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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Apr 15, 2014 11 comments
How do we gauge success? The Kickstarter goal for the Pono campaign was set at $800,000 which was the minimum amount required for the project to get funded. Exceeding that goal by more then 7 times must qualify as an unqualified success. Perhaps the more interesting and informative number is this goal was generated from 18,220 backers who are also potentially future PonoMusic customers. Compared to iTunes 600+ million users that's, well, not very many but let's also keep in mind that Pono was one of the most-funded campaigns in Kickstarter history. But is that the appropriate metric to gauge Pono's success? I don't think so.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Apr 10, 2014 20 comments
MacRumors has re-reported (see re-report) a rumor started by blogger Robert Hutton (see his original post) based on unnamed sources that iTunes will begin selling 24-bit downloads in June. Of this year.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Apr 09, 2014 16 comments
The tireless guys at LH Labs are about to do it again—crowdfunding their latest portable product the Geek Wave. The Wave acts as an add-on to your smartphone providing extended battery life with its internal charger, music storage ("at least 258GB"), and of course their own DXD/DSD-ready DAC and headphone amp to boost the performance of your phone.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 31, 2014 0 comments
Scott Wilkinson has just posted his hour-long interview with record producer/recording engineer Alan Sides over on TWiT.TV. They touch on many subjects of interest to AudioStream readers including the importance of higher sample rates, Pono, harmonic structure, the horrors of brick wall filters, DSD, and more.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 31, 2014 3 comments
As you can see, the Pono Kickstarter campaign is in full swing, raising over $5M at its half way mark from over 15,000 backers. Not bad for a device whose sole purpose is to deliver high quality digital music.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 13, 2014 15 comments
Photo Credit: Danny Clinch

It should come as no surprise at this point that Neil Young was at SXSW to talk about Pono. I had the opportunity to spend some time talking to Neil Young about his new venture.

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 12, 2014 6 comments
The PonoMusic Kickstarter campaign kicked off yesterday with a stated goal of $800,000. By around 5:00PM, during Neil Young's hour-long address to a full house at SXSW, they'd already made it half way there. The numbers you see above are a snapshot from this morning leaving only one question—How high will it go?
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 10, 2014 21 comments
In a press release from Warner Bros. Music dated March 10, 2014, Neil Young has officially announced PonoMusic.
PonoMusic is a revolutionary movement conceived and founded by Neil Young. Our mission is to bring the highest-quality digital music to discerning, passionate consumers, who wish to experience music the way the artists intended, with emotion, detail and power intact. "It's about the music, real music. We want to move digital music into the 21st century and PonoMusic does exactly that. We couldn't be more excited about bringing PonoMusic to the market," said Neil Young, founder and chairman of PonoMusic.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 06, 2014 19 comments
Photo Credit: Pegi Young

I'm headed to Austin, TX and SXSW next week to interview Neil Young about his pending PONO launch. I mean!! If you have anything you'd like me to ask Neil Young about PONO, just let me know and I'll try to work your questions in. I've already got "What's your favorite beer" covered.

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Feb 26, 2014 18 comments
PS Audio has just announced a new product - the DirectStream DAC ($5,995). In essence, the DirectStream DAC converts all incoming data including PCM to 1-bit DSD using their own code implemented in a Spartan VI FPGA. Chips need not apply. Of course PS Audio claims that this conversion to DSD improves the resultant sound quality of everything that passes through it, especially PCM. According to PS Audio:
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Feb 03, 2014 1 comments
For those of you who have been waiting for a Stereophile review of the Auralic Vega, over which I admittedly gushed (see review), a review by none other than John Atkinson has been posted on the Stereophile website. Of course this review includes John's measurements which is a feature I know some of you would like to see included here on AudioStream. Perhaps some day...In the meantime, check out John Atkinson's review of the Auralic Vega on Stereophile.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 27, 2014 8 comments
Did you watch last night's Grammy Awards? The big winners for Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Pop Solo Performance, Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, Best Dance/Electronica Album, Best Rock Album, Best Americana Album, Best Score Soundtrack For Visual Media, Best Jazz Vocal Album, Best Musical Theater Album, and Best Choral Performance are all available in HD-quality from HDtracks and Qobuz. Not some geeky category like Best Sounding Classical Guitar Album of Led Zeppelin Covers or Breathiest Female Vocal but the real popular deal. Cool, no?
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 23, 2014 2 comments
What's the bad news? As I see it, the bad news about the fact that Mogwai's new album Rave Tapes is available as a 24/96 download from HDtracks (get it here) is the fact that Mogwai and Sub Pop don't tell anyone about it on their respective websites. What better way to promote the availability of higher quality versions of your music than to promote the higher quality versions of your music?
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 23, 2014 9 comments
If you go to one of Buffalo Technology's EU sites, you'll see they're touting the ability of their LinkStation NAS to send DSD over DLNA:
Buffalo’s LinkStations’ DSD playback works with both DSD-native and DSD over PCM devices for Universal Plug-n-Play*.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 23, 2014 3 comments
BitPerfect have announced they will be rolling out a DSD-capable version of their media player software for OSX (which still costs $9.99). Since BitPerfect uses iTunes as its library manager, and iTunes as we know does not support DSD, they've come up with an interesting work-around for this sticky situation. Unlike Pure Music and Audirvana which create proxy files within iTunes that point to the DSD file so your DSD music shows up in your iTunes library, BitPerfect have come up with a clever alternative:

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