Ponomusic - new "HD" music player and store Page 2

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  • Mr_Sleep 12 Mar 2014 11:35:59 17,062 posts
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    Fake_Blood wrote:
    Bring back SACD I say.
    That might well be one of the most pointless formats to ever exist.

    You are a factory of sadness.

  • Tom_Servo 12 Mar 2014 11:37:08 17,951 posts
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    I know iTunes is the dominant service, but you can buy FLAC files (which I'm assuming is what this essentially is) on a lot of places already.

    I'm not too bothered about lossless audio myself, 320 MP3s will do me fine, but I suppose it'd be nice if this did well. I'm not sure I can see it though, especially not with that design. It's awful, who wants something triangular with points in their pocket?
  • PearOfAnguish 12 Mar 2014 11:41:27 7,289 posts
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    Thought this said Pornomusic. The market for a device which plays nothing but bow-chika-bow-wow soundtracks seems limited.
  • kalel 12 Mar 2014 11:42:21 87,660 posts
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    Mr_Sleep wrote:
    Flac downloads are being used by quite a few different online retailers now, Bleep.com being a favourite of mine. It's not like this is a new idea.

    Itunes has massive market share and will continue to do so, I can't see how this is going to change anything much but having some competition out there is always a good thing. The major difference I can see between this and other services out there is that they have the support of the industry and will have a larger selection of back catalogue and different labels which many of the smaller retailers don't have but this only matters so much.

    Also, there are already Flac players out there, some pretty cheap, I've converted nearly all my CDs to Flac and so I needed a Flac player because I can't be bothered to replicate everything again into MP3. My Flac player cost about £50 and I'm sure it doesn't live up to the lossless quality but it is much more convenient and that is surely the most important thing.
    The main difference here I think is they're combining the hardware with the service, much like iTunes do, which makes it a genuine life-for-like alternative.

    At the moment if you want proper lossless audio on your portable MP3 player, there's various hoops to jump through.

    Again, if it just makes iTunes up their game a bit, it's job done for me.
  • kalel 12 Mar 2014 11:44:05 87,660 posts
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    THFourteen wrote:
    i'm alright with my crappy music quality thanks.

    When you're on a train shit sounds crap however its recorded.
    This is bollocks really. A half decent pair of headphones that isolate noise will mean it doesn't really matter what environment you listen to music in.
  • Fake_Blood 12 Mar 2014 11:48:47 4,209 posts
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    Mr_Sleep wrote:
    Fake_Blood wrote:
    Bring back SACD I say.
    That might well be one of the most pointless formats to ever exist.
    I think HD-dvd wins that price. Sacd was awesome. Ps3 supported it for a while.
  • Mr_Sleep 12 Mar 2014 11:58:53 17,062 posts
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    kalel wrote:
    The main difference here I think is they're combining the hardware with the service, much like iTunes do, which makes it a genuine life-for-like alternative.

    At the moment if you want proper lossless audio on your portable MP3 player, there's various hoops to jump through.

    Again, if it just makes iTunes up their game a bit, it's job done for me.
    Yes, that's a fair point. Having an integrated system certainly does help but I'd be surprised if the people who actually care about this stuff are averse to jumping through hoops. High quality audio is not really something that applies to the larger market, I would be surprised if the largest selection of Itunes users really care about audio quality.

    Also, on the last point, do you think that Itunes might be a bit too powerful now? Aren't they getting to the level of a monopoly now?

    You are a factory of sadness.

  • Mr_Sleep 12 Mar 2014 12:02:56 17,062 posts
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    Fake_Blood wrote:
    Mr_Sleep wrote:
    Fake_Blood wrote:
    Bring back SACD I say.
    That might well be one of the most pointless formats to ever exist.
    I think HD-dvd wins that price. Sacd was awesome. Ps3 supported it for a while.
    HD-DVD was a format that is closer to betamax in that it came out when there was only one other similar format and they were both competing for the same market. While SACD might well have had some purpose, it totally missed where the market was heading, that's what I mean by pointless, at least HD-DVD was trying to innovate in the direction that people wanted. Of course, now it is digital streaming that is eclipsing Blu-Ray so maybe both of them are a bit redundant.

    You are a factory of sadness.

  • kalel 12 Mar 2014 12:05:25 87,660 posts
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    iTunes probably are a bit too powerful, but it's not really a monopoly. I get my music from various sources. I tend to get most things through Bandcamp these days (in lossless format).
  • Tom_Servo 12 Mar 2014 12:14:11 17,951 posts
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    Yeah, Bandcamp is great on all fronts. That really should be the way forward for digital music. Also very nice for currency conversion if you're buying from an American artist. :)
  • Mr_Sleep 12 Mar 2014 12:17:29 17,062 posts
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    If Itunes started doing losless would you move back to them because of the convenience of it or continue to support more niche enterprises?

    You are a factory of sadness.

  • Tom_Servo 12 Mar 2014 12:25:56 17,951 posts
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    Interesting little article

    It was my understanding that Pono was going to be a file format combining the convenience of small-size MP3s and the full-spectrum audio quality of FLACs. This was far more exciting to me than the details of the Player, and I know that I was not alone in this basic assumption.

