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Bas codes

Posted on • Originally published at bas.codes

๐ŸŽถ Background Music to Get Into the Zone

Maybe the most essential skill for a developer is having a crystal clear focus. Some call it "the zone", a state of mind in which your mind is genuinely focussed on the very problem you are dealing with right at that moment.

Your surrounding plays a crucial role in that. In the office, you might easily be distracted by people coming and leaving or your co-workers' conversations. Even when working from home any distraction can snap you out of your "zone" โ€“ a dishwasher starts to beep, the postman delivers a parcel for your neighbour or what else can happen.

If it were just about creating a quiet environment, you could just go with a hearing protection aid, such as the 3M Peltor. I have tried it, but it did not convince me. I need to hear at least "something" in order to not feel lost.

Here are my personal top pics:

White Noise by TMSoft

The White Noise App by TMSoft is available for mobiles and Desktops. No subscriptions, no ads, and a great collection of background sounds. I use the creator to generate the exact noise setting I need.

Focus@Will

Focus @ will is a collection of music specifically designed to concentrate. I like the Electro Bach most. Downside: Subscription! However, if you have Spotify, Prime Music or Apple Music, you'll find some of their tracks here, too. Some are even on YouTube.

Music To Code By

Music to Code By is a collection of lofi music by Carl Franklin. You can get 9 hours of music for 20 bucks. Each track is 25 minutes, aligning nicely with the Pomodoro Technique.

Other Mentions

  • Calmis an app that not only helps with focus but also contains guided meditations and sounds to improve sleep quality. It comes as a subscription but has a lot of value if you use it regularly.
  • freeCodeCampRadioJust open the website, click play, and you will have a free stream of music designed to concentrate.
  • brain.fm offers "functional" music and is similar to Focus@Will
  • lofi.cafe - a lofi radio
  • music for programming - another radio
  • nightride.fm - and still another radio
  • Classical Music Only is a collection of classical music

Some good YouTube Playlists

Suggestions from Friends and Co-Workers

Here are some more suggestions from friends and co-workers. Personally, I find most of these songs too distracting, but maybe there's something in for you!

Your turn

Feel free to post your favourite music in the comments or in this Twitter thread

Discussion (40)

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billraymond profile image
Bill Raymond

I donโ€™t know why Wu-Tang Clan is on every list from nearly every developer who recommends music, since the band started. Their music is fine, but trying to code with their music does not work for me.

With that rant out of the way, I recently moved my desk to a window so now the outside noises are keeping me in the zone.

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jonasbn profile image
jonasbn

I can really recommend several of the streams from Somafm if you are into electronica.

  • Drone Zone
  • Deep Space One
  • Space Station Soma
  • Mission Control, where you can listen to conversations between astronauts and their mission control, very stimulating to hear other people work

And you are always welcome to checkout my Spotify playlist /Music/Hacking

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jrbirdmanoh profile image
jrbirdmanOH • Edited on

Don't forget their DefCon soundtrack, GrooveSalad, and GrooveSalad Classic channels. The first one is my favorite...they play funny soundbites from actual DefCon presentations.

Oh...and all their channels have streams, so you don't have to worry about closing a browser window or tab and loosing the music...

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bigpoe_ profile image
Pedro

Do not forget the Donkey Kong Country soundtrack for SNES.

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juniordevforlife profile image
Jason F

A true masterpiece.

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n_anselm profile image
n-anselm

There's a really nice program for Linux, called Blanket. It can play nature sounds, as well as travel sounds and white/pink noise among others. The really neat thing is that you can mix the sounds and and adjust the volume for each one. You can also add custom sounds.

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bascodes profile image
Bas codes Author

Is it this one? github.com/rafaelmardojai/blanket
I wasn't aware of it, but it looks nice ;)

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n_anselm profile image
n-anselm

Yes, that's the one.

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suranyami profile image
David Parry

Highly recommend everything on Ambient Music Guide, in particular the mixes and podcasts. Low on lyrics, big on electronica, but immensely broad coverage of many down-tempo styles.

ambientmusicguide.com

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nicoespeon profile image
Nicolas Carlo

Oh, thanks for these cool YouTube playlists! The Witcher soundtrack definitely goes to my favs โค๏ธ

Since you are mentionning Pomodoro + background music, I suggest you give a look at Centered. It's an app that's designed to help you get in the Flow faster, and stay there longer. It combines background music + a virtual coach that nudges you from distractions + a rythm of work sessions/breaks and a couple more featuresโ€ฆ

I'm one of the developer being the project, and also a big user of it myself.

