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Music The Almighty Buck Technology

Neil Young's "Righteous" Pono Music Startup Raises $1 Million With Kickstarter 413

Posted by samzenpus
from the I've-been-a-miner-for-a-format-of-gold dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Jose Pagliery reports at CNN that the 68-year-old rock star unveiled his startup, Pono, at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas raising $1.4 million in a single day. Young has developed a portable music player that stores high-resolution recordings and promises to deliver all the delicate details that get chopped out of modern-day formats, like MP3s and CDs. 'Pono' is Hawaiian for righteous. 'What righteous means to our founder Neil Young is honoring the artist's intention, and the soul of music. That's why he's been on a quest, for a few years now, to revive the magic that has been squeezed out of digital music.' With 128 GB of space, the PonoPlayer can carry about 3,200 tracks of high-resolution recordings while an MP3 player of the same size can hold maybe 10 times that many songs. Young says the MP3 files we're all listening to actually are pretty poor from an audio-quality standpoint and only contains about five percent of the audio from an original recording. But isn't FLAC already lossless? What makes Pono better?"
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Neil Young's "Righteous" Pono Music Startup Raises $1 Million With Kickstarter

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  • Title (Score:5, Funny)

    by bragr (1612015) * on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @06:54PM (#46469649)

    Had to read that twice.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      To be fair, a 68-year-old rock star making some righteous porno music may do quite well on kickstarter.

    • Re:Title (Score:5, Funny)

      by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @08:40PM (#46470225)

      Once again, Slashdot fails to deliver on its promise of "Nudes for Nerds" . . .

    • by flyingfsck (986395) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @10:19PM (#46470607)
      I challenge any 68 year old rocker to a double blind test to hear the difference between MP3 and Pono.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Do any of you guys have ears? If you have heard live music vs an mp3, the loss of audio info is very obvious. Many mp3 files--especially rock music--are horrible. Neil is not in this to make money. He's got plenty. He's passionate about music.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          MP3 is not inherently bad. A lot of early MP3s are crap. Encoded in CBR at 128 kbps or less. Even using VBR at the same bitrate yields a far superior sound and typically slightly smaller size. Sadly, I didn't discover that in college until I'd nearly ripped all of my CDs (quite a labor intensive process back then). Most music, humans won't notice a difference between 44khz and 48khz sampling, either. To notice the differences, you need "noisy" music. Music that has a large variance of frequency ranges an

        • by Gunboat_Diplomat (3390511) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @02:51AM (#46471367)

          Do any of you guys have ears? If you have heard live music vs an mp3, the loss of audio info is very obvious. Many mp3 files--especially rock music--are horrible. Neil is not in this to make money. He's got plenty. He's passionate about music.

          A number of double blind tests show that almost no one are able to hear the difference between properly encoded 320kbps and original, including those that are absolutely convinced that they do. The mind is a beautiful thing.

          The main problem with Neil is that he is mixing up different issues. Is overly dynamically compressed music a real problem? Absolutely. But that is the mixing and mastering, not related to format. Are there bad low-bitrate MP3 encodings out there? Absolutely, but with higher bitrate and better encoders being the norm it is a problem going away on its own. Are there any reasons at all to go lossless? there is one; if you want to keep the ability to re-compress to different formats/bitrate, then you can avoid compounding of compression artefacts across multiple generations (sort of like how you shouldn't jpeg a jpeg).

          And don't get me started on the various snake oil attempts to describe why higher bitrate and higher samplingrates are needed, actually, just read this: http://people.xiph.org/~xiphmo... [xiph.org]

        • by Joce640k (829181) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @04:50AM (#46471597) Homepage

          Do any of you guys have ears?

          128kbs MP3 (which used to be the "standard") is crap, yes.

          320kbs MP3? I doubt many people can hear the difference.

          After I got tired of clicking through the links to "What makes pono better" I eventually googled it on Wikipedia and found out it's FLAC. Aren't we already using FLAC? I know I am.

          Bottom line: He's comparing 128kbs MP3 to FLAC. Nothing to see here, keep moving...

          If you have heard live music vs an mp3, the loss of audio info is very obvious.

          Who's talking about live music? Of course live music is different.

  • Is it just me? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by eclectro (227083) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @06:57PM (#46469665)

    I spent five minutes trying to figure out if Slashdot once again misspelled something, i.e. "porno."

