, what have you is starting to sound like “been there done that.”  And I’m not going to buy another damn copy of “Kind of Blue.”  I picked up the original LP while in high school, bought two CDs since then.  That’s enough.

My phone’s loaded up with MP3 stuff that I listen to in the car via the Bluetooth link.  I wouldn’t do that except that the sound quality on SiriusXM is absolutely intolerable on so many feeds…the ones I care to listen to anyway.

In the house, I flip on Pandora more than anything.  The sound quality is decent, although not consistently so.  And over time I’ve fine-tuned my list of “stations” to produce what for me is a wonderful mix that’s mostly familiar and guaranteed enjoyable but often surprising, challenging, and enlightening.

And who needs a pay service because Neil Young thinks he’s getting screwed by the usual suspects?

A new Lefsetz Letter arrived as soon as I finished typing what’s immediately above and forwarding Paul’s post. Clearly Bob Lefsetz had already been typing his Pono views and sent them out to all his readers as I was forwarding my quick thoughts to him.

Of course I had to share  Lefsetz’s Pono comments with Paul McGowan.  I included the following:
I forwarded your “Righteous” email to Bob Lefsetz and found this in my inbox seconds later.  I’d guess he was preparing his take on Pono well before I sent your piece along.


Paul’s reply:

Then he’ll absolutely love tomorrow’s.  🙂
He certainly knows how to be a grump.


Finally (for now) here’s today’s Kicking Butt from Paul McGowan.  It’s the “tomorrow’s”  that Paul referred to.

Comments welcome.

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