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fritzg

Pono Music Store online and out of beta according to report

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Pono Music Download Store Goes Online | http://www.twice.com

 

Still appears in beta to me.

 

Can any other non-Pono-owners get in?

 

Still beta for me, too. I read elsewhere that they would open the store to the public this week, concurrent with CES.

 

I want to know how I can order a blue one like that appearing in Audiostream


Roon ROCK (Roon 1.7; NUC7i3) > Ayre QB-9 Twenty > Ayre AX-5 Twenty > Thiel CS2.4SE (crossovers rebuilt with Clarity CSA and Multicap RTX caps, Mills MRA-12 resistors; ERSE and Jantzen coils; Cardas binding posts and hookup wire); Cardas and OEM power cables, interconnects, and speaker cables

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Most of it from my casual inspection appears to be redbook, sold for about twice the price of the corresponding CDs on Amazon.

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Most of it from my casual inspection appears to be redbook, sold for about twice the price of the corresponding CDs on Amazon.

 

I took a quick look. Doesn't appear to have more titles than HD Tracks from what I saw.

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They have to start somewhere. Even having a source for redbook quality downloads is a major improvement.

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It would certainly help if you could search by bit depth and/or sampling frequency.
It would. Almost everything that I have looked for so far has been 16/44 - including albums that I own on SACD or DVD-A, and they are missing the latest releases from a number of artists.

 

Prices for these 16/44 downloads seem ridiculous, often being at least twice as much as buying the CD off Amazon.

So far the most ridiculous that I have seen has been $42 for a collection that I can get for $9.

 

I can buy albums directly from the artists (CD+High Res download) for less than the Pono price.

 

With the advent of streaming services - especially those which now stream lossless 16/44, I just don't see how they think this is reasonable.

They are eliminating manufacturing costs, shipping costs, the used market etc.

If they want to replace CDs, and show that the artists care about the quality of their music rather than higher profit margins, they need to be selling the high res files for CD prices or lower and CD-quality downloads need to be priced a lot lower than that.

 

Downloads are no longer a convenience. I would just as happily buy a CD off Amazon and wait a day or two for it to arrive, than purchase a download.

If I wanted instant gratification and cd-quality sound, I'd stream it now.

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I tried the site on 2 PCs. On one it opened in beta, on the other not. So I guess it has to do with what's in your browser cache.

 

We sure are critical here. Let's give them a chance. Having another major vendor of Redbook and Hi-res downloads is a good thing.

 

I like having a source for CD quality downloads, as I don't have cheap access to most of the CDs I want. The few albums I looked at in hi-res were $22 for 24/192, which is competitive in today's market.

 

It would be interesting if an insider leaked to us the kind of wholesale prices they pay. My guess is that the labels/distributors are charging them very high prices/royalties, and that is part of the problem with the prices.


Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>CAPS IV Pipeline Server + Sonore 12V PS>RPi4 9(dietpi)>Kii Control>Audiolense DRC>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.
 

Secondary Listening: (1) CAPS Pipeline>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)>Schiit Freya>Kii Three .(2) CAPS>ifi iDAC SPDIF>Kii Control.

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup. Living Room/Kitchen: RB Pi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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Logged in and ordered 2 NY albums. Zuma and On the Beach - my 2 favorites, one in 88k and one in 192. Purchasing experience was okay.

You do need their music store app to download the purchases.

 

Buying requires US address and US credit card, apparently. They only have the US listed as a country for addresses when you check out. I tried using a non-US credit card and it was rejected.

 

The download itself is going well, about as fast as I get anything with my provider.

 

Edit: SQ is good, best versions I"ve heard. I've got the original vinyl and the 2003(?) CD remasters (they're good). This has the usual attributes of a good hi-res remaster: more clarity, better detail. Not orders of magnitude better, but definitely worth it for someone who likes the albums.

Edited by firedog

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>CAPS IV Pipeline Server + Sonore 12V PS>RPi4 9(dietpi)>Kii Control>Audiolense DRC>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.
 

Secondary Listening: (1) CAPS Pipeline>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)>Schiit Freya>Kii Three .(2) CAPS>ifi iDAC SPDIF>Kii Control.

