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Neil Young to reflect on Pono debacle in new book

By | Published on Wednesday 8 May 2019

Neil Young

Tomorrow’s CMU+TGE Digital Dollars Conference at The Great Escape will kick off by remembering all the digital music services that died. Because, you know, it’s always good to start the day with some positive thinking. Spoiler alert: the last dead digital music service in a very long list of abandoned ventures is good old Pono. Unless they finally switch off Tidal over night, I suppose.

Talking of which, Neil Young has just announced that he will publish a book later this year all about why digital music is awful and his efforts to improve it. Titled ‘Feel The Music’, it will provide a history of the development of digital audio, and then tell the story of Young’s own high quality digital audio player Pono and his subsequent Xstream streaming project.

“‘To Feel the Music’ is the story of my efforts to improve the quality of audio that you hear”, says Young. “It takes you through how the sound was and is compromised by the tech and record companies, and instead of improving over time like other technologies, it has become worse”.

“The issue of improving audio quality has been one of the most important things we’ve been doing for decades, and [is] something I focus on every day”, he goes on. “We spent a year writing this and I think you’ll find it interesting and informative”.

It’ll certainly be interesting to get Young’s perspective on the whole Pono disaster. Although I suspect he won’t use the word ‘disaster’ in reference to it. The book is set for publication in September.