Communication Breakdown - It's ALWAYS  the same..........

In PoNo Land:

With the store shuttered and dark for NEARLY FOUR months now, there is VERY LITTLE to NO indication when, or in fact, IF, a storefront will be re-opening @ any time in the near or foreseeable future.



How can one whom is such a profilific , illustrative, imaginative and captivating song writer be such a poor communicator?

It boggles the mind......

When you fail to address answers to questions in a timely manner, directly (AND FREQUENTLY) provide status updates, you create speculation. More often times than not. Some truths, some falsehoods. All such speculation is very avoidable with the use of today's Social Media outlets. UPDATES. In the form of emails, Tweets, Facebook posts, or, God forbid, The site itself. Your site.

Unless, of course, There are NO updates OR  the news is Not Good.......

There are a few innarestin' developments:

Firstly, "Dandy" Randy "Leisure Suit" Leasure (V.P. of something or other @ PoNo land), comes out and famously mis-represents The PoNo Promise by stating, Incorrectly, that the promise always carried a one year expiration date.

Well, this was simply NOT the case and EVERYONE (except Randy) Knew it. Original Backers, Late comers, and even peeps who are NO LONGER "entitled" knew it.

Apparently, Randy needed a weeny whacking to get back in line and C.E.O. Neil had to step in to do some damage control to reassure the PoNo faithful that YES, in fact, The PoNo Promise is "Alive and Well" and "our GIFT " to our customers. If you purchase music from PoNo @ a lower resolution and a higher resolution becomes available, you are entitled for a higher resolution upgrade. Free of charge, FOREVER.

Well, All I can say is Thanks, Neil. For Nothing. Literally.

The PoNo Promise does NOT apply to me, or ANYONE else who gets the boot for disagreeing with PoNo, The Moderators or other "members". Talk about an indian giver lookin' a gift horse in the mouth....

Sorry, but I don't interpet  or perceive a "PROMISE", especially one purchased, as a "GIFT".

So Much For The "PoNo Promise"

Then there is this which is perhaps more worrisome in a different and deeper way:

It seems as though a Golden Earred member ran a free App named Music Scope on some music purchased from the PoNo store when it was opened. Instead of the 24/192 High Res files he was expecting, since he PAID for that Higher Resolution, he discovered the files to be "up converted" from CD resolution of 16/44. You can try the free App for yourself or purchase a license and run a pro version on all of your so called high res files.

So much for "PoNo Provenance".......

To be fair this sort of thing could happen with music purchased from any High Res download outlet. The files are provided by the record Companies. But If a CUSTOMER can run a free App, surely a High Res music outlet, such as PoNo, can do the same. Isn't that what provenance is supposed to mean?

OH, wait. EIGHT employees. Half working on provenance. And I am certain that number has been decreased while the PoNo store stays dark and shuttered, with zero revenue "streaming" in.....

WHAT REALLY AMAZES ME is the PoNo loyalists, the Faithful, the Believers with Blinders, THE SHEEP .

They claim they will Not stray, yet there are Grumblings of Sale Events at other sites, of making Neil's catalog available elsewhere, of available titles, New Releases, Availability, etc.......

Just as with The PoNo Promise, the sheep herder himself has to reassure and calm the flock with generic terminology:

"The Store Will Re-Open". No date given.

Keep The Sheep on that straight and narrow pathway to PoNo. Guide them down that slippery slope. They'll wait.

Just as the rest of The PoNo backers from around the World have waited. FOR OVER TWO YEARS!

The Forum is a ramshackle mess of peeps with their own agendas. Communication is lacking. Social Media is lacking. The store is not operational, anywhere. And was only briefly available outside of the U.S. to Canadian backers.

You can't even purchase Neil's latest music in High Resolution Anywhere.

"PoNo is Growing"?

Sorry, I don't see it thattaway.......

For older updates, scroll down

“I would never in good conscience sell an MP3,” said Young. “In truth, it sounds like shit.”