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup. Living Room/Kitchen: RB Pi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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Prices for these 16/44 downloads seem ridiculous, often being at least twice as much as buying the CD off Amazon.

So far the most ridiculous that I have seen has been $42 for a collection that I can get for $9.

 

I did a quick comparo. Peter Gabriel 3 (the melt album) Pono DL $14.29, Amazon CD $10.69; Pattry Griffin "Flaming Red" Pono DL $9.29 Amazon CD $9.70. The 24 bit stuff seems identically priced to HDTracks (so much for competition- I guess this is Lowes v. Home Depot).

 

I guess it pays to compare with the CD-res stuff. I'd like to think that Pono will expand the 24 bit offerings compared to HDT. Regardless, I plan to buy some titles from Pono - I really want them to succeed.


Roon ROCK (Roon 1.7; NUC7i3) > Ayre QB-9 Twenty > Ayre AX-5 Twenty > Thiel CS2.4SE (crossovers rebuilt with Clarity CSA and Multicap RTX caps, Mills MRA-12 resistors; ERSE and Jantzen coils; Cardas binding posts and hookup wire); Cardas and OEM power cables, interconnects, and speaker cables

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I did a quick comparo. Peter Gabriel 3 (the melt album) Pono DL $14.29, Amazon CD $10.69; Pattry Griffin "Flaming Red" Pono DL $9.29 Amazon CD $9.70. The 24 bit stuff seems identically priced to HDTracks (so much for competition- I guess this is Lowes v. Home Depot).

 

I guess it pays to compare with the CD-res stuff. I'd like to think that Pono will expand the 24 bit offerings compared to HDT. Regardless, I plan to buy some titles from Pono - I really want them to succeed.

It seems like there is price fixing going on by the labels for digital downloads, so I would expect them to cost the same whether you are buying from Pono, Qobuz, HDtracks etc as long as they are not running a promotion.

 

I suppose that might be why buying downloads directly from the artist, when available, is often the cheaper option - though that is typically the expensive option if you're buying physical media like CDs or Vinyl.

 

The price difference for CD vs download seems to depend on how many tracks an album has, and how old it is.

The older an album is, the cheaper it usually is to get on CD. Digital downloads for music seem to have a fixed price that never drops.

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It seems like there is price fixing going on by the labels for digital downloads, so I would expect them to cost the same whether you are buying from Pono, Qobuz, HDtracks etc as long as they are not running a promotion.

 

Not in all cases. Check the price of Jazz at the Pawnshop in DSD 128fs on Native DSD ($28.76) vs. Pro Studio Masters ($44.99). Hardly the same! :)

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Not in all cases. Check the price of Jazz at the Pawnshop in DSD 128fs on Native DSD ($28.76) vs. Pro Studio Masters ($44.99). Hardly the same! :)

 

Not analogous. The idea here is that there is more or less a floor being set for the prices. Obviously if someone wants to try and charge more, they can.

 

Also, someone correct me if I'm wrong, but NativeDSD is working on a different business model than some of the other sites. They are working directly with the labels to get material. The other sites apparently work with middlemen/distributors in many or most cases. I'm not an expert on how the hi-res business works, but apparently most of the distribution is through third party middlemen, just like the physical media system.


Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>CAPS IV Pipeline Server + Sonore 12V PS>RPi4 9(dietpi)>Kii Control>Audiolense DRC>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.
 

Secondary Listening: (1) CAPS Pipeline>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)>Schiit Freya>Kii Three .(2) CAPS>ifi iDAC SPDIF>Kii Control.

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup. Living Room/Kitchen: RB Pi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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Not analogous. The idea here is that there is more or less a floor being set for the prices. Obviously if someone wants to try and charge more, they can.

 

With Jazz at the Pawnshop, there's also eOnkyo Music. They sell the album in Double DSD - and all other formats - for 2,800 yen which works out to $23.50. Even lower than Native DSD ($28.76) and lower than Pro Studio Masters ($44.99).

 

You'd have to ask the eOnkyo folks how they are able to offer the download at such an attractive price. Especially if there is the minimum list price in effect as some here have speculated.

