Neil Young is a lover of music, and so he has embarked on a well-intentioned quest to improve the quality of digital music. His Pono player is based on a good understanding the problems with digital music—but its prescription for a solution only half-way makes sense.
As I discussed in a post last autumn, crappy music files are surely a scourge, but the solution is to advocate for a return to CD-quality audio, not for the absurdly high-rate audio proposed by Young and others. CD quality sound is based on science, and going higher-resolution scientifically doesn't make a difference.
This isn't the fault of the player per se, but the whole idea behind the player is to provide a home for "Pono" files with soaring resolutions.
We've asked for more information from the folks at Pono. When they provide us with a scientific evidence which proves that 192kHz/24-bit audio is better than the 44.1 kHz/16-bit standard, we'll let you know.
For more about high-definition audio, read here.