Oh, Really? Here is a pic of my NYA Vol.1 Blu Ray ed.

(Notice the included MP3 D/L card)

 This post is from the owner of JRiver (To the PoNo Forum):

The reaction to Pono Music Vault so far must be disappointing. In the poll done in this forum, 8% said they would use the Vault, and 66% said they would use other software, perhaps returning to try PMV again later. That's a tough start.

As you may know, JRiver provided a version of JRiver Media Center that Pono distributed as Pono Music World. When the store closed, Pono asked JRiver to waive a month's payment, which I agreed to, and then things went dark. For the rest of 2016, there was no news or payment from Pono.

I want to make it clear that JRiver has been a strong supporter of Pono since the beginning, and the amount of money we received was less than what Pono will probably spend to keep one person working on the PMV.

Last week, I asked Neil's manager if Pono might like to sell the assets or do a joint venture to get the store up and running. I think it could be done in a couple of months. We've done stores before and they aren't that difficult to do. I received no answer.

I'm making the offer again here to see if there is any interest.

Pono had a great start and was ground breaking in some ways, and I think if Neil were to continue to spearhead this movement and had a strong business partner, it could continue to build a solid community. I believe that this community is one of its greatest assets. It's painful to watch it slipping away.

Let's do something while it still can be done.

Jim Hillegass

PonoMusic World, PonoMusic Vault, Pono, The Kitchen Floor, (3 more) Comment   ·   Like   ·   Share   ·  
Today at 12:52 PM   ·  


I Cannot help but feel as though the C.E.O. has thrown in the towel.

Still think PoNo is growing?





Neil's ENTIRE Hi-Res Catalog is now available for the FIRST TIME on the Industry-Leading, HDTRACKS.COM

Heck, you can't even buy a player on the site anymore.......

gotta go to for those ($50 less)!

The site has become a PoNo Tee Shirt Shop!

(wonder if PoNo will ship shirts world-wide?)

Do Ya Think HDTRACKS.COM Will Honor The B.S. "PoNo Promise"?


Then, there is this:

PONO buying Omnifone for it's patents? Yeah, right. While Backers in Australia, Europe, Japan, South America wait and WAIT AND WAIT for a PONO Music Store to open!

More Likely,  Apple will buy the patents OR maybe ANOTHER competitor who already has the technology AND wants to KEEP IT FOR THEMSELVES?

Think Not? Think Again....

All the Bells And Whistles (Most Notably, Balanced Output) PLUS Dual micro card slots AND Bluetooth Streaming.

Just a few of the things PONO heads have been clamoring for, about to become reality.

If a major player like ONKYO wanted to make it tough for the competition (PONO), they'd buy the Omnifone patents. Heck, PONO didn't even make the top 5 players:

TRANSLATION (from B.S. to English):

If you own a Pono Player Outside of The U.S. & Canada, yer screwed!

CD Quality ain't Hi Res.

And I seriously doubt Pono has MORE Hi Res files than any other site. But I gotta ask the Pono Kickstarters 'round the Blue Marble - HOW's THAT STATEMENT MAKE YOU FEEL?

Not Great, I'm guessin'....

If Pono really did have the largest selection of Hi Res files AND your money, BUT you still don't have access to the Pono Music "WORLD" store.......NOT VERY, what is the word I'm lookin' for? Oh yeah, RIGHTEOUS!

This is very telling. Firstly, we are gettin' someone's goat here at PONOSUCKS.COM

Secondly, 8 people? Eight? Not Eighty and Not Eight Hundred? EIGHT. And 4 of those EIGHT on working on provenance?

Were these the original 8 it took to count all that Kickstarter Money?????

