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luddite iMac/pono questions

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I hope this is the correct forum to post this question.


I'm an old analog guy who has never had a "portable" player, nor have I downloaded/purchased mp3s or anything but Vinyl and traditional CD/DVD.


Smart or not I have signed up for a pono player.


I have an iMac [os Maverick] that I have set up with an external DAC running to a "traditional" SS Stereo system that is dedicated to the Mac for streaming pandora etc., radio streaming, playing my library of concert DVD's, Movie DVDs.


My Question(s):


What specific software/firmware will I need to install on the iMac to to be able to participate in the pono format [FLAC]?


I am a computer idiot….. so if answers could be in the simplest language/terms possible I would appreciate it.


Off to work now so I'll check back this evening. Figure I've got about 6 months to figure this out and learn to be semi-competent in 21st century tech.




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Not sure if the Pono player has digital out to the Dac, but if it does, then the Pono becomes your source and you could play directly via the Dac, bypassing the Mac.


You only need the Mac for Pandora or playing back disks and you can use a cheap player like Audirvana for playing back Flac files stored on the Mac. The Pono has a player built into it already and flac files stored on it can either be played back via analog output to your preamp/Integrated, or as digital out to your Dac.

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Welcome aboard, Mike. You won't need any changes to firmware, or any special drivers, at least in terms of being able to play flac files. They are one of the most common formats for lossless audio.


I'll lay this out in steps for you.


1. To play flac files: currently iTunes doesn't support playing flac files, so you will need additional software to do this. There are many available for the Mac. JRiver, Audirvana, Amarra and Pure Music are some of the more popular, and I believe all have free tRial periods. Several of these will allow you to use iTunes as the software you interface with, so the learning curve isn't too steep.


2. Before the Pono is available, you will want to experiment with some flac files. You can buy files in the format, or you can rip them from CDs. You can't do this with iTunes (again, Apple just isn't supporting the flac format). The program I use, and really like is XLD. This is freeware, with donations accepted. The XLD site is good with instructions and has its own forum; it is not difficult to use.


3. Once you have some CDs converted to flac format, you can (using one of the software programs mentioned in 1 above), play them through your DAC and into your stereo. It shouldn't be hard to have the flac files sounding better than direct cd play, when you get the playback software set up right! There is a software forum here on CA and most of the software players have forums on the home sites, so help is never too far away.


you'll find CA to be a great resource for answers.

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Thanks guys...

I think I understand the playback scenerio..... my ignorance [and it may be too early to ask because the "pono store" is not up and running] is more to do with purchasing/downloading and installing the pono files onto the pono player.


Again I may be too far ahead of the process with my questions and in a bit of "new age digital" pre-panic.


Luckiley I do have a 22 year old godson who is the ultimate "geek" [no disrespect intended] so once I have a basic understanding of what to ask I could bribe him to come up to the island for a visit and help me learn to navigate the system....I think!



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On a Mac, you can right click and download the files directly to the downloads area, or PonoMusic will havd a free downloader app that will manage downloads for you in bulk.


The onus is on them and they will be motivated to make the song sales.

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