Music for programming

Headphones

Programming is a work that requires concentration. Sometimes we need to focus on a complex task, and sometimes we do chores. It depends on the programmer, some prefer to have a background noise like a coffee shop, some prefer some ambient music, some prefer to listen to their favourite tunes, others prefer to listen to new music… not all of us have the same preferences.

In my case, it depends on the task I’m doing and my state of mind. For complex algorithms I need silence. Even the most ambiental music can disturb my thoughts, so I just stop any music that is playing and focus on the task. But I remember my times in the university when I studied difficult topics. Even silence was “disturbing”, so I tried with classical music and it worked! So for complex things, I would bet for classical music.

For chores and simple tasks I like to keep my music player playing ambient music. There are tons of internet radios for every genre. There’s a French station that I like a lot: Zen for you. I listen to it with iTunes, it comes included in the Ambient list from the “Internet Radio” section. Just double click and you will have nice ambient music! It does not repeat too many tunes, it has a pretty good playlist. You can even check the name of the song that is playing by taking a look at the app.

Some interesting radio alternatives would be:

  • Every Noise at Once. You will see a cloud of genres, just click on any and you will start listening to a specialized radio. There are tons of genres and subgenres. I’m sure you will be amazed.
  • Radio Garden. Using an Earth 3D map, you can navigate to any country to see some of the real radio stations. This is ideal if you want to listen to music that is being listened to in each country.

If you like subscription services such as Spotify of Apple Music, there are interesting playlists for focusing. Spotify is the service I have used the most, and I find the Mellow Beats playlist one of the best. It’s just instrumental music, especially from popular hip-hop songs.

Besides real music, you can also create an ambient with tools like Noisli. Just select the elements you want to mix to create the ambient you feel comfortable with. If you like coffee shops there is a reasonably long audio from one, but you will notice the loop when it repeats some times.

What are your preferences? Do you know of a good source I missed?

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About Me

David Morales

David Morales

I'm David Morales, a computer engineer from Barcelona, working on projects using Ruby on Rails and training on web technologies.

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