Thread: The Pono Kickstarter is taking off

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  1. #21
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    Default Re: The Pono Kickstarter is taking off

    Will the files be tied to the player?

    That is: will those of us who already have a decent DAC connected to a decent pair of speakers be able to use the PonoStore as just a place to buy the FLAC files?


    Seems like that toblerone-thing is redundant hardware for some of us.
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  2. #22
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    Default Re: The Pono Kickstarter is taking off

    Will the files be tied to the player?

    That is: will those of us who already have a decent DAC connected to a decent pair of speakers be able to use the PonoStore as just a place to buy the FLAC files? ...
    No. Yes.
  3. #23
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    Default Re: The Pono Kickstarter is taking off

    Tech stock speculators are probably having a cow because this stands to make a whole lot of recent technology they are gambling on, especially streaming, look a lot less fashionable. Perceived value is what these folks live on.
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  4. #24
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    Default Re: The Pono Kickstarter is taking off

    It was especially, although predictably, infuriating to read (That Moron) Lefsetz against Pono precisely BECAUSE it's not going to be 'free'

    Sometimes I fantasize that what we need is a few years of zero professional recording released.
    After some time with nothing but hobbyists exchanging finger paintings I wonder if they might come to the conclusion that perhaps it might be 'worth' paying for professional musicians and producers and recording.


    The big potential promise/hope for Pono is that in a high res format it might help return music to the emotionally involving listening activity it used to be.
    It's understandable that people don't think they should pay for background music.
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    Default Re: The Pono Kickstarter is taking off

    I think the album cover was a much more major part of the listening experience than many in "the industry" are willing to admit. When the LP went away, I and most of my friends in the industry stopped buying records!
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  6. #26
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    Default Re: The Pono Kickstarter is taking off

    I'm not sure exactly who Pono is going to benefit. Quite frankly I don't think hi-res is enough of a selling point, especially to the "I can't complain, it's free" generation.

    On the technical side, you've got Dan Lavry saying that higher sample rates compromise the accuracy of of audio quality.

    If Lavry is correct, those who don't hear a difference between 24/192 and MP3 may be right, since according to Lavry, sampling at that rate compromises the accuracy of audio capture and can cause distortion. (Let's not even begin to discuss how much people don't hear to begin with.)

    According to Lavry:

    Given that stereo audio tracks are sampled simultaneously and reconstructed simultaneously, there is no relative time shift between channels. Clearly, the time between samples for a 44.1 KHz system is 22.7μsec. For 384 KHz the time is 2.6μsec. But it does not matter. Decreasing the time between samples does nothing to alter the accuracy of the timing relationship between channels!

    Proper time location for audio does demand close enough matching of delay between channels. Some people say they can hear μsec differences, others think it is tens of μsec (for the most part, under 22.7μSec). This is not in question. The ERROR is to assume that decreasing the time between samples increases the accuracy of the timing of the audio signal, yielding better matching between channels. The notion that faster sampling yields better stereo location is FALSE, because it is based on an incorrect assumption that timing accuracy increases with sample frequency!

    Some people claim in error that for double the storage and double the time required for file transfer or download, they will increase converter accuracy and as a result, provide a whole new aspect of audibility that you cannot achieve otherwise. The fact is that they are providing the opposite of what they claim- faster sampling only compromises audio accuracy.


    http://www.lavryengineering.com/pdfs...lity_audio.pdf


    And of course, there's still that, "who cares as long as it's free" thing.

    If I'm not mistaken, surround sound was supposed to be the great white hope of the record industry, just like quad and QSound before it and we know how that turned out. Quad died a quick and painful death, QSound found a home in gaming, and surround thrives in film.

    And therein lies the big hurdle to overcome, which is the public perception that rather than doing their jobs and finding us the next Beatles or Michael Jackson, record labels are only concerned with finding a new technology that will enable them to sell their catalogs all over again without having to risk money on developing new artists, just like they did with CDs.

    Beyond that, nobody really "finds" the next Beatles. The next Beatles finds us, usually after numerous rejections by those who whose job it is to discover them. Until we get a crop of record executives who aren't afraid to sell what they don't understand, or even like for that matter, all were going to get is what MBA's know how to do, which is sell what they've sold before. (Crucial Music is successful because they only accept music they know they can sell to their clients.)

    And that's where I think the real problem lays. Music is far too derivative these days to capture anyone's imagination enough for them to reach for their wallets. Plus, it doesn't offer kids a point of rebellion, since today's music not only sounds like their parent's music, but isn't even as good in their estimation, hence The Doors being most popular band among high school kids right on up through the 90s.

    Until someone invents some new musical instruments with unique tonal qualities and a new music to go with it, and then combines that with over-the-top visuals and a new peer-pressure sales inducing delivery system, I think we'll continue to chase our tails trying to return to the good old days when a handful of people bought records, and that was enough to make a decent living.
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  7. #27
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    Default Re: The Pono Kickstarter is taking off

    Dan's statement assumed no digital signal processing beyond processor oversampling is involved and he was talking about custom and not stock, on-chip filter designs. Today everything is processed all to hell after leaving the mastering room. Chips are all over the map and some 192k chips have a reputation for sounding even better than Dan's custom designs of a decade ago.

