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Launch of Pono Studio Headphones
Old 19th March 2014
  #1171
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddie TX View Post
Yes, but many of us have heard hi-res digital mixes/masters played through good equipment. That's all Pono is.
and what a huge letdown it is going to be when all the people jumping on this bandwagon via the testimonials and hype from the video hear the incrementally small improvements each doubling of the sample rate actually makes
Old 19th March 2014
  #1172
mixmixmix
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There is a new thing with Pono - a new way to make money of the old catalogue.
Time to harvest, so to speak....
Old 19th March 2014
  #1173
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sleepingbag's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
and what a huge letdown it is going to be when all the people jumping on this bandwagon via the testimonials and hype from the video hear the incrementally small improvements each doubling of the sample rate actually makes
everyone who actually bought one of these things is going to be bending over backwards at first to let you know how amazing it sounds whether or not they hear any difference at all. because that is what the sort of person who buys these things does.
Old 19th March 2014
  #1174
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popmann's Avatar
Actually, again--they DO sound markedly better than current label CD masters...just not because they're presented at 24/192. If there's any fear as an engineer it's that some know nothing musician buys a nice sounding 24/192 MASTER...and thinks they should be tracking at 192. But, that's mostly alleviated by these ALL being old tape vault masters. The more realistic fear from this over exposure of old recordings is that they want to go back to tape.
Old 19th March 2014
  #1175
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UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by popmann View Post
Actually, again--they DO sound markedly better than current label CD masters...
Where did you hear the Pono player?

Alistair
Old 19th March 2014
  #1176
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skira's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddie TX View Post
He even says Pono may pay for remastering jobs itself and sell those exclusively for a limited time before sharing them with other vendors.
So they're this far in their business plan and pre-selling units ... and they don't even know for sure what's getting mastered, who's paying for it, and who's selling it. They "may" pay for remastering (if a given label won't, if they can get the label to agree to/alter the split with them, maybe perhaps perchance conceivably imaginably weather permitting).
Old 19th March 2014
  #1177
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
I think that's what is happening. And new music has become throwaway as a result.
we see this argument all the time. there has always been throwaway music and will always be.

also, i grew up in the 70s and i now rarely listen to any of the good 70s pop/rock music (sorry, i've heard it a billion times and it's not mozart)

even with the Beatles White (my fave Beatle's) i will skip songs. Same with Dark Side, which i like even more (if there ever was an album that was listenable from front to back this is it!) This is to say, even on the all time best albums not every song is created equal

Quote:
Back in the day you waited up to two years for your favourite artist's new album. When it was released it was an event, and you listened to it a few thousand times over the next 12 months.
waiting 2 years for an album is more common today then it was 20-30-40 years ago. get my drift?
Old 19th March 2014
  #1178
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Decompress View Post
Respectfully, no I'm not, you're just missing the point.

The gist of Dowdell's comment is that current recorded sample rate/upsampling practice is not sufficient to provide enough information in the time domain for certain plugins to accurately reflect the behavior of certain hardware. The solutions to this, then, are greater upsampling by the plugin, higher recorded sample rate to begin with, or some combination of the two.

Amel's point was about a particular flaw in PCM format behavior and how to fix it. His comments don't suggest he thinks it's a theoretical problem, and that opinion apparently extends to his choice of recording format. His solution for the digital realm is, again, a higher recorded sample rate.

This Pono thread has devolved into repetitious statements from people claiming that higher recorded sampling rates don't matter: I provided commentary from two very accomplished engineers who say that it does, and why. Given the genius of their companies' respective products, I'd say their opinions carry a little bit of weight.
That sampling frequency was calculated for a 24-bit system using non-causal filtering to achieve a group delay distortion figure comparable to the best tape machines.
Old 19th March 2014
  #1179
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themaidsroom's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by popmann View Post
Actually, again--they DO sound markedly better than current label CD masters...just not because they're presented at 24/192. If there's any fear as an engineer it's that some know nothing musician buys a nice sounding 24/192 MASTER...and thinks they should be tracking at 192. But, that's mostly alleviated by these ALL being old tape vault masters. The more realistic fear from this over exposure of old recordings is that they want to go back to tape.
I have no realistic idea what the average person's reference point is in 2014.
I would imagine many will be comparing Pono to low grade MP3s and current radio rather than the existing cd masters. What is hopeful for the prospective Pono participant is that unlike other businesses, I don't think Pono has to be a great earner to validate its existence. If it breaks even, it could simply be a service. All of Neil's language about it seems to be from that vantage point.




