April 14, 2012 – 4:36 am


…Would cloud-sharing be right? When Neil Young recorded Flying On The Ground Is Wrong in 1966, the idea of cloud-sharing was probably as alien as could have been. Yet 45 years down the road, Young is planning to offer high-res music from his cloud-based music library (read that store).

Last June, Neil Young applied for six trademarks: Ivanhoe, 21st Century Record Player, Earth Storage, Storage Shed, Thanks for Listening and SQS (Studio Quality Sound). Rolling Stone magazine reported that included in the filing is a description of the trademarks: “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.” The address on file corresponds to that of Vapor Records, Young’s label.

A press release issued last September by Penguin Group imprint Blue Rider Press, which is publishing Young’s upcoming memoir, may have revealed the working title of Young’s entire project. In addition to the memoir, says the release, “Young is also personally spearheading the development of Pono, a revolutionary new audio music system presenting the highest digital resolution possible…

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.” Such a service would allow music fans to download audio files that sound like the studio recordings of the past, as opposed to the über-compressed song files that are currently available at MP3 stores like iTunes and Amazon.
Click here for the full Rolling Stone report.

On his website, Neil Young wrote: “Since the advent of the CD, listeners have been deprived of the full experience of listening. With the introduction of MP3s via online music services, listeners were further deprived.”

Neil Young’s new high-res format is set to rectify the situation.

The $64-million-dollar question is this: What would make you, dear reader, part with your hard-earned money and subscribe to a cloud-based service like what Young is thinking about?

Your no B.S. comments will earn you a pass to free music.


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  2. For Neil it’s always been about quality. But I’d still want the stuff on CD. I guess you can pay for the high quality download and then burn to CD.

    By Nick on Apr 14, 2012

  3. if the music he offered was unavailable in no other way and if i found that the sound truly was sonicly that much better than what i was now becoming used to.
    i agree that mp3s are garbage. i never did like cds but accepted them since there was little choice starting around 89 or 90 when i finally caved and bought a cd player. in fact even til 95 i was still buying lps as much as i could. but when cds had music that was just not available anywhere else i had little choice.
    i have found that ogg files seem to be better than any other file format i have thus far discovered. and of course flac and shn files maintain the integrity of the losslessness..haha.
    however knowing neil and his penchant for getting as much money for his product as he can.. in all likelihood i wouldnt subscribe to his service but wait til someone pirated the material. especially since im way too poor to afford to buy it. his box sets are incredible but made only for the wealthiest of his fans. he isnt interested in his average fans or those of lesser means in having his music. hes out to make sure all his fans are able to get a nice good grip on their own ankles.

    By darth on Apr 14, 2012

  4. Neil - you’re a great musician, but, unfortunately, another one on the list of performers whom I simply cannot afford to see.

    By NAMoosedog on Apr 14, 2012

  5. “What would make you, dear reader, part with your hard-earned money and subscribe to a cloud-based service like what Young is thinking about?”

    I don’t subscribe to anything. I know better. I especially don’t subscribe to clouds, as they may not be there tomorrow. You want my money, put the music on a CD or record or tape, and if it’s priced reasonably, I’ll buy it.

    I like Neil Young’s music, and have enjoyed it for many decades. I’m glad he found a new hobby. It’s great that he wants to make his music available in the highest possible quality. But I’m not buying downloads. Music doesn’t ever sound as good played through a computer as it does played through a real component stereo. I’m pretty sure Neil knows that. I imagine even if they stop making CDs, used CDs will still be available for years to come. That’s good enough for me.

    By aking on Apr 14, 2012

  6. Neil has a point for the audiophile freaks. But what is it really about? Isn’t a musician in the first place an artist? Neil will say you can only enjoy his music at the best possible sound quality, hence his activities. That’s fine with me. However, to me, and I guess to many of the listeners, it’s the song that really counts.

    One of the things about a good song is that you can add all kinds to it, drums, synth, guitars, keyboards etc but when push comes to shove, a good song can be brought back to it’s essential: vocal with guitar or piano (Neil has proven that as no one else)… in other words, a good song is a good song regardless how you play it.

