Neil Young’s PonoMusic launched its high-def music downloads store earlier this month, as its first device went on general sale. But its biggest catch, artist-wise, may be yet to come: the Beatles. Hollywood site Showbiz 411 claims that PonoMusic has secured a deal to offer the Fab Four’s back catalogue at lossless quality, with Paul McCartney himself overseeing the process of preparing the releases. The loose tongue in this deal appears to belong to Will.I.Am, who told the site “Wait til you hear Sgt. Pepper on Pono. It’s going to blow your mind.” It would be the first non-iTunes digital deal for the Beatles, and a coup for PonoMusic – even if we can’t help wondering whether Apple’s music relaunch this year might involve lossless downloads, in which case iTunes will probably have them too. It was interesting to see this break shortly after the New York Post ran a story claiming Pono’s own engineers remain in doubt that its high-def audio files have “any significant technical advantage” over CD-quality files, mind.

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