Running for the last month, the campaign has managed to raise many multiples of its goal and ended at an impressive at $6.22 million. The result is that the first units will start shipping out for delivery starting in October this year, depending on the level of pledge – some won’t be sent out until December.
Young started the campaign to “revive the magic that has been squeezed out of digital music”, and it clearly resonated with the more than 18,200 backers that have pledged somewhere between $5 and $5,000. The cost of a standard PonoPlayer was $300 for the duration of the campaign, but a number of special edition models signed by musicians like Lenny Kravitz, Herbie Hancock and the Foo Fighters were also offered for $400.
Unlike most other consumer electronic devices, the PonoPlayer is triangular, rather than the sleek lines of something like the iPod Touch or Nano, and uses a combination of a 64GB internal drive and 64GB of storage via microSD to provide storage for your music. But then it claims to be unlike any other portable music player with its listening experience too, focusing on delivering high-quality playback.
As such, the PonoPlayer will come with access to the PonoStore, a repository for different quality FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) music files ranging between 44.1 kHz/16 bit and up to 192 kHz/24 bit for the audio enthusiast, depending on the quality you buy, the device will hold between 800 and 5,000 tracks.
With Apple really owning the portable music player space for the last few years, the PonoPlayer will need to live up to its promise of delivering superior sound quality if it wants to draw attention away from the reigning champ in the long-term. Still, more than 18,000 pledges and over $6 million isn’t a bad start.
We’ll have to wait to get our hands on one to find out if it really sounds better than the average music player, but you’ll be the first to know when we do.