In an age where we all have portable music players in our pockets, you don't hear a lot of people complaining about the sound quality (or lack thereof) on their devices? In much the same way that vinyl enthusiasts complained upon the advent of compact discs, there is also a very substantial movement of people who would never even consider listening to an MP3.

Why, you might ask? MP3, along with its variants, is a method through which music is compressed to a much smaller file size, achieved by crudely slicing the high end and low end off of the file. Confused? Imagine you wanted to hang a picture in your new house but it's too large too large to fit on the wall. What MP3 would do in this analogy would be to cut the top 10% and the bottom 10% off the painting. Sure, it now fits on the wall but is it the same picture you had to begin with?

Anyway, there's a new saviour in town for all you audiophiles out there. Legendary musician Neil Young will unveil the PonoPlayer at SXSW this week, along with a Kickstarter campaign to get it off the ground. The PonoPlayer is a standalone device which specialises in reproducing high end quality music or, as the press release suggests, "studio master-quality digital music at the highest audio fidelity possible."

The device will have its own iTunes-like music store, which they promise will bring you the "highest resolution digital music".

The PonoPlayer will cost $399 upon its release and each player will store up to 500 high quality albums.

Given that everyone and their dog has a portable music player in their pocket, not to mention those with subscriptions to stream-based music services, is their room for another player in the market? Neil Young is banking on 'yes'.

Source: The Journal