    This in no way means 192 is automagically always better but it's an oversimplification to suggest its always the same or worse. Digital is all about specific implimentations and not formats.

    I can also assure everybody that stereo would have failed too had nobody started producing pop records in stereo rather than just remixing records produced for mono.
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  8. #28
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    Default Re: The Pono Kickstarter is taking off

    Dan's statement assumed no digital signal processing beyond processor oversampling is involved and he was talking about custom and not stock, on-chip filter designs. Today everything is processed all to hell after leaving the mastering room. Chips are all over the map and some 192k chips have a reputation for sounding even better than Dan's custom designs of a decade ago.

    This in no way means 192 is automagically always better but it's an oversimplification to suggest its always the same or worse. Digital is all about specific implimentations and not formats.

    I can also assure everybody that stereo would have failed too had nobody started producing pop records in stereo rather than just remixing records produced for mono.

    Which is why I said, "if" Dan Lavry is correct. I've never been able to reconcile Lavry's approach with Igor Levin's. Unfortunately Levin keeps his technology close to the vest, but he obviously thinks there are advantages to higher sample rates, hence the 384kHz Isochrone Trinity. According to Levin, since there are no standard specs for jitter, or universal standard for sound quality, he focuses on the acoustic properties of sound rather than pure math. Beyond that, I have no idea what he does, but perhaps he knows something Lavry doesn't, though I'm not in a position to judge.

    Personally, I'm all for producing and releasing hi-res audio, though I still think that high-resolution audio alone isn't enough to get people to fork over when they can get acceptable for free.

    I once had a conversation with Michael Wagener about recording at higher sample rates. His take was that if you're doing rock and roll, you really didn't need to go higher than 48kHz, but higher sampling rates made sense for acoustic ensemble recording.

    And then there's Mick Guzauski, who recently told me in an interview that he doesn't pay much attention to sample rates since he's had projects come in at 44.1k that sounded great, and others recorded at 96k that were, well . . . not so great. But since he mainly mixes, his take was that the plug-ins sounded better to him at 96kHz.

    Not that these statements are proof of anything, but they do seem to support the notion that sound quality alone isn't the solution to flagging sales.

    To me, the solution to the industry's current dilemma rests not only in the music itself, but our current cultural context as well. Things are cyclical in nature, and at the moment, we're in a downturn based on the times. Considering that music is still the number one download on the Internet, it doesn't appear that it's likely to go away, but I do think we have to wait until certain things have run their course before a return is possible.

    To help bring about that change, my opinion is that the industry and its artists should worry less about investing in technology (which tends to create as many problems as it solves) and start putting their time and money into supporting music education and creating performance venues where music can flourish.
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  9. #29
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    Default Re: The Pono Kickstarter is taking off

    I've found that projects I started at 96 generally sound better even down to an mp3 but I'll do 48 if portability is important.
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    Default Re: The Pono Kickstarter is taking off

    In that linked paper, Lavry doesn't ever offer any proofs of his contention that higher sampling rates compromise accuracy. It just keeps being offered as a supposition, perhaps under the concept that the more you repeat something, the more true it becomes?

    He's correct about one thing...cramming more sample points in, on a system with poor clocking, will not result in more accuracy. However, if you have a 44khz clock that is accurate to 0.001 percent and a 440khz clock that is accurate to 0.001 percent, you don't have equivalent functional accuracy. There is the problem with his statements.

    Timing accuracy increases when you have more accurate clocks. AND fast-enough processing so that you don't have to fudge the timing.
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  11. #31
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    Default Re: The Pono Kickstarter is taking off

    Dan was talking about the settling time of real world parts for discreet component filters at 4x 96 vs. 4X 192 sample rate, if I recall right.
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  12. #32
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    Default Re: The Pono Kickstarter is taking off

    Nothing is really going to help sales until we find a solution to the distribution problem. And that means getting adequate enforcement against piracy and eliminating streaming on demand and for free.
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    Default Re: The Pono Kickstarter is taking off

    To me, the solution to the industry's current dilemma rests not only in the music itself, but our current cultural context as well. Things are cyclical in nature, and at the moment, we're in a downturn based on the times. Considering that music is still the number one download on the Internet, it doesn't appear that it's likely to go away, but I do think we have to wait until certain things have run their course before a return is possible.
    Piracy does not seem to be "running its course" in any hurry.

    And it isn't "cyclical in nature".
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  14. #34
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    To me the importance of hi-res audio pails in comparison to the problems associated with brick wall limiting. It's good that they're trying something I guess, but I don't think they're attacking the elephant in the audio quality room.
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  15. #35
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    Default Re: The Pono Kickstarter is taking off

    Piracy does not seem to be "running its course" in any hurry.

