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Neil Young's PonoMusic hits $2M on Kickstarter in one day

Offering both the FLAC-playing PonoPlayer and access to the PonoMusic online store, the rocker's campaign goal of $800,000 was easily surpassed.

Dara Kerr Former senior reporter
Dara Kerr was a senior reporter for CNET covering the on-demand economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado, went to school in New York City and can never remember how to pronounce gif.
Dara Kerr
2 min read
The Neil Young artist signature series PonoPlayer. PonoMusic

Well, that didn't take long. Less than 24 hours after legendary rocker Neil Young launched a Kickstarter page for his long-talked-about Pono music service, the campaign surpassed its goal of $800,000.

As of this writing, the PonoMusic Kickstarter campaign has more than $2 million in pledges from more than 6,200 backers.

One of the reasons this Kickstarter campaign blew through the roof is that music fans and sound aficionados are eagerly looking to get their hands on the Pono music player, or PonoPlayer. The player has been in development for years and will use the Free Lossless Audio Codec (FLAC) audio format, along with other high-resolution music formats.

"I've been hearing Neil talk about this for years and wasn't convinced that it would ever really come to fruition, so it's great to see this," Kickstarter backer Matt Metzger wrote.

Along with the PonoPlayer, Young is also launching PonoMusic, which is an online store for high-resolution music.

"PonoMusic is an end-to-end ecosystem for music lovers to get access to and enjoy their favorite music exactly as the artist created it, at the recording resolution they chose in the studio," the Kickstarter description reads.

Young has talked about revolutionizing MP3 sound quality for years. In 2012, he announced the PonoPlayer and showed off a prototype of the device on the Late Show with David Letterman. While the PonoPlayer's release has been delayed over the years, Young said last fall that it would finally debut in 2014.

The PonoPlayer is slated to ship to Kickstarter backers in October; the US release is also expected that month and is said to retail for $399.