  • LOL (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @06:58PM (#46469675)

    Sounds like snakeoil. So that means it'll be eaten up by the idiotic audiophile crowd.

    • With diamond dust (*May or may not actually contain dust from real diamonds) glazed gold connectors.

    • Re:LOL (Score:5, Interesting)

      by georgeaperkins (1715602) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @07:16PM (#46469795)
      Whether it is snakeoil or not remains to be seen. However, the hardware spec featuring a well regarded ESS Sabre digital to analogue converter and seperate output stages for headphone and line-level loads looks well thought out. The prospect of an extensive high-resolution music catalogue to support the hardware capabilities shows some potential. Over hyped? Yes of course. Celebrity endorsed rip-off? Maybe not - I think this is genuinely a product spawned from an artist's vision. Final thought. Over $1M in 24 hrs, How bloody amazing is Kickstarter?
      • Re:LOL (Score:5, Informative)

        by roca (43122) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @07:44PM (#46469955) Homepage

        No, we already know it's snake oil. See for example Monty's writeup:
        http://people.xiph.org/~xiphmo... [xiph.org]

        • Re:LOL (Score:5, Insightful)

          by lgw (121541) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @08:32PM (#46470189) Journal

          Awesome link, thanks.

          Unfortunately, there is no point to distributing music in 24-bit/192kHz format. Its playback fidelity is slightly inferior to 16/44.1 or 16/48, and it takes up 6 times the space.

          There are a few real problems with the audio quality and 'experience' of digitally distributed music today. 24/192 solves none of them. While everyone fixates on 24/192 as a magic bullet, we're not going to see any actual improvement.

          First, the bad news

          In the past few weeks, I've had conversations with intelligent, scientifically minded individuals who believe in 24/192 downloads and want to know how anyone could possibly disagree. They asked good questions that deserve detailed answers.

          I was also interested in what motivated high-rate digital audio advocacy. Responses indicate that few people understand basic signal theory or the sampling theorem, which is hardly surprising. Misunderstandings of the mathematics, technology, and physiology arose in most of the conversations, often asserted by professionals who otherwise possessed significant audio expertise. Some even argued that the sampling theorem doesn't really explain how digital audio actually works

          If I had a nickel for every time an audiophile tried to explain to me that CDs can't capture "fast transients" or "20 kHz square waves", I could afford some genuine Snake Oil[tm]! Hint: the ear is mechanical, not magical, and the eardrum can only move so fast. Anything steeper than the rise rate of a 20 kHz sine wave just ain't happening.

          I just want a proper DAC without audiophile markup! My home amp has 7 of them (the chip is about $25 per, not breaking the bank), but each one is a 20 watt heater so I can't use it in my bedroom in the summer. I'd love to find a nice 2-channel DAC to use with a headphone amp for <$100, with HDMI and SPDIF in - anyone seen one?

          • by mbkennel (97636)

            It's the analog stages and clean implementation & power supply which makes a difference. And yes, 20khz is fine if implemented well.

            < $100 with HDMI, SPDIF, no. 2-channel almost never has HDMI.

            Schiit Modi at $100 with USB in only is quite high quality.

            Used Emotiva XDA-1.
          • Re:LOL (Score:4, Insightful)

            by cheater512 (783349) <nick@nickstallman.net> on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @09:18PM (#46470377) Homepage

            Define proper DAC? Just saying that makes me think you actually *do* want the audiophile markup.
            That Cirrus Logic 60c Audio DAC clearly isn't very good! It's too cheap!

            Reality: The DAC is *not* the limiting factor in audio. In fact there really aren't many limiting factors apart for Chinese crap.

            • by lgw (121541)

              Look at cables. A $0.50 patch cord is a mistake (especially if the center pin breaks off in your gear, as has happened to me). A $2.50-$5.00 patch cord gives all the practically useful quality (often e.g. $5 Dayton Audio cables obviously came from the same factory line as $50 Monster cables). The difference is worthwhile.

              For DACs, there is a similar quality difference about the cheapest possible crap. TI (IIRC) makes a nice one for about $20/channel (I'm sure it would be cheaper if they sold more), but

          • There is definitely merit to keeping the undertones though. Although you can't hear them, you certainly CAN feel them if you have the right equipment. It wouldn't be useful for a portable player (I strongly doubt you'd get anything useful from a pair of earbuds or even some really uber expensive headphones) but audio formats shouldn't discard them.

          • I just want a proper DAC without audiophile markup!

