Neil Young launches the PonoPlayer, another music digital player. It is either one step forward in music, or one step back.

Young says about the PonoPlayer, "It's about the music, real music." Young's company, along with an engineering team Ayre, based in Boulder, Colorado, developed the device. The mission is to deliver the highest quality music to consumers. Young has been working on this project for two-and-a-half years.

Young, and the website, claims that the PonoPlayer would be able to play back music surpassing that of a smartphone. The services comes with its own iTunes-like media manager that downloads music from its endemic store. And, the user can load the music onto the PonoPlayer, Rolling Stone reported.

It is a portable device with an intuitive LCD touch screen, with 128 GB of memory; it can store approximately 1,000 to 2,000 high-resolution songs, depending on the resolution and the length of the songs; and, it will accept memory cards which will hold more music and playlists.

In early 2012, Young says that he believed that Apple co-founder Steve Jobs would have backed the idea behind PonoMusic. Young also stated that he met Jobs before he died to discuss his service, and that "we were working on it."

Some people are definitely impressed by the device. Warner Music Group has converted thousands of albums from its archives to 192 KHz and 24 bit-sound, this is the system the PonoPlayer uses. The PonoPlayer will also have access to major record labels, as well as indie-labels.  

Also fans of the older and classic genres of music are excited that they can eventually listen to other music that Apple has not supported. Fans can purchase the first edition PonoPlayer through Kickstarter for $200, the suggested retail price is $399, CNET reported. As of press time, the $200 offer through Kickstarter might have changed.  

This is a lot of product hype, which is not unusual. But not everyone is a fan of the product. The Times reports that the device boasts of digital-to-analog conversion technology, which means that the songs will actually sound the way nature, the artist, and the music studio, had intended. But touting a 192 KHz with 24 bit recordings does not really make a difference in terms of listening or sound.

A critic for The Quietus agrees. Firstly, the critic says the shape of the device is all wrong; he says it looks like a Chunky Toblerone; it has an angular shape which could make it lack portability. And, that the IPod culture is exceedingly popular, so is another device with the same features of an IPod really going to even penetrate the market.

Young indeed wants to start a revolution against the MP3s, CDs, poorly made vinyl, and poor audio quality in general, NPR reported. 

Young's motivation for developing the PonoPlayer came when he used to listen to music loudly. Young soon realized that the recordings were done loud, so when he raised the volume, the song(s) became more amplified to the point that it hurt his ears; it was the same for CDs. But then along came the MP3.

Pono is Hawaiian for "righteousness," "goodness," "prosperity," and "fortune." Some people feel that Young's music represents that, but perhaps we can hope that the PonoPlayer will be a success.