Neil Young (of Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young fame) is on a crusade for better audio quality in our music. Specifically he laments the poor sound quality of internet digital audio files like MP3, AAC, etc., which are “lossy” formats. That means that they have been data-compressed in order to make them usable for both internet streaming /download, AND the ability to store thousands of songs on your iPod/iPhone. But these lossy audio formats are, by necessity, not high-quality audio (like their sopurce wav files) because a lot of the data has been removed to make the files smaller (usually about a tenth the size of the original wav version).
Since Neil Young comes from the age of the vinyl record, which was analog audio and technically capable of much more accurate audio, he is worried that an entire generation of folks won’t know what good quality audio is since they do most of their music listening via an iPod, or other portable music device.
So Neil is pushing something called the Pono Player, which uses a much higher quality audio file for music. Personally, I don’t think very many people could tell the difference between the wav version and the mp3 version these days (I know – heresy!), but anyway…
Here is an article about good ole Neil and his Pono Player: http://productionadvice.co.uk/neil-young-pono-pony/