    And it isn't "cyclical in nature".
    No, stealing is as perennial to human nature as taking things that don't belong to us. Apart from trying not to sound totally deflating in general, I was referring more to the current state of popular music and our current state of cultural and moral regression.

    My observations of human behavior through history brought me to the conclusion that after humanity makes itself so sick of its own bad behavior, we experience a short periods of enlightenment followed by much longer periods of darkness.

    For example, it's 2014 and rather than exploring space and riding around in hover cars, we're experiencing and debating the same things we dealt with in the 1920s, including evolution, unhealthy conditions in the meat packing industry, and a great depression, all brought about by eliminating the very laws meant to prevent them, yet here we are again. Only this time, there are no Clarrence Darrows or Upton Sinclairs, and the closest thing we have to an FDR is a stretch of asphalt running along the east side of Manhattan. Yet nearly a century later, we have a house representative and former OB/GYN claiming that a male fetus masturbates in the womb (hmm, wait a minute, come to think of it, considering our current surroundings that might not be totally wrong . . . ) and senators using the phrase, "legitimate rape" (in order to protect Halliburton and perhaps their own sons), when rape is defined in the dictionary as the unlawful act of forcing someone to have sex and the word "legitimate" means allowed by law or correct.

    But I digress - I was just trying to add a hopeful note to an otherwise depressing circumstance, that at some point we will return to a more ethical time. Busted.
    Last edited by ManRoom Studio; March 16th, 2014 at 03:51 AM. Reason: Typo
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  16. #36
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    Default Re: The Pono Kickstarter is taking off

    In that linked paper, Lavry doesn't ever offer any proofs of his contention that higher sampling rates compromise accuracy. It just keeps being offered as a supposition, perhaps under the concept that the more you repeat something, the more true it becomes?

    I noticed that when I was looking for a quote in his white paper. There was nothing that verbally supported his claim, which is why I included the link so that those more technically astute than I am could see if such proof existed in the graphs etc. Apparently not.
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  17. #37
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    Default Re: The Pono Kickstarter is taking off

    Only this time, there are no Clarrence Darrows or Upton Sinclairs, and the closest thing we have to an FDR is a stretch of asphalt running along the east side of Manhattan.
    Actually, we do have modern equivalents of these people, but their voices are being drowned out by the conductors of the crazy train yelling over the loudspeakers.
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  18. #38
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    Default Re: The Pono Kickstarter is taking off

    People love to quote Lavry as "proof" that one "doesn't need higher sample rates" and yet Lavry said, pretty clearly, that 60 was 'probably ideal', certainly not 44.1

    so quibbling over whether 96 is "too high" is kind of pointless unless you start by saying 44.1 is "too low"


    meanwhile, I'm not at all convinced that if someone made a 'must-have' record and released it in 96/24 that it wouldn't create its own need for Pono or another high res player

    people didn't think they needed a phone that was "more than just a phone" either.
    I can't begin to tell you how many people said that to me: "ALL I want is a phone that's a phone."
    they all have iPhones now.

    as Jobs said: you give people what they need, not what they think they need or say they need.
  19. #39
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    Default Re: The Pono Kickstarter is taking off

    Lavry's bit about 60k was to have at least 10k over Nyquist for safety with sensitive ears, but no more than 40k bandwidth, which is why he states the 88.2 or 96k are better but not optimal. In essence, his thesis seems to be if we can't hear it, it doesn't need to be there. He also seems to think that keeping information above human hearing can alter sound in the audible spectrum negatively.

    I know the opposite is true in analog designs, as proven by Neve and John La Grou, but I don't know enough about digital technology to speak intelligently about the matter. However, my instinct is to agree with Rupert Neve's premise that if ultra high frequency components of sound exist in nature, then we ignore them at our own peril.

    As an aside, Walter Sear stated that Nyquist's numbers were wrong, but he never said in what regard, i.e. error in calculation or twice the audible range not being enough. One way or another, it's a fairly bold statement to make, and it would have been interesting to hear him elaborate on that.

    However, more important than the technology itself, I would have to agree unreservedly that the must-have record (hopefully more than one) would drive technology and sales far more than the reverse.
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  20. #40
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    Default Re: The Pono Kickstarter is taking off

    Not that I know anything but though I'm all for making music an emotional experience to people again by improving the audio quality, how can it be done in a world where music tends not to be a communal experience anymore ?
    Shouldn't we find a way to restore that instead of making another masturbating device (eg another personnal player where the listening experience is shared only by you) ?
    I remember the time where we would meet at a friend's house and bring cassettes, CDs or vinyls and sharing with others what we had discovered that week. Nowadays it's down to one guy putting his iPoop on a dock and playing his playlist in random mode as a background noise. What I find sad is that the number of "hey what's that ? it's cool !" moments (relative to the number of tracks played) has been greatly reduced now compared to say 20 years ago...

    My $0,02
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