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Business News (more headlines) 07-19-2014

Omnifone Helps Bring Neil Young's Vision To Life

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Omnifone announces that Neil Young's PonoMusic has selected Omnifone's MusicStation to power its high-resolution digital music service. Neil Young's vision is to revive the soul of music lost to popular compressed digital formats.

PonoMusic service, which will launch in the US, UK and Canada before the end of the year, is a complete music ecosystem that includes the purpose-built PonoPlayer, the PonoMusic Media Centre desktop app, and the PonoMusic.com social music store. Pono will revolutionise digital music and allow fans to hear and feel the music, experiencing the way the artists created it in the studio.

Omnifone was selected to power the PonoMusic store because of its award-winning cloud music platform and its industry-leading audio expertise and commitment to audio quality. Standing at 35 million tracks, MusicStation - Omnifone's cloud music platform - hosts the industry's largest catalogue of high resolution content, obtained from rights holders in all corners of the world. This rich collection of premium quality audio - and its distributed delivery from the cloud - will enable PonoMusic to achieve global scale quickly.

As PonoMusic's founder and legendary recording artist Neil Young puts it: "Omnifone shares the same passion for high resolution audio as we do at Pono. We are committed to bringing the original recording sound quality from the studio to the PonoPlayer, and Omnifone is a key partner in making this a reality."

Phil Sant, Omnifone Co-Founder and Chief Engineer commented: "PonoMusic is the perfect partner for Omnifone to debut its high resolution audio cloud delivery capabilities. The Pono team has done an incredible job with the PonoPlayer, the attention to detail and the quality of audio engineering delivers a sound which is utterly spellbinding. What the Pono team is trying to achieve is close to our hearts."

"Omnifone is providing the scalable music acquisition and delivery infrastructure but we are also working on some funky stuff such a technique to verify the provenance of the audio and its end-to-end signal path from the studio to the listener via the cloud."

Omnifone had the vision to start using highly compressed audio to power music services on 2G feature phones as early as 2006. To achieve optimum sound quality, it made the decision to ingest only master recordings from labels, hire the best audio talent in the industry and do the encoding itself. Omnifone has the highest possible quality pulse-code modulation (PCM) audio recordings for delivery in free lossless audio codec (FLAC) and wave form audio (WAV) formats and is now adding new formats such as Direct-Stream Digital (DSD). As a result Omnifone has the largest licensed high-resolution audio catalogue in the world.

Pedram Abrari, PonoMusic SVP of Technology states: "We're working tirelessly to give digital music listeners the intensity, nuance and emotion originally captured in the studio. We selected Omnifone as our content delivery partner because of its unique experience in end-to-end digital audio quality and its ability to scale globally."

Jeff Hughes, Omnifone CEO, says: "We are innovators in the digital music landscape and the PonoMusic service will showcase that. Now that digital music services are becoming more mainstream, users are turning their attention to audio quality and it is fast becoming one of the deciding factors when choosing a music service. Omnifone has the platform, the passion and the knowledge to deliver it."

Pono will soon begin shipping more than 15,000 PonoPlayers to its Kickstarter backers. The players retail at $399. High-resolution digital albums are anticipated to cost between $15 to $25. With the support of high profile artists, Pono raised over $6.25 million on the leading crowdfunding website, Kickstarter. Pono is the third most successful campaign in the history of Kickstarter.

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