According to Rolling Stone, Neil Young is working on the development of a high-resolution audio format as an alternative to MP3. It has just been revealed that his label, Vapor Records, registered the patents of six different brands in June: Ivanhoe, 21st Century Record Player, Earth Storage, Storage Shed, Thanks for Listening and SQS (Studio Quality Sound). The product description reads as follows: "Online and retail store services featuring music and artistic performances; high resolution music downloadable from the internet; high resolutions discs featuring music and video; audio and video recording storage and playback". However, it will take at least another year before the government checks the paperwork and actually registers the brands.
It's not actually news, as last September, a press note from Blue Rider Press, subsidiary label of the Penguin Group (who will publish the artist's memoires shortly), read: "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 favourite artists and, with Pono, enjoy a convenient music listening experience that is superior in sound quality to anything ever presented."
Young has always been an enthusiast in these matters. His debut album, “ Neil Young” (Reprise, 1968), was one of the first to be mixed with the ephemeral Heaco-CSG technology, he's been very much involved with the (re)mixing and (re)mastering of his work ever since. He has expressed his discontent with the MP3 format on numerous occasions and has always shown an interest in offering his listeners a much higher quality alternative. In fact, he recently said he got together with Steve Jobs shortly before the latter passed away, to talk about the possibilities of developing a new iPod which would have storage space for only 30 albums, but at an unbeatable sonic quality.