    One have to listen to Neil’s Tonights the Night shows to understand why the best sound doesn’t always add up to the listeners experience. In fact, that particular late 1973 tour shows exactly that good sound is NOT needed to get the emotional kick.

    I think what Neil wants to do is great, but please remember, make it affordable. Neil’s Archives box was beyond many peoples budget, I fear this again will do the same.

    But is Neil different than other artists? Probably not. Take Elvis Costello or Jimi Hendrix who keep releasing their material in a slightly different form every other 2 years. I think Jay Leno said “why do I have to buy Meet the Beatles in all these different formats … ”

    Regardless what you think of Neil’s new toy, at least he’s not releasing his whole catalog over and over again with an extra track, a bonus disc, another remix with another extra bonus track (leave Greendale here out which was released in 3 forms,if I remember right, but that was an exception).

    Nowadays it gets worse. Counting Crows release a new album and drop stuff on iTunes… Wilco releases a new album and an iTunes only cd. Son Volt comes with an album (the Search) and releases on other platforms more material.

    What the industry (and this includes Neil here too) have to realize is they WANT you to pirate the material because the fans at some point will not be able to buy everything.

    The good old days of buying an LP and a single for the non LP flipside are over. The music industry just sucks more and more money out of our wallets and cry bitter tears about pirating. Neil’s new toy is in that perspective no different.

    By Peter on Apr 14, 2012

  7. I’d need to hear a significant difference in the quality level from the mp3 and FLAC formats we have been used to. Moreover, does the preferred idioms Young works in (country, folk, grunge) reveal anything hidden we can’t hear now? Can the playback equipment now available give you appreciably better sound(I’m sure BOSE could come up with something but the common audiophile has walked down this path before with Quad sound, SACD, etc.)

    By Tony on Apr 14, 2012

  8. As a longtime Neil Young fan, I’ve already heard the vast majority of his work, so I’m not sure I’d buy it all again unless the sound was so superior as to amount to a whole different listening experience. Having said that, I have nothing against artists re-releasing old product - there are always new liseners coming along who’ll be exposed to the old stuff for the first time, as well as old timers like me who might need a new copy. Neil wants his music to he heard in the best possible context, and he’s not waiting for someone else to make that context available - nothing wrong about that. The way we consume music changes as technology changes, get used to it. Neil could just sit back and count his money, or rake in more money touring with CSN, but he’s sticking to his own vision of how to do things right. Even though I may not enjoy some of his new albums as much as I do the old ones (but Neil albums I don’t like at first have a habit of growing on me later), I can’t knock the guy for sticking to his guns.

    By Jim Kneubuhl on Apr 14, 2012

  9. I would definitely consider it, but would like a disc version as well.

    By Phil on Apr 14, 2012

  10. i agree with NAMoosedog, NY came to australia and tickets were in excess of $250 each, take the wife, add car parking and it’s seeing NY or making a mortgage payment, or having a month of nigh out’s with the family.

    By Liam NSW on Apr 14, 2012

  11. I personally can’t hear the difference between FLAC, MP3 over 192 and cd audio . I buy cds for the artwork and having something tangible and to support the artists I really like. Neil Young is one of the few that I buy most of their albums.

    By john on Apr 14, 2012

  12. Ultimately, it’s the market that will decide if Neil’s innovative concept is a commercial success. Price will be weighed against sound quality, convenience, quantity, variety, etc.

    If it works for you - buy it and enjoy!

    If it doesn’t - other ways to collect music will still be there to enjoy!

    By TDC on Apr 14, 2012

  13. I grew up buying vinyl records (Allman Brothers, EC, Hendrix, Robin Trower..etc) and ended up with over 5,000 jazz records, 10 inch, 78’s; 45’s - a large colection, plus taping all shows I went to. Then I moved one to many times and gave all to NPR. I love today’s “free market”. There is no way I can keep up with the music I get today - live shows, bootlegs, mp3’s, trades…endless music - thanks to all whole share and give freely…

    By Cowgill on Apr 14, 2012

  14. I find some of the things being done such as what Wolfgangs Vault is doing to offer live archival stuff to be encouraging. I see my younger friends wanting mobile access to music and other files so this is a natural progression, I’m not sure I personally would subscribe - but, despite Neil’s age, I don’t think I am the key demographic.

