Neil Young will launch his new music player PONO at the SXSW music conference in Austin, Texas in March.

Young was awarded the President’s Merit Award from the Producers and Engineers arm of the Recording Academy and said his PONO player would be launched at SXSW. He also named his next album ‘A Letter Home’.

PONO is a high quality digital music player that will play the sound to the listener as it was recorded in the studio. It will become the hi-tech alternative to the low quality MP3 players such as the iPod.

In his speech for the Academy Young said, “Being impressed by something, and how cool it is, and how sharp it is, and how snappy it is, is one thing, and that translates into almost any media. But when you’re singing something very soulful from your heart, and the echo is perfect and everything’s great and you’re using maybe an acoustic chamber and everything sounds great. And then you listen to it and you love it, but you hear it somewhere else and it’s gone – that’s terrible. We don’t like that. Not many of us like that, we’re not happy about it. So we’re trying to change that, and we’re trying to make it better. We’re trying to make music sound technically better, and that’s what I want to do. So we have a player that plays whatever the musicians made digitally, and that’s going to come out. We’re announcing that at SXSW, we’re introducing it, it’s called Pono, and that’s my commercial, thank you very much”.

Neil Young also set the story straight about the stories of the Jack White “duets” album he is reported to be doing. On his Facebook page today it states, “False Rumours: Neil Young and Jack White are not doing a record of duets as has been erroneously posted on various outlets. We are certain those rumours have no basis in truth”.

Young described ‘A Letter Home’ as “one of the lowest-tech experiences I’ve ever had.

‘A Letter Home’ will also be released in March, just in time for a SXSW launch as well.

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