Last year, Young issued a press release stating that he was actively pursuing a music format that provides a much richer sound experience than the common MP3 format. A statement from the press release reads:
"Young is also personally spearheading the development of Pono, a revolutionary new audio music system presenting the highest digital resolution possible, the studio quality sound that artists and producers heard when they created their original recordings. Young wants consumers to be able to take full advantage of Pono's cloud-based libraries of recordings by their favorite artists and, with Pono, enjoy a convenient music listening experience that is superior in sound quality to anything ever presented."
Neil Young's new music format will apparently use a technology similar to Direct Stream Digital (DSD). DSD uses 1-bit sampling at 2.8224 Mhz, which is sixty-four times greater than the 44.1 Khz used in CD's. With the new format, a consumer's average music file could possibly be as large as 300 MB to hold the entire set of studio sound data.
Rolling Stone Magazine recently reported that Young's Pono platform has had six trademark filings thus far, which are Ivanhoe, 21st Century Record Player, Earth Storage, Storage Shed, Thanks for Listening, and SQS. Young's SQS trademark is described as "audio and video recordings featuring music and artistic performances; high resolution music downloadable from the Internet; high resolution discs featuring music and video of music and artistic performances; pre-recorded digital media containing audio and video recordings featuring music and artistic performances for storage and "playback" as well as "online and retail store services featuring music and artistic performances."
Young's reasoning behind the new format was that he claimed the sound of modern music made him "angry" and stated that today's audio quality is the "worst sound we've ever had." He also stated that Apple co-founder, the late Steve Jobs, would have been able to help him preserve the sound quality of vinyl and also said that digital downloads were "degrading" the standard of audio.