PonoMusic Progress Update

The PonoMusic Team updated Kickstarter backers (I’m proud to be included in that number) with news about strategic partnerships and product engineering progress.

PonoMusic is making great progress on the development of the new and improved PonoPlayer (the one you pledged for), as well as the on-line store, the content delivery system, and the desktop media center application.

1. Desktop Media Software

JRiver (www.jriver.com) will provide a Pono-branded version of their world-class desktop media center software. This software will be similar to the iTunes® desktop app in that it will allow you to manage your music, create playlists, sync your music to your PonoPlayer, access the PonoMusic store, buy & download music to your desktop, do player firmware updates, etc.

2. PonoMusic Store

PonoMusic will partner with CloudCraze (www.cloudcraze.com), an eCommerce platform that runs natively on the salesforce1® platform. The PonoMusic Store will be hosted through a partnership with SalesForce.com. PonoMusic will establish a world-class social music store. PonoMusic expects to have their PonoPlayer pre-order store (for post-Kickstarter pre-orders of PonoPlayers and some accessories) up and running in mid-to-late June. Kickstarter supporters will receive notification of automatically created user accounts at that time.

3. Content Delivery

PonoMusic is days away from finalizing a partnership with a world-class content delivery partner who has great expertise in the content management and quality management issues.

Work has also begun the initiative with major music labels to have the PonoMusic store on-line with a very large, relevant and interesting content catalog by October.

Bruce Botnick has joined the PonoMusic leadership team. He is a legendary audio engineer and record producer known for his work with the Doors, Love, Buffalo Springfield, the Beach Boys, Marvin Gaye, and many other artists. Bruce is responsible for establishing the PonoMusic content strategy and ensuring that they will provide the highest quality version of each recording sold in their music store.

Bruce’s graphic below captures the state of modern recording today and depicts his motivation for joining Pono to help us save music from the lossy formats such as MP3.

4. Headphones,

The PonoMusic Team is working on several offerings that they are very excited about. Their goal is to make it as easy as possible for you to experience the flawless sound from Pono soundtracks, and do so at an affordable price. They also will be testing headphones from many of the major manufacturers and posting their recommendations on their site in a few months.

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Beats by dr. dre – Daily Post 2011 – Post #7

Monster Cable has introduced  a series of phenomenal headphones and earbuds. They offer a serious, direct challenge to Bose and Sennheiser, who have long been considered the “gold standard” for headphone product engineering excellence. It is the type of challenge that benefits music consumers, producers, and artists vastly.

I recently auditioned Beats by dr. dre. One of my students, Jordan Devin brought them into class for me to sample and experience. I have to say that Beats by dr. dre, over-ear model is a superior listening product. I tested the beatspro high performance professional headphones. I was very impressed with the results. I first attached them to my Apple iPhone 3Gs and listened to an ALAC edition of Pat Metheny‘s Orchestrion recording. I have been listening to this recording since its first day inception and I readily admit I heard nuances of Pat’s music I had never heard before.  I have witnessed Pat Metheny in concert performing Orchestrion and  I still was picking up on subtlety’s of the sound that had not yet reached my ears 🙂

I then connected the beatspro headphones to my Dell computer, running Windows 7 and Apple’s iTunes. I sampled The Beatles remastered and re-engineered “Come Together” from Abbey Road. Again I heard aspects of that recording that were being newly introduced to my ears. These are some amazing headphones, let me tell you.

Yes the price tag is steep, $449.95 but the value is undeniable. If you think of the design team who architected and engineered these products you understand what you are getting. dr. dre is the pinnacle of hip-hop sound production. I trust dr. dre instinctually and his sense of audio sound is striking. Jimmy Iovine has been a force of change and influence in the music indutry. Jimmy was very disillusioned with what the record companies were dishing out with inferior sound via MP3 (64 kb). He said it was like putting music through a blender and trying to appreciate its results. dr. dre, Jimmy Iovine and Monster Cable have arrived at a fantastic series of sound products.

dr. dre’s beatspro headphones are now on my want list. Thanks, Jordan for putting me on to this superior solution. It gives my music listening a whole new level of meaning and interpretation!