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Ask HN: Music while coding
102 points by qixxiq on July 18, 2010 | hide | past | web | favorite | 171 comments
I often find it challenging to get into the zone without background music (although don't notice if it fades out later)

I'm always looking to find new music and interested to know what fellow hackers are listening to?

It's still interesting to read comments, find new artist and even get the opinion of new HN-ers.

Also, it's kind of contradictory since while this question is on the front page, lots of people upvote this tired-of-this-question-because-it-has-been-asked-already-10-times comment.

I just assumed that if people are interested in reading this thread they'll also be interested in the large amount of previous posts asking the exact same thing.

Or maybe people just like telling others what music they like and aren't particularly interested in reading the same, I don't no.


I'm a big fan of ambient electronic music; it fades into the backgrounds well while still being interesting.

To that end, the "Neotokyo" soundtrack by Ed Harrison http://www.neotokyohq.com/music.html is amazing. Whenever I put that on (all 2 hours of it) I get things done.

Another excellent game soundtrack is the Machinarium OST


It depends on the language. Things like assembler demand Nine Inch Nails, Atari Teenage Riot, and other really fast things. This is possibly due to the fact that I have the attention span of a whippet, and I need to be kept up to speed. C++ lends itself to distorted acid noise in the manner of mu-Ziq, LFO, Squarepusher and Aphex Twin. Possibly because this music is good at dispelling C++ induced rage. Java is pleasant to write with a bit of big band like Nina Simone or Fred Astaire (this is probably more to do with the fact that I was into that sort of stuff when I first learned Java than because there might be any relation between Java and big band). Other languages on request :)

On a similar note, does anyone else have a favourite drink for late-night hacking? Again, Java is quite red-winey. Assembler is vodka and mixer. Electronics work demands a good ale.

Hello HN. delurk

What would you listen to while writing lisp?

any porno backing will work

.. plaaaayaaaaa

Usually silence, but when I do listen to music and try to work it's one of the following:

1. Final Fantasy, Video Game soundtrack, OCRemix, or similar (current favorites: Kindgom Hearts, Capcom Music Generation Family Computer Soundtracks, both Jet Set Radio soundtracks)

2. Pandora, my Quick Mix, which is basically a radio station for every band I enjoy old and new (examples: Tom Petty, Spoon, Modest Mouse, The Killers, The Beatles, Tokyo Police Club, TV on the Radio, and many more). I'm tempting to purchase the annual subscription.

I found this recent discussion on Reddit as a good resource for music suggestions as well (many mentioned that I had forgotten about):


Or if you want to step up the pace there's always the Black Mages: hard rock renditions of FF battle tunes.

Pandora is no longer playing in Canada, it is such a nice service. Much cleaner and more pleasant to use than the alternatives like Deezer.

The Pandora subscription is really worth it.

Go to pandora.com

Make a station, use "Abakus" as the seed.

Upvote/downvote the next few dozen songs. (If a song has any words/lyrics in it at all, it gets an immediate downvote no matter if I like it).

There you go.

I've found that Abakus is just the right mix of continuously pumping music that keeps my brain flowing, without being too intense (like a lot of trance or goa can get). It ends up flowing into the background pretty smoothly and keeps me going. Before I know it, hours have passed. As a seed in Pandora I've found tons of other artists and music that flows in the same way.

* Bach, Mozart, Beethoven (get a complete works so it doesn't bore you after a while. There are many gems which are not known by the general public, like the famous BWV 565, etc.)

* Chiptunes (I recommend maktone and dubmood)

* Daft Punk, Ratatat

* Anything I know by heart -- I won't be distracted by the lyrics. This also works if you don't understand the lyrics

Wow that's exactly what I listen to. It's a good combination isn't it, electronica and classical?

I've found that Baroque composers work far better for me than older or newer work.

Indeed. Can you list yours that I haven't listed already? One can never have enough.

Edit: also, yeah. I thought my combo was pretty rare.

I mix heavy metal and classical. Which usually raises eyebrows.

Same here (sometimes). Or even some mixed genre bands. You know Apocalyptica? There are also some similar bands (don't remember names right now, check out via Lastfm or so).

