Back in April, we reported that Neil Young was working with a company called Orastream to develop a new streaming service called Xstream that would present high-quality audio files that could adjust to lower qualities based on a user’s internet connection and computing power, all at a reasonable cost that would avoid making it “an elitist thing.” It was a better version of an idea that Young has been pushing for a while, previously with a $400 iPod competitor called Pono that was terrible in every way (it was triangular, albums were more expensive, it was called Pono, etc.), all in the name of introducing people to the wonder of music that isn’t outrageously compressed—like what you might find on iTunes.
Now, in what appears to be an even further refinement of the original idea (or maybe just a proof of concept), Young as launched the Neil Young Archives, a free streaming site that gives people “unprecedented access” to all of his music in the best quality that their computers can handle. Plus, just to make it all a bit more fun, it takes the “archives” theme literally and presents the whole collection as impossible enormous filing cabinet, with Young’s tracks all arranged chronologically. Or, if that’s too silly, you can arrange the tracks in a timeline that lets you chart his entire career.
Basically, even without the high quality audio hook, it’s a pretty neat site for anyone looking for an exhaustively deep dive into Neil Young.