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Michael Lavorgna  |  Mar 31, 2014
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  |  Mar 13, 2014
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.

Michael Lavorgna  |  Mar 12, 2014
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?
Michael Lavorgna  |  Mar 10, 2014
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.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Mar 06, 2014
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.

Michael Lavorgna  |  Feb 26, 2014
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:
Michael Lavorgna  |  Feb 03, 2014
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.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 27, 2014
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?
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 23, 2014
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?
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 23, 2014
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*.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 23, 2014
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:
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 22, 2014
(Photo by Frank Micelotta/Invision/AP)

Last night at the Producers and Engineers Wing's seventh annual Grammy party, which "will Highlight Sound Quality", Neil Young was given an award "for his commitment to excellence and ongoing support for the art and craft of recorded music." And Neil gave a speech. Here's a part of it (and the video of the entire thing):

Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 22, 2014

Regardless of how you look at the data, the truth of the matter is hard drives fail. Some sooner than others which is the good news/bad news aspect illustrated by this fairly exhaustive, more so for the Seagate drives apparently, 27,000+ drive study by cloud storage provider Backblaze. While this is certainly worth a full read since Backblaze talks about specific models (hint: if you want the most reliable, pick Hitachi) the take-away point that anyone with music stored on a hard drive should take away is—Back Up Your Music!

Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 02, 2014
The Big Show. The really, really, big show that is CES begins Tuesday, January 7, 2014 and runs through Friday, January 10. I'll be covering all things computer audio with a keen eye towards that which is new. With the recent proliferation of shows, it will be interesting to see how many companies have saved their product launches for CES 2014. My guess is a lot.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Dec 31, 2013
From the press release:
ARIES, the first product in the Lightning family, serves as a bridge between music on network storage and DACs, enabling DACs to stream music quickly and superbly via Wi-Fi in virtually any format, including DSD, double-rate DSD and DXD. ARIES includes a switchable USB host output; digital AES/EBU, coaxial and Toslink connections driven by AURALiC's patented ActiveUSB technology; and an extremely accurate Femto Master Clock.

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