Pono’s companion music site, at ponomusic.com, abruptly went down over the weekend with apparently zero warning to users. According to details now posted on the site, a broad range of higher-end downloads will be completely unavailable for several weeks, with no firm return date.
In a notice posted online, Pono blamed a backend problem with Omnifone, which has now been acquired. Apparently the rugged got ripped out under Pono’s music hosting and delivery as a result, with the company scrambling to move backend providers.
Whether Omnifone reneged on a deal as a result of its acquisition, a renegotiation flatly failed, or some fight broke out between the companies is unclear. Either way, Pono believers are now paying the price. In a notice that has now replaced an entire store of higher-end downloads, Pono assured users that its core licensing with major labels remains in place. But storing, delivering, and encoding all of those songs is the responsibility of the service, with Pono opted to outsource.
I don't know of any websites that send you a warning before they go belly up, but there it is. Someone decided to start their own ponosucks.com site and the general consensus is, thanks for nothing.
The Pono music player is based on the faulty notion that Baby Boomer ears are more sensitive and special than yours and can hear things in the music that normal human beings cannot comprehend. This has not lead to anything other than an offline website and a bunch of people who "own" some albums that they aren't going to be able to play anywhere else.