    By mefkin on Apr 14, 2012

  15. i just like the cd’s my ears are not so perfectly attuned as a musicians, you dont need to make everything at the highest possible level.

    By tony on Apr 14, 2012

  16. I applaud Neil’s efforts in raising the quality of recorded music available via the net. It has always amazed me that people nowadays seem so willing to accept poor quality recordings in mp3 format, but I guess for most it comes down to the costs involved.
    If Neil really succeeds in this venture, I’d be interested in checking out the quality available, and if it was as good as hoped, I’d be happy to part with some cash if it meant a big improvement in sound quality.

    By rob on Apr 14, 2012

  17. most of my friends and i often share a laugh about what our ears can actually hear after years and years of attending live rock shows (ie: hundreds and hundreds of concerts since the 70’s). just thinking about it makes my tinnitus act up. i am all for high quality recorded sound, but i’m not for paying for the privilege. some of the folks above make good points. perceived audio quality can only be realized if all the conditions are perfect. Perfect source> perfect audio equipment> perfectly virgin ears. i’m pretty sure nothing of mine is perfectly virgin anymore…

    By Billy Jack on Apr 14, 2012

  18. I will repeat myself….as long as Cds and Vinyl are being produced they will be my medium of choice.
    I will however adapt (if need be) in any way regarding most of my favorite artists and Mr Young is one of them.

    By rondelrio on Apr 14, 2012

  19. This seems just like another extension of the Vinyl Versus CD argument. Then there was the lossy, lossless, MP3, FLAC etc debate - lets be honest, can anyone tell the difference. It’s kind of some sort of inane snobbery where people defend their format of choice to the hilt and then we get another format to ’side with and the debate continues.
    Soon, if the purists have their way we will be paying through the nose to buy formats whose audible range can only be appreciated by dogs, bats and rabbits.

    By Daij on Apr 14, 2012

  20. Of course that having original cds are excellent but with these taxes are impossible to buy all cds that we want!

    By Rochacrimson on Apr 14, 2012

  21. I’m down with aking’s sentiments above. But I’m not a mainstream music listener either. I don’t suspect that Melt-Banana, Tom Smith, Sunn o))) or Nadja are in any danger of joining Neil Young in the cloud, so I needn’t worry about it either.

    Remember that one of Neil’s first quotes about the Internet and Napster was, “whatever gets the music around”. You can ding him for his intents and many good points are made in the comments here. But he is about getting the music heard, and the cloud is another avenue for that.

    By kingpossum on Apr 14, 2012

  22. Physical copies for me - vinyl or cd, i want to hold it in my hand.

    By stevestills8 on Apr 14, 2012

  23. Is he doing this for quality control like Nektar or for the money like Gail Zappa? Or is he doing it just because he’s Neil and he can. I applaud Mr Young for his pioneering spirit and keeping at the forefront with technology. Perhaps the music industry will take note and come up with some guidelines for quality downloads. If I was to buy a studio recording I would like the best quality download. Just like I would if I bought the physical cd. But most of my collection is boots from ancient tapes where mp3 quality is fine. Would I join Neil’s Record Club? No. But you can’t fault Neil for trying to stay ahead of the game. And cutting out the middle man. And you can’t fault Neil for the current crappy economy. But until the Internet providers beef up their wireless bandwidth there are many people out there who can’t take advantage of all these new marketing programs. White space is now tied up in politics.

    They want my money for nothin’ and my chips ain’t free.

    By sking on Apr 15, 2012

  24. Funny this being posted at the same time as the Pirate Bay Promotion article a few days back. I’m not Neil, but if I were in such a position (world-renowned celebrity, insane amount of cash/value, back catalog that will continue to sell ad infinitum), I’d take the PB idea and run with it. Instead of packaging my own material for further consumption, I’d put out a call for new unheard artists, have my army of minions sort through the dreck and then promote the best ones (in my opinion) freely on the ‘net. Seriously, how great would THAT job be?!?