    ...what the Kickstarter actually clarifies is that Pono is not a new audio file format at all. Instead, the PonoPlayer is equipped to play FLACs. “CD lossless” FLACs, “high-resolution” FLACs, “higher-resolution” FLACs, and “ultra-high resolution” FLACs, but still the same FLACs that have been available as a format since 2001. Also, how could a 128 GB PonoPlayer hold the long-promised “1,000 to 2,000 albums” if they’re all in massive FLAC files? Well, it couldn’t! Not even close! As an updated post on Consequence of Sound reveals, “the device will hold up to 5,000 tracks, which would be about 417 12-song albums.” And that’s at “CD lossless” quality, the lowest of four available on the PonoMusic store.


    Hmm.
  • FatSternKikwi 12 Mar 2014 12:44:00 559 posts
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    Well that really makes this completely pointless then.
  • BeebleB 12 Mar 2014 12:45:16 925 posts
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    I totally get Young's point though as with video we've seen a generational increase in quality again and again, with mp3 its a step back and nobody seems to give a shit. I'm not sure if this format will ultimately succeed but I hope it starts to push the trend of lossless audio.

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  • Mr_Sleep 12 Mar 2014 12:49:17 17,062 posts
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    Tom_Servo wrote:
    Interesting little article

    It was my understanding that Pono was going to be a file format combining the convenience of small-size MP3s and the full-spectrum audio quality of FLACs. This was far more exciting to me than the details of the Player, and I know that I was not alone in this basic assumption.

    ...what the Kickstarter actually clarifies is that Pono is not a new audio file format at all. Instead, the PonoPlayer is equipped to play FLACs. “CD lossless” FLACs, “high-resolution” FLACs, “higher-resolution” FLACs, and “ultra-high resolution” FLACs, but still the same FLACs that have been available as a format since 2001. Also, how could a 128 GB PonoPlayer hold the long-promised “1,000 to 2,000 albums” if they’re all in massive FLAC files? Well, it couldn’t! Not even close! As an updated post on Consequence of Sound reveals, “the device will hold up to 5,000 tracks, which would be about 417 12-song albums.” And that’s at “CD lossless” quality, the lowest of four available on the PonoMusic store.


    Hmm.
    Well, yeah. FLAC's most comprehensive compression rate still makes for a massive file. The idea of a lossless format being the same size as an MP3 is laughable, I didn't even know people were talking about such an idea, it shows a basic lack of understanding of how compression works to even think that you can get a full-spectrum quality recording down to some tiny file.

    You are a factory of sadness.

  • urban 12 Mar 2014 12:49:59 10,945 posts
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    fuck getting that thing in my pocket
  • PearOfAnguish 12 Mar 2014 12:51:19 7,289 posts
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    BeebleB wrote:
    I totally get Young's point though as with video we've seen a generational increase in quality again and again, with mp3 its a step back and nobody seems to give a shit. I'm not sure if this format will ultimately succeed but I hope it starts to push the trend of lossless audio.
    Most people don't give a shit because they can't tell the difference between a high quality MP3 and a lossless file. MP3 isn't a step back when a 320Kbps file is more than acceptable for the majority and offers a much smaller file size.
  • Khanivor 12 Mar 2014 12:52:38 40,741 posts
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    Old man waves at cloud.
  • Tom_Servo 12 Mar 2014 12:58:32 17,951 posts
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    Mr_Sleep wrote:
    Well, yeah. FLAC's most comprehensive compression rate still makes for a massive file. The idea of a lossless format being the same size as an MP3 is laughable, I didn't even know people were talking about such an idea, it shows a basic lack of understanding of how compression works to even think that you can get a full-spectrum quality recording down to some tiny file.
    The first paragraph rang a bell with me, actually. I'm sure if you were to do some digging you'd find that that was the original aim of Pono.

    Around 420 albums (albeit "album" as defined by 12 tracks and probably also off the assumption of 3-4 minute songs and 420 albums at the lowest available bitrate) would do fine for your average listener, but Pono obviously isn't aimed at your average listener. The kind of people who will be buying this will be music obsessives to some degree. Is a few hundred albums on their player enough for them? I don't think so.
  • Armoured_Bear 12 Mar 2014 13:00:43 11,189 posts
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    Mr_Sleep wrote:
    Fake_Blood wrote:
    Bring back SACD I say.
    That might well be one of the most pointless formats to ever exist.
    It really was rubbish and I speak as the owner of this 25KG monster

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  • CosmicFuzz 12 Mar 2014 13:02:35 24,322 posts
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    I was chatting to a guy doing a phD in linguistic stuff, and he said that although the sound quality on LPs was technically of a better quality than CDs, it was impossible to detect the increase in quality with the human ear.

    I've never listened to proper "HD" music, but is there an actual, proper difference worth the money?

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  • Armoured_Bear 12 Mar 2014 13:05:27 11,189 posts
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    ALAC files are generally 3x the size of 320kbps AAC files.