Be well


- Jack
Old 19th March 2014
  #1180
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddie TX View Post
If Pono and the labels are smart, they'll do pricing along these lines, REGARDLESS OF FORMAT / RESOLUTION:

Singles (not all album tracks available as singles): $0.99
Albums: $9.99 (CDs were always overpriced, which helped motivate piracy)

If they do the pricing and marketing right, Pono may very well not only succeed, but give the whole music industry the shot in the arm it so desperately needs.

Those are some big ifs, though.
John Hamm, CEO of PonoMusic, has already said the labels, not PonoMusic, are setting the prices and they will be $14.99-$24.99 depending on resolution, which I take to mean:

44.1/16 - $14.99
96/24 - $17.99
192/24 - $24.99

I'm guessing 44.1/24 and 48/24 will fall somewhere between $14.99-$17.99.

There is no way in the world the "masses" in this "revolution" are going to pay those amounts after the first half a dozen or so albums. They'll quickly come to the realization that it is going to get really expensive really fast, and that will be the end of it. Some audiophiles may pay those amounts for some albums some of the time, but they are an insignificant niche, and they already have HDTracks, which is a crapshoot for provenance and upsampling. Audiophiles are already moving on to DSD anyway which Pono won't offer (in an amazing display of rationality).

Query, did the masses rush out and replace all their VHS tapes and DVDs with Blu-rays when they got their HDTVs, or did they buy a few Blu-rays, acknowledged they looked awesome, and then moved on to streaming?

I am sure Neil Young is sincere, but he is following the lead of the labels for the business model, which is the kiss of death.

I'm also guessing that the signature edition Pono players will quickly end up on a shelf right next to to their [insert signature edition artist] bobble-heads...if they haven't already flipped them on eBay to the really crazy rock memorabilia collectors.
Old 19th March 2014
  #1181
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave.R View Post
we see this argument all the time. there has always been throwaway music and will always be.

also, i grew up in the 70s
So did I.
Of course there has always been throwaway pop. That wasn't my point.
And yes, I still enjoy my favourite albums from the 70's.
Your point about skipping tracks is sort of correct, except I probably skip different tracks to you. This is the essence of the album. If you asked 100 Neil Young fans to list their top 10 Young recordings you won't get 100 lists containing the same 10 songs. Although you might see the same 5 or 6 songs repeated over and over I admit.
Old 20th March 2014
  #1182
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
...I probably skip different tracks to you. This is the essence of the album.
but proponents for the "album" are basically arguing that there is some inherent virtue in the format

i beg to differ!

old formats (technologies) favored certain outcomes, like c.20 minutes per side on vinyl or c.10 songs. that has nothing to do with art

why is music, in the age of infinity (digital), still following this paradigm?

note that vinyl was a terrible format for classical music going as far back as the baroque period (200+ years)
Old 20th March 2014
  #1183
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gavriloP's Avatar
 

There are place for album and single songs. To take one of them away would be to destroy many beautiful things. Single can be a hit, it can be a song to be remembered by. But album can have dramatic arc, it can have narrative and mixture of different kind of songs that singles never can. With singles you are aiming for a "hit" but with album you could have songs that never would've been hits but can be much more meaningful. To have song like Bohemian rhapsody on an album is much much more common than to have that kind of song as a single.

Recorded music started with singles and there's nothing wrong with that, but album format gave bands and artists much more room to do "art". It expanded everything. So there is stuff that is only suitable for album format. That's reason alone to have that format WITH singles.

There should be no reason to make albums just to get more money, simply put. But when there is stuff like King Crimsons In the court of the crimson king or Pink Floyd's DSOTM or The Wall, they are like symphonies. Don't cut them to easy-listening medleys. Think about it, if there weren't no albums, there wouldn't ever be songs like The Great Gig in the Sky. Probably not even Us and Them...

BTW I think there should be no higher price for HD content. After all, aren't we buying the right to listen rather than megabytes?
Old 20th March 2014
  #1184
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gavriloP View Post
With singles you are aiming for a "hit"
says who?

i don't think Schubert was "aiming for a hit" every time he wrote a song

Quote:
To have song like Bohemian rhapsody on an album is much much more common than to have that kind of song as a single.
Bohemian rhapsody was one of the biggest hit singles in the history of pop music

Quote:
album format gave bands and artists much more room to do "art". It expanded everything.
with digital, artists now have infinite room for art without feeling confined to the album format
Old 20th March 2014
  #1185
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bogosort View Post
A Grammy winner with a dumb opinion? Impossible!!