    By golgo hakase on Apr 15, 2012

  25. Respect his opinions and everyone’s ears probably support his views, await his audio offerings but please not as long as waiting for Archive Volume 1 and now the remaining Volumes.

    Seems Neil is a sampler at heart - a little bit of this and a little bit of that? One completed project at a time rather than many ‘mpNYs’?

    By Ken on Apr 15, 2012

  26. any neil is good

    By paul on Apr 15, 2012

  27. Most of Neil’s fans grew up with physical “stuff” - LPs, tapes, CDs. It’s hard to give up this “stuff” and just rely on something “out there.” Besides, having grown up with scratchy LPs and tape hiss our ears are used to filtering out the noise. Most of us don’t need super quality - we need access to our music at a reasonable price. No doubt all of this represents the future - but probably not for Neil & our generation.

    By tajackson on Apr 15, 2012

  28. What’s a “cloud-based service”?

    (And, yes, I believe telephones should still be wall mounted. Preferably with only the listening part being hand-held.)

    By Pee 'n' Buddha on Apr 15, 2012

  29. seriously I reall wish vinyl would make a complete comback.
    There are very few artists capable of releasing cd length discs worth the time invested to listen.
    Thirty minutes is cool, 80 minutes is usually an hour too long , too much noodling and junk that should have stayed on the cutting room floor.
    vinyl looks and feels and sounds better .I don`t want downloads I want something to hold onto.

    By sluggo on Apr 15, 2012

  30. I agree with the topic that the vinyl is the best musical support, and I’m a proud owner of undreds of vynil LP’s from the most various singers/groups, Pink Floyd, Deep Purple, Klaus Schulze, Tangerine Dream, Crosby, Stills and Nash, and many, many others.
    Is a fact that, with the passage of the years and plays, the vinyl tends to stay with scratchs and dirty, but still is my favorite musical support.
    About the Pono from Mr Neil, lets see what comes…

    By Mr Sand Man on Apr 16, 2012

  31. I dont trust the cloud or any cloud based formats due to data security and privacy rights issues

    By Walter O on Apr 16, 2012

  32. Interesting that Neil Young chose the Hawaiian word “pono” for his new digital music system. Here is an approximate translation:

    By aking on Apr 16, 2012

  33. Might be good as an additional service, but I’ll always need the physical support as well… I’m very interested though, and I wish Bruce Springsteen could come up with something similar.

    By frank capra on Apr 16, 2012

  34. Totally depends on price point. If it’s cheaper than CDs, or comparable but better sound, I’m in.

    By Dan'l on Apr 17, 2012

  35. How many times in one lifetime must I re-purchase old music in a “new” format?
    And am I the only one who feels this “evolution” of music is leading directly to the future of…. a vinyl analog disc played with a diamond tip needle ???

    By ken on Apr 17, 2012

  36. The technology just keeps on comin’. I agree with ‘Ken”(above), my generation is basically re-purchasing our old music in new formats. I still have my turntable, my cassette deck and my CD player and I have collected tons of music I seldom get a chance to listen to. Nothing against Neil but I waited a long time before switching to CD’s from discs and I will wait a long time before switching and paying for yet another new format.

    By Mackster on Apr 17, 2012

  37. I’m slow to change my musical technology. I guess it will have to be terrific sound quality and the price of what I’ll have to purchase to listen to it can’t be too expensive (speakers, etc.). And even then it probably would have to be some exclusive version that I couldn’t get via CD. So it seems unlikely it would be something I’d entertain anytime soon.

    By Kevin on Apr 17, 2012

  38. I’m a baby boomer, i’ve already bought Neils LP’s, his cassettes, his eight tracks and cd’s, even though his new format will be superior to all of the other formats i can no longer afford to buy his body of work one more time. Besides, i probably couldn’t tell much of a difference b/t Pono and a cd anyway.

    By BigJohnnyM on Apr 17, 2012

  39. I am with those who would buy that format at the right price. But, I would want to be able to make a hard copy for later listening/viewing. It’s really all about options for me.

    By Tom Billings on Apr 17, 2012

  40. my hearing isn’t good enougth to tell that much difference between good and great sound quality

    By whdup on Apr 17, 2012

  41. I might subscribe depending on what is available. I would prefer to just go the site and make individual purchases and download the tracks I want.

