Neil Young restores catalog to Apple Music, Spotify & other streaming services

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in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV
Folk/rock artist Neil Young's back catalog has returned to streaming music services including Apple Music, Deezer, and Spotify, a report noted on Friday, a little over a year after the musician declared a moratorium over audio quality issues.




Young actually allowed his music on one service -- Tidal -- this April, Music Ally observed. While Tidal has a relatively small share of the on-demand streaming market, it does offer a unique "HiFi" tier which streams in lossless quality for people with enough bandwidth.

In July 2015 Young claimed that streaming had "ended" for him, since it offered "the worst quality in the history of broadcasting or any other form of distribution."

Apart from his music Young is famous for his Pono brand, including the PonoPlayer and the PonoMusic download service. Both are geared towards maximum audio quality -- PonoMusic, however, has been offline since July, after its platform provider Omnifone was acquired. The buyer was initially suspected to be Apple, but rumors quickly disputed that notion.

The drop in income could help explain the sudden change in policy. Young has also softened his position on iTunes downloads though, allowing his live album Earth to be distributed that way despite claiming in April that it "does not fit" there since it "breaks all their [Apple's] rules" and "couldn't all really be heard that way anyway."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 33
    I   gotsta   pay   da   bills
  • Reply 2 of 33
    How many Pono players did he end up selling I wonder....

    Streaming is worse that AM radio?
    edited November 2016 baconstangnetmage1983darwiniandude
  • Reply 3 of 33
    Pono went up in flames.
  • Reply 4 of 33
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,726member
    Pono went up in flames.
    I keep reading that name wrong. 
    buzdotsneo-tech
  • Reply 5 of 33
    irelandireland Posts: 17,649member
    Pono was an admirable effort for the right reasons, but was an ugly, implausibly shaped player with a terrible name lacking the right ecosystem infrastructure. I love Neil Young and his brilliant catalogue of music, but this player felt wrong from first blush. Eventually existing services will get the quality the likes of Young require. I do laud his efforts to bring attention to youth how important good quality files and the right technology are for the music listening experience.

    Perhaps what seals the fate of Pono though is in 2016 few to no people want a single function portable music device—irrespective of cost, name, shape or ecosystem. 
    edited November 2016 baconstangneo-techjony0HunterSThompson
  • Reply 6 of 33
    irelandireland Posts: 17,649member
    Rayz2016 said:
    Pono went up in flames.
    I keep reading that name wrong. 
    Ponyo? ^_^
    edited November 2016
  • Reply 7 of 33

    Well, I hope Neil Young will remember
    A Southern man don't need him around anyhow

    jdgazbuzdots
  • Reply 8 of 33
    Guess this is Pono Player's death notice. 
  • Reply 9 of 33
    Neil was trying to do the right thing for music aficionados, but the music player was just so poorly designed.  It would have been better if he simply tried to partner with Apple on offering his own library of music, plus those of artists he likes, as lossless digital files.  Let the consumer decide whether they want to pay for a higher quality sound using their existing devices.
    netmagemike1jony0
  • Reply 10 of 33
    Rayz2016 said:
    Pono went up in flames.
    I keep reading that name wrong. 
    Yoko Pono?
    nolamacguy
  • Reply 11 of 33

    Neil was trying to do the right thing for music aficionados, but the music player was just so poorly designed.  It would have been better if he simply tried to partner with Apple on offering his own library of music, plus those of artists he likes, as lossless digital files.  Let the consumer decide whether they want to pay for a higher quality sound using their existing devices.
    Why not distribute a Pono App for iPhone, Android, etc and sell an audiophile DAC for each hardware platform?

    Stick to what your strengths are: High Res Audio formats and High End DACs.
    netmageirelandjony0
  • Reply 12 of 33
    The truth is, for the average music consumer, sound quality has never been better. Comparing an iPhone and Apple Music to what you might get from a $10,000 audiophile listening system is the wrong comparison. The right comparison is standard consumer electronics that have been in use over the years. Sony Walkman cassette or CD players, home stereo systems from K-Mart, cassettes and 8-tracks and mass-produced vinyl. iTunes format files - played through a decent set of headphones, car stereo or even through an AppleTV plugged into a decent home system - are orders of magnitude better than most of the preceding consumer electronics means for listening to music. Add to that the fact that Apple Music streams at the same quality as downloaded files and opens up (almost) the entire record store for $10 a month, most people have never had it better.

