Music for Programmers, Developers and Concentration

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:

Chilled Cow even has you covered for winding down later-on with lofi too...

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...

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.

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.

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:

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...)

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