    By Keith Ahlstrom on Apr 17, 2012

  42. $4.95 a month and download all I want .

    By Bruce on Apr 18, 2012

  43. From what I have read about Pono, I think it will be aimed at those with high end audio systems that want the benefit of potentially unlimited musical choice. I made the move to high end audio in the late 70’s and still use a Carver amp and Magnaplaner speakers I bought in the 80’s to listen to my LP’s and CD’s. There is a clear difference between MP3’s at frequencies under 320kbps (like those on this site) when played through my system. Bootlegs from the pre-digital era sound very similar to me at 192kbps and as FLAC files burned to disc, so I have given up trying to find these types of shows as higher quality recordings.

    What would I pay to hear music as originally recorded? The closest I have gotten to that is hearing “Tommy” and “Dark Side of the Moon” in 5.1 channel recordings on my Onkyo home theater system. Those discs were $25 each. So, I guess I would pay that kind of fee if the quality was there. Thanks for asking.

    By Johnny Kinkdom on Apr 18, 2012

  44. Nothing I guess, please don’t get me wrong, I love
    Neil Young and I have an Hi-End music system but you got to put a limit to the pursue. Maybe in 3-4
    years time when the new format will prove itself as reliable and delivering as promised, till than I think the old (quality - not mp3) ones will do.

    By Itzik on Apr 18, 2012

  45. If the price was lower than Amazon, iTunes, etc., if the songs were worth owning, if this was the only place to get the songs…all that.

    By Harlan Roberts on Apr 18, 2012

  46. If he was providing something new - and a wide array of it, not just his own work - and it was music that was not available elsewhere, I would certainly consider it. While I know MP3’s are not the best quality, if that’s the only way to get something, I’m going to get it.

    By Jeremy Shatan on Apr 18, 2012

  47. While the quality may be superior the real issue is the devices it will be played on. The vast majority will be playing digital tacks off some mobile device and probably have been using compressed formats anyway. In addition a large number will be listening through inferior headphones. It will be interesting to see if the audiophile market is big enough to support such a scheme

    By BillB on Apr 18, 2012

  48. Pity Neil could non give me Hi-Res ears. In the years waiting for the archives and things my hearing has deteriorated so much it does not bother me what format they come in. I would just like to hear the songs before I die.

    By arthurofboro on Apr 19, 2012

  49. I’m not sure I would subscribe to such a servive for a couple of reasons identified above. As a kid in the 70s/80s, I spent a great deal of time damaging my hearing with headphones playing too loudly in my ears. I currently wear some pretty powerful hearing aids. Therefore, the difference in resolution is generally lost on me. Plus I enjoy hearing live, bootleg recordings, so the real critical piece of the sound quality has more to do with the method of recording rather than the format of file tranfer.

    By steve22 on Apr 19, 2012

  50. Young’s company is aimed at those who can afford it; the rich. The less fortunate, like myself aren’t as interested in High ($) Quality sounds since for the money mp3’s are just fine.

    By Peter J. Hernandez Sr. on Apr 19, 2012

  51. As usual, lots of good points raised (and all opinions voiced), for me its Vinyl first, CDs second and I only really use downloading for music that hasn’t been officially released. Neil Young is an incredible songwriter and musician, but I fear he has badly mis-read his audience with this one.

    By sebrof on Apr 20, 2012

  52. Like many here, if I don’t have a physical copy I don’t feel like I really “have” it. Even with music I donwload, if I feel it’s a “keeper” I’ll burn it to a CD.

    By MrBill on Apr 20, 2012

  53. Iam with Whdup I can’t tell the difference. Just let the air waves free.

    By Ron on Apr 22, 2012

  54. Neil, like many musicians, have been frustrated by the CD/MP3 sound. I’m glad he and others are trying to improve quality of the sound. They’ve put a lot of hard work into the music and want to make sure you hear what they hear. Not unlike the switch from Mono to Stereo. You paid a bit more for stereo, but what a difference back in the 60’s. As for what I’d pay, hard to say until we see what is offered (artiss, songs, etc.)