UPDATE 14/08/2016

With the Pono Music Store dark for Nearly a month now, an eagle-eyed member asks a relevant question of the powers that be @ PONO:

Is there now a time limit on the PonoPromise regarding free resolution upgrades, or has that always been the case?
 Just noticed that the updated FAQs that @Randy Leasure (PonoMusic) highlighted regarding the PonoMusic Store's current transition also states that the PonoPromise is good for only one year after you've purchased an album.
The FAQ currently states: "Any album purchased from, regardless of its resolution, will be upgraded at no cost, if a higher resolution version becomes available
within one year of purchase."
Was that always the case?  I hadn't noticed before -- although I also hadn't looked at the PonoPromise FAQ. Pono's Aug. 19, 2015, special announcement regarding the PonoPromise didn't say anything about a time limit. 



BUT this sheds a whole new light on the farce.

A ONE Year limitation, from the date of purchase.

WOW, what a "promise".....

The Real Question here s/b when AND IF the store does Re-open, is the b/s "Pono Promise" going to be extended to compensate for the Store's closure?


I KNOW OF PLENTY OF PEEPS WHO HAVE HAD IT WITH THE FORUM BULLSHIT WHO HAVE SIMPLY VANISHED FROM THE PONO SITE, b/c of a few closed minded simpletons and overzealous moderators.

I am certain they are not back regularly to check for upgrades.



Pono Music & Music download services.


Flat - Out


Here's Why.
Next Page

For older updates, scroll down

Update: 09~03~17

Most Likley this will be the Final Entry to PoNo

Truth be Told, PoNo, For ALL intents & purposes, Seems  to be done.

 I see NO Point in beating a dead horse.....

The PoNo Store is nothing more than a Tee Shirt Shop. Has been for awhile. You Can no longer buy a player a player there And have Not been able to do so for quite sometime. The Music store has remained shuttered. Neil has Waved the White Flag by selling his Hi-Res recordings via his website, @ some VERY heavily discounted prices. I would imagine these titles are allowed for purchase by fans world-wide which is a good thing.

Not so good, however, is that PoNo repair tickets go unanswered, unless prodded by a for'em member for a response, and The PoNo Vault is a disaster.

Jim Hillegass, CEO of JRiver, has offered his services. His offers have fallen on deaf ears.

The Player itself is remarkable. I now own three. My Orig. LE Kick starter Model was serviced once, under warranty, @ less than 1 yr old. First year "anythings" ALWAYS have a higher failure rate. Though initially repaired to my satisfaction, It is showing signs of wear @ 2 & 1/2 years. I purchased a Yellow model 1 &1/2 yrs ago and a Black model approx. 6 Months ago. Both were HEAVILY discounted from You may also purchase from Amazon or on the secondary market from Ebay (LE models surface there from time to time, in varying conditions and at varying price points).

I personally believe the High Res ship has sailed. Downloads will continue, but it has become a niche market. The thing that sets this player apart is the dual DAC's that make ANY music source sound better. So you do not need to purchase and play Hi Res, tho it handles many formats .Flac, DSD, even up to & including 32 bit .Wav files. CD's and even MP3's will almost always sound better. I even digitize and play Analog sources; LP's and Vhs recordings and they sound great as well. Balanced mode is very nice. Once you go balanced, you'll NEVER go back. For the record I have NEVER had an issue with the player. I Love it & use it daily.

Sad, really. What PoNo WAS  & Could've been......

UPDATE : 14~01~17


07 July 2016 And Now For Something Completely Different.....


This move is REALLY Perplexing........

So, basically some "UNKNOWN" Gigantic Media player has scooped up Omnifone. Yeah, old news, MAYBE.

In a nessage posted on the Pono Forum @D$ (PONO) stated that the Pono Music store is closing, TEMPORARILY, as PONO has severed ties w/ Omnifone and entered into a new contract w 7digital to source Hi Res Files.  Dunno if you've frequented 7digital's site before, I have. Prices are competitive, selection is WEAK and they sell MP3's!




It seems as though Randy Leasure of PONO MUSIC is doing some serious back pedaling and being called out by those who know better, I.E. : Original Kickstarter backers.


