Neil Young has been a busy boy, showing his intentions of taking on other digital music services like iTunes and Amazon. Disatisfied with current sound quality offered by competing services, Young filed trademark documents last June for: Ivanhoe, 21st Century Record Player, Earth Storage, Storage Shed, Thanks for Listening and SQS (Studio Quality Sound).
Though it may be a year or more of drowning in formalities and paperwork before he will know if his applications are approved, Young is endeavoring to create and distribute a high-resolution audio alternative (which he calls ‘Pono’) to the MP3 format.
The description found in the trademark documents makes his intentions all the more clear, stating:
“Online and retail store services featuring music and artistic performances; high resolution music downloadable from the internet; high resolutions discs featuring music and video; audio and video recording storage and playback.”
We can appreciate the motivation behind the effort, with this new format trying to offer artists and producers the “highest digital resolution possible, the studio quality sound that artists and producers heard when they created their original recordings.” It certainly would be nice to hear the audio recordings as they were intended to be heard instead of in a compressed format, but at what cost (figuratively and literally).
We are already struggling for storage space on our devices and downloading larger files will not only take additional time and require faster speeds but will be taxing for our already maxed out data plans.
True audiophiles are difficult to satisfy (and for good reason). Are there enough of them out there to justify another music service? Could Young persuade the average user away from iTunes or Amazon services? If anybody out there is taking bets, mark me down as a no for both queries.
Young also claims that he was working directly with Steve Jobs before the former Apple CEO passed away last fall on a new iPod-style device that would allow for studio quality audio storage and playback. Just how close they were to actually pioneering that device is unclear and will likely remain unknown.