Music for Programmers, Developers and Concentration

3 min read

Wiring in – getting down to some standard bug-squishing or building that mental-map is almost always easier with the right motivation in any profession…

If you’re a somewhat working-nomad you’ll be familiar with the benefits of distraction… whether that’s the barista extorting you for one more £3.80 chalice-of-caffeine (instead of the sub-let rent you should clearly owe by this point) or the loud Harvey Specter suit who just sat down across the room – light and periodic distraction can do wonders for your eyes, and the momentary reboot of concentration.

But clearly… the same cannot be said for those ongoing and disturbing distractions – and it’s time to drown them out!

From coffee shops and deafeningly-silent rooms through-to noisy co-workers I’ve managed to fight them all off with a few great playlists and sound generators – here they are:

Chilled Cow’s LoFi Radio #0

[At the time of writing] this mad-cow gets around 15k concurrent-viewers on their ever-changing free YouTube stream – lofi hip-hop is great for getting down to chilled concentration – with none of them catchy-choruses or hi-hat cymbals crashing you out of the zone.

They also have a Spotify playlist for taking your lofi hip-hop offline: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/6eHO8aX6lHu3e6bem8r2rq

Chilled Cow even has you covered for winding down later-on with lofi too… https://youtu.be/axOhJh1x2n8

musicForProgramming() #1

And although it certainly works for any job, my usual go-to site for streaming while refactoring an old code-library is the goal standard in blurring the line between noise & music…

http://musicforprogramming.net/

Expect; Drones, Noise, Fuzz, Field recordings, Vagueness (Hypnagogia), Textures without rhythm, Minor complex chords, Early music (Baroque, lute, harpsichord) and walls of reverb to name a few, coupled with a UI only a MOTHER could love@datassette‘s musical mashup has collated 53 tracks for streaming, iTunes-ing, rapidly-syndicating and even torrent-ing for when you’re AFK or blazing the dial-up.

Just noise to me… #2

Something can certainly be said for simply overwriting your environment (rm -rf /) and so here’s where the sound generators come in…

White-noise. Google’s assistant, via a home mini, has a great white-noise generator built right in – just ask it – or check out my 2 track whitenoise playlist on Spotify.

NOTE You’ll probably want at least a 3sec cross-fade in the Spotify settings and enable a repeat-loop when you’ve chosen the track for you. https://open.spotify.com/user/h0zza/playlist/6e6mAc1f36tsWahOcgb51g?si=WA-WBl8mTi6go68X_u07bQ

Life Background Noises. There’s a lot of spam links out there for noise generators so I don’t recommend googling it – however Noisli seems to have it right with a free, simple online noise mixer with any combo of Wind, Rain, Coffee-shop, Railroad and even Wave-gen for Whitenoise, Brownnoise and Pinknoise should it take your fancy.

https://www.noisli.co

Final Frontier. For the fellow n3rdier readers of mine, may I first of all welcome you to my captains-log, stardate 41153.7 and mention with honour the next-generation style starship sounds mixer called Warp Speed.

Binaural Beats – an Android App #3

If you go looking around for binaural beats or any of its keyword derivatives you’ll almost certainly be horrified at the spam and wishy-washy ideas on some of the results…

Axet at GitLab seems to have done it right, albeit with a less than beautiful UI. “Binaural Beats” are specially designed concoctions of various alpha/beta etc waves and well worth a go – the idea is to listen to them on a quiet volume.

Android App: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.github.axet.binauralbeats

exit() – Final Thoughts

A good pair of headphones/earphones are well worth the investment and great for getting work done – especially when paired with an official policy of do-not-disturb when wired-in at work.

This post will be up forever more – hopefully, and barring something outrageous… so feel free to bookmark the permalink and refer back later on (I certainly will be! always end up rummaging through my history for these links…)

Published by

~/bh

Ben Hoskins, a SaaS developer from London who loves anything code, business or sailing!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *