Neil Young To Offer A High Resolution Download...Service?

What's he building in there? As reported by Rolling Stone, Neil Young has filed for a bevy of trademarks with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that appear to be related to a high resolution music download service. Here's the description from the trademark application:
Audio and video recordings featuring music and artistic performances; high resolution music downloadable from the internet; high resolutions discs featuring music and video of music and artistic performances; pre-recorded digital media containing audio and video recordings featuring music and artistic performances for storage and playback.
Young applied for a total of six trademarks: Ivanhoe, 21st Century Record Player, Earth Storage, Storage Shed, Thanks for Listening and SQS (Studio Quality Sound). We all know Neil has been very vocal about the current state of crappy lossy downloads (bravo!) and in a recent interview with All Things Digital he proposed that "some rich guy" develop an iPod-like device capable of playing high definition music. It appears as if Mr. Young has moved his sites to the Cloud (which makes more sense to me).

This story is spreading around the web in Chinese whispers as its being reported by sites including Pitchfork that, "Neil Young Developing High Resolution Audio Format". If you read those trademark names and the brief description from the application, it seems clear that we're talking about a high definition download service; not a high resolution audio format.

As Rolling Stone points out, this morsel from a press release for his forthcoming memoir may provide a larger clue:

Young is also personally spearheading the development of Pono, a revolutionary new audio music system presenting the highest digital resolution possible, the studio quality sound that artists and producers heard when they created their original recordings. Young wants consumers to be able to take full advantage of Pono's cloud-based libraries of recordings by their favorite artists and, with Pono, enjoy a convenient music listening experience that is superior in sound quality to anything ever presented.

Sure sounds like the plan is to offer access to Cloud-based high definition music but I suppose we'll just have to wait and see and hear. In the mean time, Neil should probably have a look at this list.

jjgr's picture

It's worth re-watching the full 32 minute Square D interview with Neil (despite Peter Kafka's boneheaded questions):

It looks like whatever Neil is cooking up includes downloadable files playable on some kind of portable device (not just a streaming service); with file sizes containing 100% of the 24 bit 192k resolution studio masters (whereas typical iTunes mp3s contain 5%, CDs contain 10.3% and SACDs "equivalent to about 96k which is about 50%").  Can't wait to hear what this is all about.  

labjr's picture

If his idea is anything like the quality of his recordings then bring it on. The forty year old Harvest album is to die for in high resolution. Neil, is obviously a perfectionist in the studio.