(Now you've embarrassed yourself.)
I've posted his credentials.
Sorry, I'll take his opinion over yours.
Old 20th March 2014
  #1186
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia View Post
I don't see what one thing has to do with the other. I have over a half dozen platinum records and I can't hear the difference between 16 bit and 24 bit.
Old 20th March 2014
  #1187
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nuthinupmysleeve's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave.R View Post
but proponents for the "album" are basically arguing that there is some inherent virtue in the format

i beg to differ!

old formats (technologies) favored certain outcomes, like c.20 minutes per side on vinyl or c.10 songs. that has nothing to do with art

why is music, in the age of infinity (digital), still following this paradigm?

note that vinyl was a terrible format for classical music going as far back as the baroque period (200+ years)
This is silly. Of course there is virtue in the album format. I like to release related collections of songs that together make a single work. I find it a great format... for me. I like to listen to records that way too quite often.

That doesn't come at the expense of singles... life is not binary.

I prefer listening to full albums, but not because of "virtue." To me it's more complex and a higher art form... not necessarily better.
Old 20th March 2014
  #1188
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popmann's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow View Post
Where did you hear the Pono player?

Alistair
I did not. I have heard the masters. They've been released as they were finished...depending on the mastering house as to whether on SACD or 24/192 on HDTracks.
Old 20th March 2014
  #1189
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new vinyl records cost 24.99-34.99 and up.... Pono music seems to fall in this slot... Pono is portable vinyl in digital format.
Old 20th March 2014
  #1190
…..Double-sorry
Old 20th March 2014
  #1191
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave.R View Post
but proponents for the "album" are basically arguing that there is some inherent virtue in the format

i beg to differ!
I'm not particularly arguing for the album, but yes I think it had positives that have been lost.
I remember buying an album on the strength of a couple of singles. At first you mainly loved the singles and found it hard to like some of the other songs. Often what I found after say six months was I'd grown bored of the singles and a couple of songs I initially didn't like had grown on me, and they've often been the songs that have stayed with me years later. It's the difference between instant gratification and learning to love something.
Single song purchases are based on instant gratification, and often a 30sec to 1 minute demo. You never get to hear, let alone have to work to like, the deeper more difficult songs.
That's a loss to the audience and a loss to our industry/art form.
Old 20th March 2014
  #1192
Quote:
Originally Posted by dabigfrog View Post
new vinyl records cost 24.99-34.99 and up.... Pono music seems to fall in this slot... Pono is portable vinyl in digital format.
New vinyl serves a tiny audience. I thought Pono was trying to drag more people back to well written, well recorded music. If it's just designed to appeal to the tiny margin buying vinyl we can forget the debate right now.
Old 20th March 2014
  #1193
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Mertmo's Avatar
 

nicely put, chrisso
Old 20th March 2014
  #1194
Old 20th March 2014
  #1195
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Hyder boy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
I'm not particularly arguing for the album, but yes I think it had positives that have been lost.
I remember buying an album on the strength of a couple of singles. At first you mainly loved the singles and found it hard to like some of the other songs. Often what I found after say six months was I'd grown bored of the singles and a couple of songs I initially didn't like had grown on me, and they've often been the songs that have stayed with me years later. It's the difference between instant gratification and learning to love something.
Single song purchases are based on instant gratification, and often a 30sec to 1 minute demo. You never get to hear, let alone have to work to like, the deeper more difficult songs.
That's a loss to the audience and a loss to our industry/art form.
Best post award goes to...
Old 20th March 2014
  #1196
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarmenC View Post
Just in case anyone glances at the above and concludes that Warner have 'remastered 8000 titles in 24/192' in a fit of Pono-driven, public-spirited magnanimity: "WMG – home to artists including Muse, the Black Keys, Common and Jill Scott – has converted its library of 8,000 album titles to high-resolution, 192kHz/24-bit sound. It was a process completed prior to the company's partnership with Young's Pono project last year, said Craig Kallman, chairman and chief executive of Atlantic Records." (Neil Young Expands Pono Digital-to-Analog Music Service | Music News | Rolling Stone Sept 2012)

This would seem to support the line of argument many of us are taking here which is that as most record labels have already absorbed the (relatively low) costs of re-compiling their back-catalogues in HD format, principally as a means of archiving their crumbling libraries of 2-track tapes, it begs the question why are they charging $24.99 to re-release them instead of simply replacing the $7.99 mp3 file with a new 24/192k file?

As Kenny has pointed out, given they've already done the conversion to HD, from now on it is actually costing the labels more to 'downgrade' the masters to a deliberately crippled format like mp3 or even CD, than simply to release the HD masters they are already sitting on!

