Neil Young is approaching his latest project like a hurricane, but the legendary Canadian singer songwriter isn’t working on a new album, he’s working on revolutionizing digital sound quality.
This new project, known as Pono, is a digital-to-analog music service that will offer master downloads of songs. Young’s group filed a trademark application in December of 2012 and, according to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, it is for “cases for audio tuners, audio receivers, amplifiers, tape players, compact disc players, MP3 controllers/players, audio mixers, audio speakers in the nature of music studio monitors, microphones, audio speakers, compact discs, audio tapes, portable computers, antennas, phonographic record players, audio recording equipment.” The domain name mypono.com has also been registered.
Though specific details have yet to be released, some information has been revealed over the past few months. Earlier this month Young tweeted that the cloud-based library and portable components would be ready by the coming summer. While on the David Letterman show in September, Young revealed that he was in negotiations with Sony to transfer some of their albums, including Highway 61 Revisited and The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan. Sony had no comment when contacted by Rolling Stone.
This will not be Young’s first foray into the world of technology. He was an early investor for Pacific Microsonics, the company that developed HDCD before being acquired by Microsoft in 2000. One of his close associates, furthermore, is a Chairman of the Board of Directors at sound powerhouse Dolby. Should this project come through as planned, there will be yet another way for music fans to keep on rockin in the free world.