The "PONO PROMISE" was set forth by Neil. He stated that He was frustrated over having to re-purchase music. Part of the Allure of backing PONO via the third most successful campaign in Kickstarter history AND the most important reason they were able to raise so much cash so quickly, was the



When a higher resolution becomes available, you will get the upgrade, free of charge, FOR LIFE.

now Randy is trying to say it's always been ONE YEAR  from the date of purchase.


"The PonoPromise"
Because we love and appreciate our Pono community of music lovers so much, all music purchased at will now be upgraded for FREE when a label offers a higher resolution upgrade of the same recording.
That is the PonoPromise.
People have had to deal with changing and eroding quality formats over the years, starting with vinyl, then eight tracks, cassettes, CDs, MP3s and now streaming services. Music lovers have been forced to buy or “rent” their music over and over and over again. We here at Pono, think that sucks…. But with Pono, those days are over.
Now, when you buy your favorite music at, the PonoPromise means you will never have to purchase it again, ever! If and when a higher resolution album you have already purchased becomes available, it is yours for FREE!"
Dated Aigust 27, 2015


Yes, The PonoPromise has always been available for 1 year after purchase. Nothing changed on the messaging on the site about that recently and PonoMusic switching 3rd party music partners does not change that. Hope that helps clarify. Thanks
  ·   Today at 2:04 PM   · 


Pono Music & Music download services.


Flat - Out


Here's Why.

Next Page

Neil's New Album "Peace Trail" out December 9th!

One Guess Where It Will NOT  be released.....

hint: check the bottom of the linked page

A couple of days ago, the CEO of Pono Music came out with a rather "defensive" statement:

Neil Young (PonoMusic)

My perspective is focused on getting the best files we can from the labels. They have some things and don't have others, so its a constant job for a small company tracking things down. For your info, Pono sells more 192 and 96 than everything else combined. More than 2/3 of our sales are 96 or higher. There is a demand out there. Though we do offer CD quality in the majority because of hi res availability shortages, we do believe in offering all the music in its highest form and providing free upgrades (ponopromise) if the quality of the file improves from the record co.

We never stop looking for our favorite music in high res. It is a challenge to find it. We keep pushing the record companies. There are a lot of people there who do care. I know who they are. It takes time and money to get to the source. We need more resources and more people to do this job. You may not realize that you are on the cusp of a movement and it is now a piece of cake to be part of. It is a lot of hard work being done by people I am proud to know, inside and outside of Pono.

It is a welcome distraction dealing with unhappy folks who blame us for the lack of High Resolution files in the store. Its good to know how badly these folks want quality. We do everything we can to get these files, including going directly to the artists.

Provenance is another big challenge for us. We reach out constantly to the labels for information about popular releases. I would like to have all of this info. It is hidden or lost inside the music recording history in record company vaults.

We are all on a mission to get the best to you out there. We have 8 active people in our whole organization. I wish I had four just working on provenance.

Your support and enthusiasm for quality listening really helps.



THIS JUST IN:  26~09~2016

Apparently, the 7digital deal Is DEAD.

Under cover of Darkness, Any & ALL references to the impending deal for the PoNo Music Store to re-open with a 7digital partnership were "wiped" from the PoNo website. Chatter on the Forum ensued, followed by this statement from the Chairman of the Bored himself:
Neil Young (PonoMusic)
PONO Update on our progress towards reopening:
All of our PONO team is in place and working non-stop to get things back to where they need to be to serve you with the best musical experience possible, an alternative to streaming and CDs. 
Though it has take longer than we anticipated, until we feel we can deliver the best quality experience to our community, we will not reopen our store.
Quality whether you want it or not.