            Check out the ODAC [blogspot.com]. Built to be cheap, and objectively transparent at the jack, unlike most DACs which just quote the specs of a high-end DAC chip inside of them and ignore a mess of other crap on the PCB that degrades the signal.

          • by NulDevice (186369)

            The fact that People Who Should Know Better keep pushing this idea drives me bonkers. I saw a talk by George fricken Massenburg where he went on and on about how we should all be downloading 24/96 audio and I'm thinking two things: 1) Are you nuts? and 2) geez what sort of data plan do you have for your phone?

            And just yesterday I read an article by some highly regarded pro mastering engineers who started spouting about how 384khz (!) audio was the only useful format because "your brain doesn't need to inte

    • Re:LOL (Score:5, Funny)

      by sharknado (3217097) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @11:11PM (#46470787)
      Maybe. But don't forget that the analog to digital conversion is itself a lossy process, so the only REAL way to listen to music is to carry around a record player in a briefcase. That's what all the real audio hipsters are doing.
  • It IS FLAC (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @06:59PM (#46469685)

    If the submitter/editor had bothered to do even the slighted research into "Pono", they'd have found that it's just a branded FLAC.

    • Re:It IS FLAC (Score:5, Informative)

      by goombah99 (560566) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @07:07PM (#46469735)

      Pono music is an ecosystem to sell music in FLAC audio file format: 1) production of FLAC files from existing recordings, 2) a dedicated player, and 3) a web store to sell FLAC files.

      The problem with FLAC is how does one get FLAC? you could use your own encoder to record a CD in FLAC. But then you just have CD quality Why not reach back to the studio quality if you are going the FLAC route?. Cause you don't have access to that. But now you do-- the PONO ecosystem does that. And if you wanted to play that FLAC file, well your mp3 player might not play it and if it does it probably has a lot less memory than you would like. soe PONO players are chubbier in memory. And finally what if you are one of those people who likes to roll there own and prefers to just buy it pre recorded. Well agains the PONO ecosystem is there for you.

      • Re:It IS FLAC (Score:5, Informative)

        by Wdomburg (141264) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @07:22PM (#46469841)

        HDtracks, eClassical, Linn, Bandcamp. All carry 24-bit, high resolution audio.

        This expands the ecosystem; it doesn't create it.

        • by asliarun (636603)

          HDtracks, eClassical, Linn, Bandcamp. All carry 24-bit, high resolution audio.

          This expands the ecosystem; it doesn't create it.

          Most of these online shops are not really an ecosystem. And that is really the problem.

          Everyone keeps getting into the endless audiophile debates. You have one camp that disses everything that has the audiophile and calls it snake oil. Then you have the audiophiles that go into objective vs subjectives debates, and what not. Then you have the tech folks (and we have plenty) who want to correct everyone else and go into Nyquist/Shannon, signal processing, even harmonics, DAC internals, ESS Sabre chips, overs

      • Re:It IS FLAC (Score:4, Informative)

        by Swampash (1131503) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @07:56PM (#46470033)

        I've already got a bunch of devices that play lossless audio: my iPod, iPhone, and iPad.

        • by gnoshi (314933)

          Sure, but they don't play 24/96 audio without downsampling.
          (Note: I'm not saying someone could necessarily tell the difference, but there is a difference)

        • by wvmarle (1070040)

          Those were never meant to produce high quality audio. There is more to an audio player than the decoding of a digital sound recording.

          The Pono player presumably is much better on that front. Otherwise, what's the point of focussing on high-quality recordings, if you can't play it in high quality?

          • by gerardrj (207690)

            Except that in every objective test the iOS devices show a near 0 THD, nearly flat recency response and a nearly perfect dynamic range. While perhaps "technically better" is the case with the Pono, the simple, physical, physiological and demonstrable fact that 100% of humans can not hear the differences you are taking about in any testing case means the different and "bitterness" is simply snake oil. Right up there with Monster 'monitor interconnects' and speaker isolation stands.

      • by ratnerstar (609443) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @09:43PM (#46470483) Homepage

        The problem with FLAC is how does one get FLAC?

        Shit, I get FLAC all the time for my music. Especially if I play it really loud.

