Good news for audiophiles: The PonoPlayer Kickstarter backed by Neil Young today passed the $5 million funding milestone, with 15 days of fundraising still to go. The campaign has blown through its original goal of $800,000, which it met during the first 24 hours of being open for business.
As you’ll know if you’ve been following the story, the new music player device is designed to provide a user-friendly experience without compromising on audio quality. Headphone and line-level output jacks are included on the Toblerone-shaped player, enabling you to tune in on the way to work or hook it up to a larger system.
With its premium internal electronics and support for a broad range of music formats — from FLAC to MP3 — the PonoPlayer has proved a runaway success. At the time of writing, you can no longer get an early bird discount on the music player at the $200 price point, but $300 is enough to nab you a yellow or black PonoPlayer. If you’re feeling particularly generous, you can pledge $400 to get a player signed by a well-known artist (such as James Taylor, Willie Nelson or Patti Smith). Shipping is expected to begin in October.
“My experience here at Kickstarter has been life changing,” says Neil Young in a new message posted to the project’s Kickstarter page. “After banging my head against the walls of venture capitalism for almost three years, dealing with business experts who didn’t understand what we were trying to accomplish; rescue the art of recorded sound and make great music available into the future, I found you people. You are the ones who understand what this is. You have proven it with your amazing support.”
“When we blew through our goal and actually doubled it on the first day, you changed my life. I will never forget that… Thanks for your help. We are very grateful for it. Obviously we can’t do this without you.”
With established devices like the iPod suffering at the hands of music-enabled smartphones and tablets, the success of the PonoPlayer has exceeded everyone’s expectations. Check out our complete guide to the PonoPlayer to find out why it has struck a chord with thousands of backers.