I've read a lot about Neil Young's Pono recently, and it never really grabbed my attention. I've got a pretty standard music listening routine down: dig around a bit, and discover new music on the fabulous Rdio, buy copies of what I like and will listen to a lot straight from the artist if I can, or from a local record store, and listen to it all on my iPhone or on Sonos. This has worked “well enough”, and is super convenient. (I love the idea and romance of vinyl, and I'm dying to find an antique horn phonograph to display in my house, but I just can't get around the inconvenience.)
The video on Pono's Kickstarter page has gotten me thinking, though. A lot of what they describe as problems with modern music listening are things that I think I've subconsciously picked up on. I find that extended listening to music, particularly low-quality streaming music, is tiring. I just can't listen to more than an album or so at a time. The FAQ at the bottom of the Kickstarter page addresses this: in nature, you don't hear an echo from a sound before the actual sound. I hear that all the time with low-bitrate music: the cymbals kind of shimmer, and I swear I can hear the drum attacks before they're supposed to happen.
Pono looks like it might solve one of the bigger problems with modern digital music. I'll be interested to hear more about how artists will be compensated, and how labels will get in on the act. Are indie labels going to produce Pono music?
I'm not ready to buy in just yet, but Pono music is on my radar now.