Mr Young needs to address this aspect of his worthy crusade above anything else if he wishes to succeed. Raising funds from the general public to manufacture some kind of fancy iPod seems to me to be entirely ignoring the elephant in the room.
Old 20th March 2014
  #1197
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themaidsroom's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
I'm not particularly arguing for the album, but yes I think it had positives that have been lost.
I remember buying an album on the strength of a couple of singles. At first you mainly loved the singles and found it hard to like some of the other songs. Often what I found after say six months was I'd grown bored of the singles and a couple of songs I initially didn't like had grown on me, and they've often been the songs that have stayed with me years later. It's the difference between instant gratification and learning to love something.
Single song purchases are based on instant gratification, and often a 30sec to 1 minute demo. You never get to hear, let alone have to work to like, the deeper more difficult songs.
That's a loss to the audience and a loss to our industry/art form.

i agree.
as others have already noted, great post.
Old 20th March 2014
  #1198
There seems to be a value equation here: I think everyone is agreed it's not fair (or good sonic practice) to simply upsample...so what costs are involved in re-mastering an original recording into a high-defiinition format?

I have no professional knowledge about this...from a laypersons perspective I'd assume: some re-licensing fee to the artist/publisher/label; any restoration fees; mastering engineers fees; studio fees; publishing costs e.g. admin./advertising/artwork/etc; distribution costs; profits for shareholders; taxes - and that divided by projected unit sales.

The current pricing is certainly prohibitive for me to use such a system in the traditional sense - but perhaps, on a desert island, the Steely Dan catalogue would be priceless.
Old 20th March 2014
  #1199
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dabigfrog View Post
Pono is portable vinyl in digital format.
only it's not

Except for the snobbery factor, hi-res digital and vinyl have little in common. The sound of hi-res digital has way more in common with 'medium'-res digital than it does with vinyl. The thing is, the analog purists' heads are about to explode from the Cognitive Dissonance. Knowing that most of their vinyl records from the 1970's onward passed through a 16-bit ADDA on the way to the cutting head is killing them.

High-res digital is the "excuse" they have been looking for to give themselves permission to enjoy music in a format that they used to always say "sucked". To get out of the corner they have painted themselves into.

Hi-res is a way of giving themselves permission to enjoy music in the very format they have vilified for so long. They would say things like: "digital makes me physically ill". Now they can say: "16/44.1 makes me physically ill, but add 8 bits and a higher sampling rate and it's more like vinyl".

Which vinyl would that be, the vinyl that passed through a 16-bit Digital Delay?
Old 20th March 2014
  #1200
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by James Lehmann View Post
Just in case anyone glances at the above and concludes that Warner have 'remastered 8000 titles in 24/192' in a fit of Pono-driven, public-spirited magnanimity: "WMG – home to artists including Muse, the Black Keys, Common and Jill Scott – has converted its library of 8,000 album titles to high-resolution, 192kHz/24-bit sound. It was a process completed prior to the company's partnership with Young's Pono project last year, said Craig Kallman, chairman and chief executive of Atlantic Records." (Neil Young Expands Pono Digital-to-Analog Music Service | Music News | Rolling Stone Sept 2012)

This would seem to support the line of argument many of us are taking here which is that as most record labels have already absorbed the (relatively low) costs of re-compiling their back-catalogues in HD format, principally as a means of archiving their crumbling libraries of 2-track tapes, it begs the question why are they charging $24.99 to re-release them instead of simply replacing the $7.99 mp3 file with a new 24/192k file?

As Kenny has pointed out, given they've already done the conversion to HD, from now on it is actually costing the labels more to 'downgrade' the masters to a deliberately crippled format like mp3 or even CD, than simply to release the HD masters they are already sitting on!

Mr Young needs to address this aspect of his worthy crusade above anything else if he wishes to succeed. Raising funds from the general public to manufacture some kind of fancy iPod seems to me to be entirely ignoring the elephant in the room.
I find it hard to believe anyone is seriously asking this question...
Nowhere in that article does it say that the labels have already recouped their remastering costs. You just made that up.
If a current album in AAC (iTunes) format is approx. 300 mb to download and the same album in 24/192 is 1.33 GB to download from PONO, you can't see the difference in cost (servers, bandwidth) there would be to supply 24/192 to the entire planet as compared to AAC?
Really?
An extra gb of data per album millions of times a day for hi res downloads?
How much does that cost?

Apple sets the prices in iTunes
PONO doesn't set the prices in the PONOstore. The labels do.
That is the attraction for the labels.
I've already posted pics of the PONO store showing some of their pricing.

Jeezzzzzzzz...
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