  • by Jamu (852752) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @07:00PM (#46469691)
    The big problem with music on MP3s and CDs isn't the sample rate, or even the bits used to sample. To sell CDs and MP3s the recording is made as loud as possible and this causes distortion in the sample values. There's no point having 16-bits or 24-bits if the recording doesn't make good use of the full range of values.
    • It very much depends on what you're listening to.
      If you're listing to Michael Buble, this is probably not something you want on your album.
      If you're listening to Xerath, the album would sound like crap without it.

      The problem is when you got people bitching about the way you record rather than getting off their ass to come see you in person.

      • by Ardyvee (2447206)

        There is compressing, distorting, and cranking up to 11... and then there is brickwalls (which is the previous, except over 9000).

        See, there is nothing wrong with compressing, distorting and cranking your guitar(or some other instrument) up to eleven. It's all right. However, you probably don't want to do that to all tracks. If you do, you are exposing yourself to ending with a dull, flat, boring result (I've heard a few. Sure, there was guitars and drums and stuff.. but it all sounded so dead and flat it s

    • by StripedCow (776465) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @07:22PM (#46469839)

      No, the real problem is that all the tracks are pre-mixed into a single stereo track, leaving us customers with only a single volume knob to turn.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      I can't believe that $2,000,000 has already been pledged. I assume by "audiophiles".

      Hey guys, 99% of mastering these days has been brickwalled. The recordings that you're buying and downloading before encoding, at the mastering stage has already had all "the nuances, the soft touches, and the ends on the echo" removed. You can't get that back. In fact, all this device will do is make these artifacts more obvious.

      Getting a 30 gazillion kbps FLAC file is utterly pointless when the same data can be repre
      • Re:Reality check (Score:4, Informative)

        by CRCulver (715279) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @08:50PM (#46470283) Homepage

        I can personally guarantee* (*worth nothing, not redeemable for anything) that sound studios will not start producing multiple mixes just for the audiophiles.

        They already have started, in fact. It's very common for the vinyl edition of an album to be less of a loudness wars catastrophe than the CD or MP3 digital downloads because vinyl customers tend to overlap with audiophiles. Two albums I can name off the top of my head where this was done are R.E.M.'s Accelerate and Rush's Clockwork Angels. After buying the CDs and hearing how they were brickwalled, I was happy to have supported the artist by buying at least something, but then I went to a torrent site, downloaded a vinyl rip and now play that exclusively on my home stereo.

    • Re:Reality check (Score:4, Informative)

      by Megane (129182) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @08:10PM (#46470107) Homepage
      tl;dr: the only useful purpose for 24/96 or 24/192 is extra bit depth for mastering and mixing. Otherwise the ultrasonic frequencies that you can't hear anyhow can actually interfere with each other and cause audible distortion.
    • by gnoshi (314933)

      Thanks. That's the best read I've ever seen on the subject.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Oh audiophiles, please never change! It is so easy to laugh at your pseudoscience!

  • by DigitAl56K (805623) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @07:02PM (#46469703)

    I read the other day that these units are going to go for about $400 a piece. While I myself am an audiophile at heart, I just can't see the use cases for this that makes it worth the money.

    For a start, when I'm on the go, unless I'm in a plane (which I'm not very often), I can't use noise-cancelling headphones or I have little situational awareness, and the benefit of this higher fidelity is lost. If I'm sitting at my computer, I'd rather access my library through the computer via a nicer interface and still be able to hear the audio for videos I play etc., and I don't have to worry about plugging in or running down batteries.

    So I'm left wondering where are the occasions when I'd really benefit from the higher quality on the go, how frequently do they arise, and is it worth the money for more pristine sound in just those cases?

    Also, the damn thing is triangular. Where am I supposed to be putting this? It's not going in a pocket alongside my smartphone...

    For me, it's nice that someone is trying to produce a product with a higher audio quality, but I don't see myself buying one.

    • by asmkm22 (1902712)

      I think the idea is to create demand which will bring the pricing down over time. What will start out as a niche device could easily become the new standard. The problem, like others have pointed out, is that music created today is generally too crappy to benefit from the wider range of sound during recording. It's all about volume and bass, not range.

      Also, Neil Young have never given a fuck about what other people think. He's created a career out of, in fact.

      • I think the idea is to create demand which will bring the pricing down over time. What will start out as a niche device could easily become the new standard.

