Music to work to

I don't like to work in silence. Especially when I'm doing something that needs concentration, I keep my best focus with the right background music.

There’s different types of sound for different tasks - for example, I like to do creative work with calm, relaxed acoustic stuff. On the other hand, some late-night coding sessions are best fueled by something with a little more drive - I like the Prodigy’s “The Fat of the Land”.

A number of options exist to provide music while working, the easiest being your own private MP3 collection. Everyone has one of those, but if you’re like me and spend a lot of time in front of the computer, your best playlists will sound dull after the 43rd rerun.

I recently switched to Spotify, which provides me with an endless stream of new songs and artists. A major drawback are the advertisements in between though, plus it’s hard too find some of the more obscure tracks. I do like some of the predefined “mood” playlists for working though, there’s quite a few of them called “Focus” or similar.

Collection of Spotify Playlists
Some working music playlists on spotify

Another option is to let go of music and melody completely and switch to atmospheric sounds. There’s a couple of good ressources for that, my newest discovery is a free OSX-App called It runs on your mac and lets you create your own ambient background sound mix. Choose from coffee house, light thunderstorms, a crackling fireplace - or maybe rolling waves at a beach? It’s really quite nice.

Another good ambient noise generator is, a website with even more sources for you to choose from. You can mix your own custom background symphony.


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