Neil Young unveiled his Pono music player last night - and its associated Kickstarter campaign drew over $1m in pledges in the following hours.
He took to the stage at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, to show off the triangular device and tell the audience: "Once you hear this you can't go back."
Pono has been under development for nearly three years after Young decided he couldn't live with the sound output of MP3 players. He said: "Everything started to die because of the MP3 and the cheapening of quality to where it was unrecognisable.
"The album had no value. Only individual tracks had value. As a guy who'd been making records for many years, I was pissed off. I love every note on every song on every record.
"People were still buying it because they like music - but they were buying xeroxes of the Mona Lisa."
Young says Pono will deliver music the way the artist intended, and the project has the support of the major record labels. The launch edition of the player contains 128MB of memory, which is enough to carry up to 2000 high-resolution songs saved in a new format.
A promotional video on the Kickstarter page shows David Crosby reacting to having listened to the new device, saying: "That's the best sound I ever heard in a car - in fact it might be the best sound I ever heard." Other big names including Dave Grohl and Jack White offer their own support.
But not everyone agrees Pono is a good idea - tech site Gizmodo says there appears to be "no science" behind the project, arguing that producing higher-resolution audio files doesn't equate to a better sound. They add: "When the folks at Pono provide us with scientific evidence which proves that 192kHz/24-bit audio is better than the CD-quality standard, we'll let you know."
The Kickstarter campaign runs for a further 24 days, with its original $800,000 target set to be exceeded several times over.