Hope that may help!

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chelbgonsalves profile image
Chelsie L. Bangloy-Gonsalves

Arcane's album is pretty much on repeat. Really brings out my inner Jinx. Also depressing piano covers, Rok Nardin and overall film, video games and etc music scores.

๐ŸงธArcane via Spotify

๐Ÿงmy personal rando playlist

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alfiks profile image
alfiks

Nice list. Also film music is great for focus especially Terminator 2 soundtrack.

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mahdouglass profile image
Marissa Douglass

This is a great list! I'll definitely be trying a lot of these out since I usually do movie soundtracks or classical music. Can't handle a lot of music with words because I'll start typing those!

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bascodes profile image
Bas codes Author

I can relate to that! ;)

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giullianoalvaro profile image
Giulliano รlvaro

Hi guys, I like so much this playlist: youtube.com/watch?v=-5KAN9_CzSA

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cestarlich profile image
Cris

I used a lot of times brain.fm , for focusing it's a great tool.
Now I'm listening all the sets from Blume:
youtube.com/channel/UCq22aK0t0mrOEq676Be4ezw

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madza profile image
Madza

Great list, Bas! ๐Ÿ’ฏ๐Ÿ‘
I also created a fun side project some months ago ๐Ÿ“ป๐ŸŽต

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bascodes profile image
Bas codes Author

That looks promising! Unfortunately, I get a 500 from your API and can't hear anything... Maybe you want to have a look...

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madza profile image
Madza • Edited on

Sry, had to redeploy due to maintenance, should be fixed now ๐Ÿ˜‰

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dcboddie profile image
David Boddie

When I go out to Youtube for music, especially to code by, I look up the Iron Man Soundtrack(s) and find a playlist. Something about coding next to Tony Stark gets me motivated. :D

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harshjoeyit profile image
Harshit Gangwar

Nice compilation!
Definitely going to follow some of these :))

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koas profile image
Koas

My 2 cents: I love โ€œPurified Radioโ€ by Nora En Pure, 1 hour episodes of great music, available in YouTube.

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chelbgonsalves profile image
Chelsie L. Bangloy-Gonsalves

Also yes, to your suggestion of the Witcher Album! So much love.

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valbuena profile image
valbuena

I just put a Chopin Spotify playlist..

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ross_kenney_3c28777b9f4d6 profile image
Ross Kenney

Sim City soundtracks are great. youtu.be/5GCoc893Vt8
youtu.be/qkXOxLpdMds

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soundwavex81 profile image
SoundWaveX81

I love rock and metal music, but when I really want to get focus I used to listen:

  1. Pan pot (EDM and deep house)
  2. Etta Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong (jazz)
  3. Howling wolf (blues)
  4. SOJA (reggae)
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siy profile image
Sergiy Yevtushenko

I've found that music specially "designed" to maintain focus works best to me. It allows to keep high productivity and concentration for several hours in a row. For example, this one is my favorite.

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hapakaien profile image
Ahmad Husen

Great list.
But, no post-rock?

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bascodes profile image
Bas codes Author

You have a playlist you want to share?

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hapakaien profile image
Ahmad Husen

I usually listen to Deep Focus playlist on Spotify.

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harleendev profile image
Harleen ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ

I love WoW.
Here are more Tracks:

- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oeo2VCCtUZQ

- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjTe0R2bREY
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lukeshiru profile image
Luke Shiru

Gaming music generally is great to focus, from Blizzard I love D2: LoD OST:

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highcenburg profile image
Vicente Reyes

Awesome list!!

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vdmokstati profile image
vdmokstati

musicforprogramming.net is a good one

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not12thpotus profile image
Zach

Wu-Tang is for the children.

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t0nyba11 profile image
Tony B
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Patrik Jajcay

I found that listening to background ASMR helps me focus on work.

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ulr1ck_ profile image
Ulises Rosas

NewRetroWave works for me ๐Ÿ˜€

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sadiwhite20 profile image
Sadi

take a look on my new migration concept
github.com/SadiWhite/laravel8february

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vit9min profile image
vit9min

Greate, always with Eminem. I born, grew up and will die with Eminem sounds ^_____^