Pono is a music download service and portable digital music player that’s focused on high-resolution music. This was developed by Neil Young, who wanted people to hear songs “as they first sound during studio recording sessions” as opposed to “the compessed audio inferiority that MP3s offer.”
The PonoPlayer is capable of playing uncompressed music formats such as FLAC, ALAC, WAV, and AIFF in addition to standard formats like AAC and MP3. It plays back music at up to 192kHz in 24-bit. It has two 1/8 inch audio output jacks that offer four modes of operation: personal listening over headphones, home stereo or in-car listening with fixed volume output, PonoShare mode with two pairs of headphones, and a balanced mode that separates left and right channel outputs across the two jacks.
PonoPlayer has a unique triangle shape, with a 2.5 inch color touchscreen. It has three buttons on the face of it, for playing and pausing, and for volume up and down. It has 128 GB of internal storage — 64 GB is flash memory, and the other 64 GB is an included SanDisk microSD card. It has a 2900mAH Lithium-Ion rechargable battery that gives the player up to 8 hours of playback time.
Audio files are loaded onto the PonoPlayer using the Pono Music Center desktop application for Windows and Mac OS. You can also sideload files directly onto the device by mounting it as a USB storage device on a computer.