Within hours of the Kickstarter page going live, financial pledges for the high-definition music player have already surpassed the $1 million US mark.
That's over $200,000 more than the project's initial target. It currently sits at more than $2.4 million and the funding drive still has 33 days left to run.
The PonoPlayer is Neil Young's take on bringing a portable Blu-ray equivalent to the musical domain. The mp3 might be great for compressing what would have been shelf upon shelf of vinyl and CDs into a data package small enough to fit on the average smartphone. But that compression comes at the sake of quality.
All of the depth and dynamic range of the original recording is surrendered for the sake of mobility.
The PonoPlayer and accompanying Pono Music store use the FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) audio format as their standard, which offers 30 times more sonic information than an mp3 file, although the player will also support most other high resolution music formats from other sources.
As well as supporting different formats, the player supports different types of listening. It has a headphone jack for music on the go plus a dedicated second stereo mini-plug analog output specifically designed for listening on home audio system, in the car, or via a Sonos Connect system.
The PonoPlayer will retail for $400 when it officially goes on sale at the end of this year, but the Kickstarter campaign is offering a choice of very special early-bird offers to entice audiophiles. The first 100 backers to pledge $200 got a first edition player in black (all already gone) and there are also a series of Artist Edition players that are laser-etched with a famous musician's autograph.
For a pledge of $400 fans can snap up a player signed by Willie Nelson, Patti Smith, Tom Petty, Pearl Jam, Beck, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Herbie Hancock, the Foo Fighters, Lenny Kravitz or Arcade Fire, preloaded with the artist or group's two favorite albums.
Each edition is strictly limited to 500 examples and, perhaps unsurprisingly, the Neil Young edition is already completely sold out.