Neil Young

   Announcements, The Kitchen Floor, Neil Young, (1 more)

Comment   ·   Like   ·   Share   ·  
Today at 1:47 PM   ·  


HAPPY 2017

PMW, as you may have heard, was disco'd on 12/31/16 as PoNo ended it's agreement with JRiver. PoNo has decided to go with a client that has been developed "in house". Developed In House, but Guinea Pig Beta tested on what's left of the PoNo faithful. It may have sailed smoothly thru the "ALPHA" testing phase but by all accounts the "BETA" testing is full of bugs & glitches. So far the response from PoNo has been "Thanks for being patient with us" AND "You could purchase and use JRiver Media Center" -  if you'd prefer NOT to be a lab rat. Oh, and there is also this: The store is still shuttered and looks as if in NO hurry to re-open. Seems the artist formally opposed to MP3's & STREAMING has done a complete and total 360. All eggs now lie in a deplorable basket of low quality MP3's & (can you say TIDAL?) STREAMING. So much for "quality, whether you want it or not"! NOT wins again.

SO, to re-cap:

STILL NO STORE (see the real time count down timer below)

NO MORE PMW supported by JRiver (your choices are: be a Guinea Pig, Purchase JRiver Media Center on Your own OR sideload)

MP3's & STREAMING are now deemed to be "Acceptable", In the world of High Resolution.


Oh and btw, if you haven't figured it out by now, you can also kiss the hollow PoNo "Promise" - Free High Resolution Upgrades For Life - Yeah, right! - GOODBYE.



This is kinda old news that just won't go away......mainly b/c PONO refuses to acknowledge the question or even dignify it with an answer. Or a Confirmation. Or a denial. The High Resolution Music you are Buying is being altered via a process called "Water Marking" and PONO is NOT Denying the process exists.

To be fair, It is Not just High Resolution Music Files purchased From PONO, but all the re-sellers are guilty of this process. Some are just more PONO (righteous) about admitting it!

@Neil Young (PonoMusic) @Randy Leasure (PonoMusic) @Rob Jacobs (PonoMusic) @Bruce GOS (PonoMusic) Is Universal Music Group or any other record label using watermarking in the files it sends to Pono? See here:
  Studio Stories, PonoMusic Store, The Kitchen Floor, (6 more)

Pono Music Download Services.


Allow me to preface this site with an opening statement, If you will:

This is a site created by one former fan of the PONO Music Player. An Original Kick Starter backer's site. It is intended as a personal review, AN OPINION and some ranting. All in the hope that you are able to decide whether or not to part with your money and buy into this. This site deals with the PONO player, PONO "Music World", the PONO forums, Moderators, the "PONO PROMISE", "PONO PROVENANCE" and something called The" PONO REVEALER".

This is NOT an Anti "Shakey" (AKA Neil Young) site.

To say I am a fan of the man, his muse, talents and creations, as an artist and performer would be an understatement........
I have admired, listened to, enjoyed, legally purchased AND re-purchased  all of his music & wares (including two PONO players and, perhaps the GREATEST BOXED SET of ALL TIME, Archives, Volume 1)  Numerous times. I own all of his released, recorded works in various formats. I have seen him perform in all his varied permutations, in many different settings and venues over fifty times and, for the most part, thoroughly enjoyed the musical "ride".

This is a VERY confused and confusing industry. Is it any wonder lesser quality streaming music sales are overtaking High Resolution downloads? The so called "experts" cannot even agree on what high resolution music is, or if it can even be heard by the limited scope and range of human hearing.....




Which All leads to this very discouraging news released today, 01 July 2016:

If "Bitten Fruit Products" AKA APPLE were to purchase Tidal, that would, in effect, be the end of High Res Music Sales. Hi Res would be reduced further as a niche market. I believe Neil Young when he states in his autobiographies "I am a terrible businessman". He has effectively handed the keys to Jay Z. Who may or may not be such a great businessman, but he has GREAT business advisors guiding him. Anyone remember MOG Music Services? Jay Z packaged that with Beats Music and spun that off to APPLE.

Update: 02 July 2016