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  • PearOfAnguish 12 Mar 2014 13:06:22 7,289 posts
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    Armoured_Bear wrote:
    Mr_Sleep wrote:
    Fake_Blood wrote:
    Bring back SACD I say.
    That might well be one of the most pointless formats to ever exist.
    It really was rubbish and I speak as the owner of this 25KG monster
    Love the styling of old gear like this. They look like props from an 80s sci-fi movie.
  • Armoured_Bear 12 Mar 2014 13:08:56 11,189 posts
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    CosmicFuzz wrote:
    I was chatting to a guy doing a phD in linguistic stuff, and he said that although the sound quality on LPs was technically of a better quality than CDs, it was impossible to detect the increase in quality with the human ear.

    I've never listened to proper "HD" music, but is there an actual, proper difference worth the money?
    LPs are better technically in some ways but not all, I hugely prefer LPs though.
    They most definitely sound different to CDs, what you prefer is personal.

    The biggest problem in music now is the horrendous mastering where they brick wall everything, killing the dynamics. Vinyl tends to be mastered far better in that respect as it's regarded as a more 'discerning' audience. You'd have thought CDs will end up as a similar niche with better mastering and leave the brickwalling for MP3 tards.

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  • Armoured_Bear 12 Mar 2014 13:10:24 11,189 posts
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    PearOfAnguish wrote:
    Armoured_Bear wrote:
    Mr_Sleep wrote:
    Fake_Blood wrote:
    Bring back SACD I say.
    That might well be one of the most pointless formats to ever exist.
    It really was rubbish and I speak as the owner of this 25KG monster
    Love the styling of old gear like this. They look like props from an 80s sci-fi movie.
    It's utterly obscene, it weighs more than my Power Amps or Home Cinema Receiver.
    The build quality is amazing though, I'd probably get a great price for it if I hadn't dropped the puck and slightly dented it :-(

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  • uiruki 12 Mar 2014 13:11:24 3,702 posts
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    @CosmicFuzz in the context of this store, this article says no. 24/192 is apparently good for preserving quality while mastering but that's about it.

    The hardware in the player is supposed to be pretty good, though, so it would probably sound better compared to a phone on the same files given high enough quality speakers/headphones.
  • Mr_Sleep 12 Mar 2014 13:11:40 17,062 posts
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    Tom_Servo wrote:
    The first paragraph rang a bell with me, actually. I'm sure if you were to do some digging you'd find that that was the original aim of Pono.
    If that's the case then they have duped a whole bunch of people ignorant of how compression works. The reason MP3s are as small as they are is because they remove data, lossless can't do that and it has to rely on things like representing strings of the same binary data in a smaller form, say there are 12 ones in a row that is represented as 1x12. If the data is there it has to be represented and there is just too much data in full-resolution recordings, especially studio quality.

    The kind of people who will be buying this will be music obsessives to some degree. Is a few hundred albums on their player enough for them? I don't think so.
    To me, it's more than enough, I'm very much a music obsessive and I am fine with swapping out stuff as and when, I don't really understand the necessity to have all your music on one device, I store them on a NAT so I can just switch them around when I want to.

    You are a factory of sadness.

  • kalel 12 Mar 2014 13:13:46 87,660 posts
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    Mr_Sleep wrote:
    If Itunes started doing losless would you move back to them because of the convenience of it or continue to support more niche enterprises?
    I buy from lots of places, including iTunes, but also Google, Amazon and various other places. I don't object to iTunes and if they did lossless I'd buy from them I'm sure.

    I don't really believe in supporting niche enterprises just for the sake of it tbh. I buy from whoever best addresses my needs as a consumer.
  • tincanrocket 12 Mar 2014 13:14:16 2,989 posts
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    There is definitely a difference, but it is debatable and very subjective as to whether it is worth the money. For me, I have permanent tinnitus from years of listening to my walkman too loud and playing in bands, so even though I am a music fan it isn't really possible for me to tell the difference that much, but I know plenty of people who can.

    Streaming is the way forward, and this new player and store is a dead end - once lossless audio can be easily streamed then the likes of iTunes radio will undoubtedly do it, but it is all about what works technically best at a given time - when the iPod took off it was because of the convenience it offered over CDs etc., and convenience is king for most people and far more important than quality.

    Above all, high sound quality doesn't necessarily equal high musical quality - it is debatable as to how much more clearly you need to hear the output of the likes of One Direction and the other dross that counts for music these days

    /grandpa

    edit: I actually think that my tinnitus is equally attributable to damned fans on server and switch cabinets, having worked in server rooms for many years - I always seem to have a vague high pitched electrical whine in my poor ears, but everyone tells me it's my fault for playing in bands etc.

    Edited by tincanrocket at 13:19:37 12-03-2014
  • Widge Moderator 12 Mar 2014 13:14:33 13,563 posts
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    Interestingly, without having the proper playback equipment, the crazy detail at the high end of the hz range in these super def files actually make the audio sound worse.

    Stuff doesn't need to be that hi def, it just needs to be around CD quality.

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