Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Even Neil Young Isn’t Using Pono

Longtime readers will know that my favourite celebrity-driven lossless streaming pet project is not Tidal; it’s Neil Young’s Pono. Debuted in 2012 but not released until 2015, the Pono Player was Neil Young’s attempt to rescue the world from the supposedly muddy waters of other streaming music services. And, I’m just guessing here, it hasn’t been a rousing success. Christina Warren, Mashable:

But now, in an ironic twist, the first track off of Young’s latest album, EARTH, isn’t available on Pono. The track is a Tidal exclusive.

First, I’ll note that Warren’s source is Digital Music News, which we’ve briefly discussed as being, uh, unreliable. But this isn’t a rumour about Apple coming from them; it’s just news.

Second, Tidal does accomplish many of the goals with which Young launched Pono: the tracks are lossless, and the service is artist-centric. However, it isn’t available at the mega-high bit depths and sample rates as Pono, which makes it — by his own marketing — unlistenable.