Neil Young's PonoPlayer - New Clothes For The Emperor?

Audiophiles often seem like they live in another universe, filled with nuances of tone and fidelity that are imperceptible to us, the unwashed masses. My old ears are fine with MP3 files and even most streamed music, but I do recall listening to my first CD recording years ago - and of course it was a monumental change from 45's and LPs (vinyl singles and albums for you whippersnappers). Neil Young (yes *that* Neil Young) has been working for several years with Smart People to bring us a new audio experience, and now has the hardware for us to buy in the form of his PonoPlayer. However, some are casting doubt on whether this is actually all it's cracked up to be, especially for us mere mortals with a tin ear - notwithstanding glowing testimonials from some other musicians.

Gizmodo writer Mario Aguilar has a bit of a (snarky) technical look at what is in play in this article.
At the most basic level, the push for high resolution audio is rooted in reality. By adopting digital formats like the MP3, and the lossy encoding of the music streamed by subscription services like Spotify, we've sacrificed audio quality for convenience. A music lover should care about improving their audio quality by using better files.
That's fair! But from there, the arguments for high-resolution audio fall apart.

When Apple was a record company...

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