    Audiophiles can continue to argue over Pono, lossless files, Blu-Ray Audio, 180-gram vinyl and whatnot, but that's always been a high-end niche market. What's changed is the much smaller difference between that stuff and what the average person can get out of the thing they're already carrying around in their pocket. 
    zoetmbnetmagebrucemcpolymniakudujony0
  • Reply 13 of 33
    ceek74ceek74 Posts: 324member
    Pwno?
  • Reply 14 of 33
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,470member
    AppleZulu said:
    The truth is, for the average music consumer, sound quality has never been better. Comparing an iPhone and Apple Music to what you might get from a $10,000 audiophile listening system is the wrong comparison. The right comparison is standard consumer electronics that have been in use over the years. Sony Walkman cassette or CD players, home stereo systems from K-Mart, cassettes and 8-tracks and mass-produced vinyl. iTunes format files - played through a decent set of headphones, car stereo or even through an AppleTV plugged into a decent home system - are orders of magnitude better than most of the preceding consumer electronics means for listening to music. Add to that the fact that Apple Music streams at the same quality as downloaded files and opens up (almost) the entire record store for $10 a month, most people have never had it better.

    Audiophiles can continue to argue over Pono, lossless files, Blu-Ray Audio, 180-gram vinyl and whatnot, but that's always been a high-end niche market. What's changed is the much smaller difference between that stuff and what the average person can get out of the thing they're already carrying around in their pocket. 
    Absolutely right and the fact is that most people, including so-called "golden ears" and audiophiles, can't tell the difference if given a blind A-B test.  There's a big battle in the audiophile world between subjectivists and objectivists.   The subjectivists usually refuse to take a blind A-B test. 

    And then there are those people who love their vinyl because it's "analog", except that something like 93% of new vinyl is mastered from digital sources.   

    Years ago, I bought a standalone CD-R recorder that was capable of up to 96/24 recording and was very excited about it until I made my first test recordings and couldn't tell one iota of difference between that and standard Redbook (44.1/16) recordings. 

    Although I can tell the difference between Pandora streaming and copies of CD tracks that I've loaded lossless into iTunes.   I was listening while riding my bike the other day and a track came on which I have in iTunes and I thought the iPhone had switched from Pandora to iTunes.  The track didn't sound as good as it usually does and I thought to myself, "hmm...I think I've lost some high end hearing" and then I realized it was Pandora playing the track.  Switching back to my version restored the fidelity.  
  • Reply 15 of 33
    Great news! I'll spend the night listening to Neil. A pity about Pono not working out, I guess Neil discovered how hard it is to survive in the music business these days. It's not just about making great music anymore
  • Reply 16 of 33
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,934member
    Neil who?????
  • Reply 17 of 33
    wigbywigby Posts: 690member
    AppleZulu said:
    The truth is, for the average music consumer, sound quality has never been better. Comparing an iPhone and Apple Music to what you might get from a $10,000 audiophile listening system is the wrong comparison. The right comparison is standard consumer electronics that have been in use over the years. Sony Walkman cassette or CD players, home stereo systems from K-Mart, cassettes and 8-tracks and mass-produced vinyl. iTunes format files - played through a decent set of headphones, car stereo or even through an AppleTV plugged into a decent home system - are orders of magnitude better than most of the preceding consumer electronics means for listening to music. Add to that the fact that Apple Music streams at the same quality as downloaded files and opens up (almost) the entire record store for $10 a month, most people have never had it better.

    Audiophiles can continue to argue over Pono, lossless files, Blu-Ray Audio, 180-gram vinyl and whatnot, but that's always been a high-end niche market. What's changed is the much smaller difference between that stuff and what the average person can get out of the thing they're already carrying around in their pocket. 
    It's not just about quality either. I think the takeaway here is that convenience will always trump quality. Improvements to quality will always follow as new pricing tiers need to be created but without an initial product or service that is relatively cheap and easy for the masses, you will never get rapid growth that the tech industry and its investors require. Neil Young probably knew that but thought his name brought enough brand value to overcome a basic economic fact. Sorry Neil.
    jony0
  • Reply 18 of 33
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,911member
    I would pay extra for a lossless version of any song I download from iTunes. Maybe I can't appreciate the difference through my Ear Pods, but I can certainly appreciate the better quality sound through my home and car audio systems. Once I have the lossless version, I can decide how much compression I want depending on what I'm doing.
  • Reply 19 of 33
    irelandireland Posts: 17,649member
    I   gotsta   pay   da   bills
    This isn't MacRumors. If that's all you have to add around here the community doesn't want you.
  • Reply 20 of 33
    boredumbboredumb Posts: 1,416member
    Rayz2016 said:
    I keep reading that name wrong. 
    It's short for 'Ponographic', if that helps...
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