Music Icon Issues Challenge to Apple's iPod at SXSW

Music Icon Issues Challenge to Apple's iPod at SXSWRecording icon Neil Young brought a powerful message to SXSW this week in Austin, Texas. The music legend says the time for change in music has come. And a change in technology will go a long way in assisting that effort.

Young is busy promoting the launch of PonoMusic, which is touted as a revolutionary movement initiated by Young “with a mission to restore the soul of music – bringing the highest-quality digital music to discerning, passionate consumers, who hunger to hear music the way its creators intended, with the emotion, detail, and power intact.”

To that end, Young is pushing a new product called PonoPlayer, which will directly challenge Apple’s industry-leading iPod.

Based on details shared at SXSW, the PonoPlayer has 128GB of memory and can store from about 100 to 500 high-resolution digital-music albums, depending on the resolution and length of the original recording.

Memory cards can be used to store and play different playlists and additional collections of music.

The PonoPlayer will be available online for $399, although discounted offerings will be made on later this week as efforts to launch the new device accelerate.

“It’s about the music, real music. We want to move digital music into the 21st century and PonoMusic does that. We couldn’t be more excited – not for ourselves, but for those that are moved by what music means in their lives,” said Neil Young in a statement released to media.