Musician Neil Young has been working on a high-fidelity digital music service – complete with its own hardware player – for some time now. We first wrote about Pono in October 2012, but even before that he’d been exploring the idea with Apple (Bulletin, 1-Feb-12). Now it seems Pono will be finally launching, or at least being shown off properly in public. “We’re trying to make music sound technically better, and that’s what I want to do. So we have a player that plays whatever the musicians made digitally, and that’s going to come out,” Young told the audience at a Grammys ceremony for producers and engineers earlier this week. “We’re announcing that at SXSW, we’re introducing it, it’s called Pono, and that’s my commercial, thank you very much.” A prototype Pono player was shown off by Young on the David Letterman TV show in October 2012, at a time when he was reportedly in negotiations with various major labels for licensing deals. We’ll be interested to see how Pono has evolved since then, and particularly where it falls on the streams versus downloads scale.