    By Bubbles on Apr 23, 2012

  55. It’s tough, but if enough content is there, I’m game. Still, nothing beats physical media in your hand(s).

    By Michael on Apr 23, 2012

  56. It’s great that Mr. Young is doing that, I just hope he has solid-media backups someplace safe for after the next rash of sunspots or power surges. I am also curious regarding pricing and what artists will he vend?

    By James on Apr 23, 2012

  57. Well, when I was younger I was into high quality sound. I spent as much money as I could afford on a high quality sound system and high quality discs, like half speed mastered vinyl, to play on it. But I got old and now I cannot hear the differences…I guess i just played that music too loud in my youth. so my ears are content with mp3s. I know…blasphemy! But at this point I’m just not going to spend more money buying high quality music that I just cannot ear any difference. So Neal, I love you man, and appreciate your effort, but this is one old hippie that’s just not going to buy your system.

    By Dick Cole on Apr 25, 2012

  58. Like Dick Cole, My hearing has deteriorated over the years. I find listening on headphones brings out things I either never heard or had forgotten.
    Pay for another system? No way.

    By Chris Coffee on Apr 25, 2012

  59. I am 61 very soon and have gone from 78s back in 1953 (still have my first) all the way to MP3s & FLAC. I have owned well over 250,000 78s, 45s, LPs, 8 Track & Cassette tapes and CDs in my lifetime. I worked in Record Stores for 27 years. I was a DJ for 30 years and a musician formore than 50 years. Currently I have over 500,000 digital music files of every conceivable genre. I wish I could afford the technology even now that would allow me the method AND the time to digitize the 30,000 78s, cassettes, LPs. CDs & 45s that remain in my collection. So when would I listen to all that? I figure I spent all the money i’m ever REALLY going to spend getting my HUIGE first collection (which I purged & sold in 1993). I used to spend $250+ weekly in the 80s buying new & used records. I’ve paid my debt to the music industry. I’m happy with the situation now, seeking all the music that I used to own PHYSICALLY in the digital form. Hell, I’ve been able to find records I NEVER could find pre-1993 no matter HOW hard I looked! I check out whatever Neil does musically and wait to see how this PONO pans out. Hey Neil! I didn’t buy the boxed Archive set…but I did buy EVERYTHING you did from 1966 to 2004 in physical form. Could I get a break somewhere?

    By Duncan Walls on Apr 26, 2012

  60. I would consider subscribing, but it would require that I have the option of archiving the content myself with the ability to play it through unlicensed technology in the absence of the service. Like others, I have seen technology come and go and a subscription is meaningless when the content doesn’t live beyond a short-lived service.

    By Jim Cox on Apr 26, 2012

  61. The quality of digital music will improve as consumer demand drives development of digital music technology. Almost everything that I want to collect is available in CD format, so I have not been too affected by the prevalence of downloading and mp3s. That will one day not be the case as digital downloads become the norm in music purchasing. I’m reluctant to embrace digital formats but resistance to changes in the delivery of content is futile. Our vinyl collections will one day be museum pieces and CDs will be a forgotten memory. So good luck with your newest venture, Neil.

    By Mike on Apr 27, 2012

  62. It sounds like the audiophile-quality music service Neil’s talking about will be noticeable only to those that have listening equipment that can take advantage of such quality. Therefore, that leaves out the overwhelming majority of us — so what’s the point?

    As for me, I want the total EXPERIENCE, anyway. I want the artwork, the liner notes, the physical media that I have control over. I want the anticipatory joy of taking an LP out of its jacket and placing it on a turntable — or even just prying a CD out of its case and watching it vanish into the player on that sliding tray.

    But good luck to Neil. I’ll be watching the development of his ideas with great interest.

    By Jonny on Apr 29, 2012

  63. Love to download as much as possible!
    Saw Neil only once.

    By Rijn B on May 2, 2012

  64. For me to subscribe would require being able to download unreleased music (live, studio outtakes, alternate versions etc) that I can’t get anywhere else.

    By JE on May 3, 2012

  65. Live music is better! Bumper stickers should be issued!

    By Steve on May 3, 2012

  66. I totally agree with Ken of 4/17/12 post somewhere above: after a long and winding road the sound evolution will end in a good old turntable (playing Rust Never Sleeps, of course).