        Well, it has some other challenges in that regard too:
        * If MP3/AAC/AAC+ is "good enough" those devices will always have cheaper storage and will undercut the Pono, even if its price does come down. And my phone already supports all those formats out of the box, and can pull the content from the cloud with album art.
        * I wonder how the battery life is, becauseas an enthusiast I've used devices that support FLAC before, and without hardware support like most products have for MP3 I found that they tend to run

    • by Zeromous (668365)

      I think this is appropriate here:

      http://i2.wp.com/allthingsd.co... [wp.com]

  • I read the article a few days ago, and thought lookout mama there's a white boat comin' up the river at Spotify. If Neil doesn't get in front and interfere, the bandwidth can support his increased quality, and the price point is cool.
  • by PhrostyMcByte (589271) <phrosty@gmail.com> on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @07:18PM (#46469813) Homepage

    Caveat: self-identifying audiophile here, happy to admit I've spent way too much money for very little gain.

    What's the output voltage and impedance? Crosstalk? Noise? THD? Dynamic range? If I plug to charge via USB while I'm playing it, will it isolate the noisy power line? You're trying to sell something "audiophile" without mentioning any of this? Really?

    He makes a big deal about 192kHz audio. If you're targeting human ears, this is just a waste of space. I'd say the perfect format would be 48kHz/24bit. 48kHz to have plenty of room for a nice frequency cutoff, and 24-bit for music with a high dynamic range, like film scores and orchestral.

    How about some features anyone can enjoy, like support for ReplayGain and gapless playback? Maybe make your store highlight music with a high dynamic range instead of offering a 24-bit copy of something with 8 bits of range and frequencies we can't hear?

    I would absolutely love to have a compact, objectively transparent player that I can bring with me to the office or anywhere else. I just can't help feeling this won't be it. Too jaded?

    • by CRCulver (715279)
      The product in question uses FLAC, so that pretty much means that there will be gapless playback.
      • FLAC has native support for gapless playback, but the player still needs to explicitly take advantage of it by not waiting until your current song finishes to start decoding the next one.

        Gapless is more common among FLAC players, I guess simply because if you care enough to support FLAC you've probably got a higher chance of caring about the rest of the feature set, but it's far from guaranteed.

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      What's the output voltage and impedance? Crosstalk? Noise? THD? Dynamic range? If I plug to charge via USB while I'm playing it, will it isolate the noisy power line? You're trying to sell something "audiophile" without mentioning any of this? Really?

      He makes a big deal about 192kHz audio. If you're targeting human ears, this is just a waste of space. I'd say the perfect format would be 48kHz/24bit. 48kHz to have plenty of room for a nice frequency cutoff, and 24-bit for music with a high dynamic range, lik

  • by Overzeetop (214511) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @07:26PM (#46469855) Journal

    except for that last 1/10% who think they can hear a difference, or the 1/10000% who actually can.

    Honestly, it's music we don't need. This is like arguing over whether x264 is sufficient to carry all of the visual information in a motion picture. It's not even close - the best BluRay throws close to 99.9% of the information away, but Neal's reckoning. Thing is, you can't tell. You can't tell in a good set up in a controlled environment, much less in a room where the visual/acoustic treatments aren't designed solely for the experience.

    • by Ecuador (740021)
      Hehe, I am close to the 1/10000% you say in some aspects. Well, at least in one aspect. Interesting story: I had an inverter installed for a solar panel array and when they switched it on, I stepped back "whoa, what is that loud whistling noise?" the installers were looking at me like I was crazy. Well, I told them, granted, it is very high pitch, a bit higher than, say, the whistling noise a CRT usually makes, I'd say over 15kHz, but it is really really loud, don't you feel anything - I can't even get clos
      • by Sarten-X (1102295)

        You're probably in about the 50th percentile, actually. Hearing 16 kHz puts you at somewhere under age 40, or you've taken pretty good care of your ears.

        The hair cells in your ears that resonate with high frequencies up to 20 kHz sit right at the start of the cochlea. They're the first to be hit with sound, so the sound is at its highest energy. As the wave progresses to lower-frequency cells, it's progressively losing energy, so they don't get damaged as soon. By the time you get damage in the 2 kHz range,

        • by Ecuador (740021)
          I am 35. The installers ranged from 25-45, they couldn't hear it. One said he might be hearing something, but he couldn't really tell because of the sound of the fan. My wife couldn't hear it. Neither has anyone else since then (they replaced it, it is no longer loud, but I can still hear it). Trust me, it is not the 50th percentile, it has happened to me way too often to hear things like laptop chargers at annoying volumes when no-one else can hear a thing, or have to stick their ear on it. It is not only
  • by Bob9113 (14996) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @07:35PM (#46469901) Homepage

    Young says the MP3 files we're all listening to actually are pretty poor from an audio-quality standpoint and only contains about five percent of the audio from an original recording.