 

The bottom line for music fans is it does pay to shop around a bit before buying. There is money to be saved. :)

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I suppose that might be why buying downloads directly from the artist, when available, is often the cheaper option - though that is typically the expensive option if you're buying physical media like CDs or Vinyl.

 

I don't mind paying a full $15 for a CD bought at a concert. I figure it's essentially tipping a good performance (I assume that the label is either giving the artist the CD or, at least, at cost, ie, about $1).

 

Anyhow, I was wondering how often you're able to buy directly from the artist. I think I've only done this, maybe 3 times: George Harrison, Cat Power and Sam Phillips. Can I trouble you to list some artists whose music is available direct?


Roon ROCK (Roon 1.7; NUC7i3) > Ayre QB-9 Twenty > Ayre AX-5 Twenty > Thiel CS2.4SE (crossovers rebuilt with Clarity CSA and Multicap RTX caps, Mills MRA-12 resistors; ERSE and Jantzen coils; Cardas binding posts and hookup wire); Cardas and OEM power cables, interconnects, and speaker cables

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I don't mind paying a full $15 for a CD bought at a concert. I figure it's essentially tipping a good performance (I assume that the label is either giving the artist the CD or, at least, at cost, ie, about $1).

 

Anyhow, I was wondering how often you're able to buy directly from the artist. I think I've only done this, maybe 3 times: George Harrison, Cat Power and Sam Phillips. Can I trouble you to list some artists whose music is available direct?

 

Have you looked? I would guess that a good percentage of living musical artists who maintain active websites sell their CD's/downloads directly. Just sampling from my own library, these folks do:

 

Chris Smither

David Bromberg

David Grisman

Gillian Welch

Gregg Allman

Jorma Kaukonen

Natalie Merchant

Norah Jones

Old Crow Medicine Show

Preservation Hall Jazz Band

Punch Brothers

Ralph Stanley

The Refugees

Ricky Scaggs

Wendy Waldman

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Have you looked? I would guess that a good percentage of living musical artists who maintain active websites sell their CD's/downloads directly.

 

Oops, I should have explicitly asked for artists that sell DLs. Yes, many will sell you a CD or, at least, direct you to iTunes (blech). I'm much more interested in DLs, especially hi-res.


Roon ROCK (Roon 1.7; NUC7i3) > Ayre QB-9 Twenty > Ayre AX-5 Twenty > Thiel CS2.4SE (crossovers rebuilt with Clarity CSA and Multicap RTX caps, Mills MRA-12 resistors; ERSE and Jantzen coils; Cardas binding posts and hookup wire); Cardas and OEM power cables, interconnects, and speaker cables

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Logged in and ordered 2 NY albums. Zuma and On the Beach - my 2 favorites, one in 88k and one in 192. Purchasing experience was okay.

You do need their music store app to download the purchases.

 

Buying requires US address and US credit card, apparently. They only have the US listed as a country for addresses when you check out. I tried using a non-US credit card and it was rejected.

 

The download itself is going well, about as fast as I get anything with my provider.

 

Edit: SQ is good, best versions I"ve heard. I've got the original vinyl and the 2003(?) CD remasters (they're good). This has the usual attributes of a good hi-res remaster: more clarity, better detail. Not orders of magnitude better, but definitely worth it for someone who likes the albums.

 

I pulled the trigger on Live Rust, not owning this on any previous media (however I recall having it on domestic vinyl and didnt like it much so sold it). It is very listenable, and from what I gather has an extended versions of a few songs that were edited for CD. DR levels below....