    By Belasco on May 4, 2012

  67. You guys have pretty much covered it but

    1.) I’ve never understood what was supposed to be so great about .mp3s. The great public was sold a big lie there. The only advantage is the portability of the playback devices. So…as far as being a “hater” of .mp3s I say “go, Neil, go.”

    2.) However…though as a musician with a home studio, I could listen over my monitors…what about storage? These files would be enormous, right? And, of course, new products would emerge for us all the buy. Big down side.

    3.) I like that Neil is responding to the irony of our plugged in-internet based world. Everything all the time…but it actually sounds worse than ever before. :) We can have it all, and quite a lot for free, but we’re hearing a dumbed down version.

    By Scott B on May 4, 2012

  68. you know, i don’t know too much about the sound cloud thing, but its been driving me crazy for years that i cant find a cd copy of “Time Fades Away” a Young live record that i’m now on my second copy of. please Neil, help a brother out!

    By Gus on May 4, 2012

  69. I prefer flac, as for price, I will pay for what I am getting in quality. That said, I store everything onto an external HD with another back-up external HD that is off site, To me this whole cloud thing is just a way to get into your pocket.
    It is great for suppliers, it is a joke for the average person.
    Bottom line, 10 years from now, cloudds will be out dated tech replaced by something else

    By Bluez Dawg 54 on May 7, 2012

  70. I believe that the studio polished versions that are released by the labels should stay just that. If Mr. Young can offer a sincerely alternate take on a published song, and it has a really superior sound, then there’s a good case to “subscribe” to his trip. I have downloaded, and paid for, high-definition versions of rock, pop, singer-songwriter and classical music and the difference between them and the released/label versions is at best miniscule.
    The cloud isn’t the question that needs addressed but rather the quality of the sound. Mp3’s, .flacs and many other formats only duplicate (at the very very best) what the label produced cd can. Content and sound quality have to be Neil Young’s offering and not just a vehicle for him to enRICH his ban accounts.
    Silly little mp3’s of boots aren’t worth a Standard Fee: PERIOD.
    Don’t get me wrong; The Big O has thoroughly enriched my life through the audio offered with hands outstretched. I haven’t received a bill yet - Many Thanks.

    By JohnMcNea on May 7, 2012

  71. When I buy something, I want to have it in my possession. The idea of my music being under the control of others and could disappear because of some hacker is not much of a selling point. I can see a future when a massive computer internet disaster leaves millions helpless because their lives depend so much on the world of internet.

    By Jay Bartlett on May 9, 2012

  72. Q: What would make you, dear reader, part with your hard-earned money and subscribe to a cloud-based service like what Young is thinking about?

    A: The right content.

    By Rodney on May 9, 2012

  73. The problem as I see isn’t so much of quality as it is of quantity. There are streaming audio sites that are both for-pay and free that offer a lifetime’s worth of listening. What does Neil offer that can’t be had elsewhere (albeit at perhaps lower quality)?

    My issue is that the music I like to listen to is not available over commercial airwaves, and so I already pay for online services that let me listen to what I want, and where.

    Since I do not have satellite in my car, I wind up downloading (yes, to mp3) files and programs that I want to hear while on the road. So, I already have a full plate when it comes to “specialized” music, and Neil would have to offer something no one is already doing. Quality? Well, maybe to some, but my ears are getting old and I can’t distinguish as much as I used to (although my home audio system is Bang & Olufsen, so I still reach for the quality).

    By Fred P on May 11, 2012

  74. btw - neil has 2 songs from his new cd to be released on june 5th called americana. the two songs are —
    Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Jesus’ Chariot (She’ll Be Coming Round The Mountain) and
    Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Oh Susannah
    both can be found on youtube and easily downloaded/converted if one so chooses. course this would be in the mp3 format. haha.
    the video for the oh susannah song is killer.

    By darth on May 15, 2012

  75. I’ve bought lp’s all my life.
    The best quality if handled correctly.
    Now I’m downloading just to gather what is not to be found on tregular lp’s or CDs.

    By Rijn B on May 24, 2012

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