    Obviously Young doesn't understand The Coastline Paradox [wikipedia.org]. At a sufficiently high resolution of measurement, a wave contains infinite information. Any finitely sized digital recording actually contains 0.00000% of the information in the original signal.

    Of course, that's only if you include all the information that our brains are incapable of distinguishing. The interpretation of waves by our brains is an inherently fuzzy process, and beyond a certain resolution there is no perceptible difference between a flawed and a perfect recording (even if you had the equipment and sound room to produce a sufficiently high quality set of vibrations in the air to reliably communicate that tiny difference to your tympanic membrane (you don't)).

    Or, more succinctly: Extreme audiophilia is bunk.

    • Low sampling rate MP3s can be obviously and audibly pretty bad on a good pair of headphones. Once you get to higher sampling rates you are generally in pretty good shape.

      The comment in the story about CDs is really ridiculous. A properly mastered CD is really about as good as you need even on a very high end music system in a purpose built room with carefully designed acoustics.

      There is no need for a new format. The idea that LPs are better is hogwash. The only time LPs sound better is when they are mastere

      • by Swampash (1131503)

        I think you are confusing "sampling rate" with "bit rate".

      • LPs sound better when they remind you of how the music sounded when you were listening to it as a child, with your mom or dad, when they're cleaning or reading the newspaper. Its nostalgia, or iterating over good audio memories, or whatever you want to call that.

        People who are too young for that experience and claim to prefer LPs just decided to develop a taste for the noise, in the same way a determined cigarette smoker might fight through the initial coughing fits to get "hooked on the flavor".

      • "The idea that LPs are better is hogwash. The only time LPs sound better is when they are mastered with more dynamic range than whatever you are comparing them to is."

        That includes almost everything sold since early '90s

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L... [wikipedia.org]

  • Am not seeing much discussion of the hardware itself...? Seems like it's not a terribly great device.. A 1/8" 'headphone' output - does that make sense given all the fuss over sound quality? Is the 1/8" jack the golden standard? What about the 8hr battery life? Would like to see more discussion around this..
  • by jmv (93421) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @07:49PM (#46469977) Homepage

    Now only is 192 kHz/24 bit silly in general, it's even more silly for a portable music player, that's usually used in places with a higher background noise than your living room. Listening to music above 100 dB SPL in a cafe with noise at 50 dB SPL means you only need an SNR of 50 dB, just slightly more than 8 bits.

  • by Swampash (1131503) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @07:55PM (#46470019)

    a Monster cable?

  • More about storage (Score:4, Insightful)

    by canadiannomad (1745008) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @08:07PM (#46470091) Homepage

    My biggest complaint about the mp3 music player industry is: Why are they still over selling 1/2/4GB devices!?!?!?!?!?
    Honestly, I can't even imagine why Apple, Sony, Philips and other large brands that I find in my average tech store even bother to have/sell, but actively promote these minuscule devices. At least 128GB approaches a reasonable size for today's music collections.
    To me it is similar to Linus' rant about laptop monitors.

    • by mapuche (41699)

      I don't have 128 GB in music, it's a lot of money. But I like to run and my shuffle is convenient for the 40 minute training; no movable parts and lightweight. .

    • My biggest complaint about the mp3 music player industry is: Why are they still over selling 1/2/4GB devices!?!?!?!?!?
      Honestly, I can't even imagine why Apple, Sony, Philips and other large brands that I find in my average tech store even bother to have/sell, but actively promote these minuscule devices. At least 128GB approaches a reasonable size for today's music collections.
      To me it is similar to Linus' rant about laptop monitors.

      A nano/shuffle's entire purpose is to support your workout (shuffle = music, nano adds radio, podcast, and recently BT headphones). It's for folks who have a decent but not large selection of music that just want to use it for a specific purpose.

      Nowadays, with streaming radio and decent data plans, the smartphone is definitely better and doesn't even need more than 32 much less 128GB.

  • by Dareth (47614) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @08:45PM (#46470251)

    Something tells me....he is going to catch a ton of flac over this.

  • This could be a boon for biologists and other researchers, in that it could capture the ultrasonic sounds animals make. The currently available equipment is very expensive.

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