 

foobar2000 1.3.2 / Dynamic Range Meter 1.1.1

log date: 2015-01-06 17:36:11

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Analyzed: Neil Young / Live Rust

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DR Peak RMS Duration Track

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DR13 -2.28 dB -18.13 dB 5:03 01-Sugar Mountain (Live)

DR12 -4.30 dB -18.78 dB 3:01 02-I Am A Child (Live)

DR12 -3.20 dB -18.28 dB 3:16 03-Comes A Time (Live)

DR11 -3.14 dB -17.98 dB 3:49 04-After The Gold Rush (Live)

DR11 -5.46 dB -19.78 dB 4:14 05-My My, Hey Hey (Out Of The Blue) [Live]

DR13 -0.17 dB -14.49 dB 3:51 06-When You Dance I Can Really Love (Live)

DR13 -0.44 dB -14.79 dB 4:53 07-The Loner (Live)

DR11 -2.55 dB -17.37 dB 3:07 08-The Needle And The Damage Done (Live)

DR12 -0.82 dB -15.39 dB 2:52 09-Lotta Love (Live)

DR12 0.00 dB -14.16 dB 4:55 10-Sedan Delivery (Live)

DR11 -1.25 dB -14.31 dB 5:50 11-Powderfinger (Live)

DR13 -0.07 dB -15.60 dB 7:28 12-Cortez The Killer (Live)

DR13 -0.15 dB -14.67 dB 3:25 13-Cinammon Girl (Live)

DR12 -1.46 dB -15.73 dB 7:49 14-Like A Hurricane (Live)

DR13 -1.06 dB -15.49 dB 5:09 15-Hey Hey, My My (Into The Black) [Live]

DR12 -0.39 dB -14.78 dB 7:14 16-Tonight's The Night (Live)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Number of tracks: 16

Official DR value: DR12

Samplerate: 192000 Hz

Channels: 2

Bits per sample: 24

Bitrate: 5190 kbps

Codec: FLAC

================================================================================

 

One really cool thing about Pono is the ability to have a threaded conversation (much like Facebook) to discuss the record. I think that is a really neat feature.


Digital: Synology NAS DS716+II > Netgear Nighthawk AC Wireless > Oppo Sonica DAC & 105

Analogue: Sota Sapphire, Well Tempered Classic Arm (LA Labs mod), Charisma Reference One MC, AcousTech PH-1 Premium Phono

The Rest: Conrad Johnson LS-17 Preamp, Conrad Johnson 2300A, Vandersteen 3A Sigs with 2Wq sub

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...Wendy Waldman

 

Boy, would I ever like the first 4 Wendy Waldman albums in hires. I love those albums so much but the vinyl versions from the 70s are not the best. (I think they were using 50 percent recycled cardboard in their vinyl back then because of the oil embargo ;) ). Anyway, I don't see them ever giving us the hires of her stuff, but it would be amazing.

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Boy, would I ever like the first 4 Wendy Waldman albums in hires. I love those albums so much but the vinyl versions from the 70s are not the best. (I think they were using 50 percent recycled cardboard in their vinyl back then because of the oil embargo ;) ). Anyway, I don't see them ever giving us the hires of her stuff, but it would be amazing.

 

We'll never see hi-res, but I suggest that you contact Wendy directly through her website and buy the autographed CD-R's, while you still can. Get "Seeds & Orphans Vol. 1 & 2", and "My Time In The Desert", as well. They are fabulous albums.

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Just looked at https://ponomusic.force.com and found that top artists and albums are mostly recorded in the late 60 to early 80ies. These analog tapes have a frequency and dynamic range which is easily covered with 16/44.1 (maybe some would benefit of 48/24) if the digital mastering is done correctly (which is not happening too frequently). Hi res formats make to me only sense if the recording is high res. So selling Kind of Blue at 192/24 is only good for spending a lot on numbers!

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We'll never see hi-res, but I suggest that you contact Wendy directly through her website and buy the autographed CD-R's, while you still can. Get "Seeds & Orphans Vol. 1 & 2", and "My Time In The Desert", as well. They are fabulous albums.

 

I had tried sending them emails a couple years ago and had no response. I guess I will try again. Thanks.

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Pono Music Store is lame, to be frank. I don't see how to simply browse the entire catalogue instead of doing a search. Apart from a list of tracks and front cover image, there's no real info for each album, for either the music fan or the audiophile: where's the list of musicians, engineers and the recording and (re)mastering details?

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Has anyone ordered and listened to Harvest and After the Gold Rush in Hi Res? Wow, I am very, very tempted to buy those two great albums.

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