It's actually a pretty popular mix, I've gathered. They are very similar styles of music in many ways.

Justice, Digitalism, and Hypnotic Brass Ensemble

Hypnotic Brass Ensemble isn't strictly electronica but their music is really cool (no words too). http://vimeo.com/1418890

I have a Ratatat station and Justice station on Pandora which I've tuned individually over the past year.


I'm pretty much an omnivore when it comes to music... I'll listen to anything I like; there's hip-hop, movie/game scores, pop, rock, etc. in my playlists.

When Miles Davis released his album Sketches of Spain (brilliant, if you haven't heard it), there was a huge controversy over whether or not it was "real jazz". He did an interview shortly thereafter, where he was asked what genre he'd put it into. His response was brilliant: "It's music, and I like it."

I couldn't describe my own standpoint on what music I like any better than he did. While there are many genres in which I dislike the vast majority of the content, I'll give anything a shot and won't let a silly label stand in the way of liking something. I'm glad to see so many people on here feel the same; it always makes me cry on the inside to see listeners box themselves in.

Generally, I'll pick an artist and listen to their entire discography. The main perks of this are that you don't have to fuss with it once you find what you're in the mood for, you'll generally get at least a good 2 hours of play out of it, and you'll usually avoid musical whiplash, if the album is put together well.

According to last.fm (username is the same as here, for those who want to befriend me), my big artists these days are: The Decemberists, Iron & Wine, Sufjan Stevens, Rufus Wainwright, Machinae Supremacy, and Andrew Bird.

I also strongly recommend the 80-minute Demovibes mixes, if you dig demotunes: http://www.demovibes.org/dv_info.htm

There's a very small and (for now?) inactive HN group on last.fm:


Try some post-rock:

- Tortoise

- Godspeed You! Black Emperor

- Thee Silver Mt. Zion

- This Will Destroy You

- Do Make Say Think

- Explosions in the Sky

.. To name a few

Very melodic, quiet, soothing, but also explosive at times.

I'll second this.

I will also add the following (much smaller) artists to the list:

- Balmorhea

- Tunturia

I've been listening to both of them a lot lately - more so than I have the heavy-weights (as listed above)

Thanks for those recs; I hadn't heard of either of them.

You should give The American Dollar a listen; they're a really great postrock band from Queens. And Mercury Program, too, but they're in the heavyweights category, more or less.

Thanks for adding .. I've been on a Toronto music binge lately as I just moved here and definitely going to check more of Tunturia out.

Balmorhea sounds great, too!

Thanks for the tip. Some of my favorites:

Lvmen, Caspian, Kinski, Mogwai

Great list.

Less explosive, in the post-rock realm: Epic45, The Album Leaf, Years.

Also like Lymbyc Systym, who occasionally sort of rock out.

Throwing in The Non from Oklahoma City: myspace.com/thenonband

+1 for Godspeed, although it does make me sad sometimes.

I'll add to this list :

- The Red Sparowes (their first 2 albums)

- The Redneck Manifesto

I use Digitally Imported: http://di.fm/

I hop around different radios, but probably too much EuroDance for most people's tastes, but it gets me into the zone

Lots and lots of post-rock and indie rock.

  Explosions in the Sky
  Do Make Say Think
  Godspeed You Black Emperor
  Saxon Shore
  Broken Social Scene

Mostly music that doesn't have (much) lyrics. Specifically, some Infected Mushroom, Skazi, general psytrance radios on the web. Also some Moby, Fatboy Slim... But the best is definitely psytrance. Good psy music makes conducts your thoughts. You alsa have to know what to chose.

Gosh yes. Infected Mushroom - increasing my productivity since 2003. Their music is interesting enough that I still haven't tired of it yet.

Bach is almost exclusively my favorite classical composer. If you want some of his music, check out classiccat.net. It makes great programming music, but some of it is worth listening to when you're not distracted. (-:

I also enjoy Aphex Twin (all of the similar bands, like Boards of Canada and Autechre, not as much). I actually wrote one my of first web applications listening to "Selected Ambient Works 85-92". Ratatat is good. Finally, for some reason, I enjoy listening to the Conet Project ( http://www.archive.org/details/ird059 ) while coding.

In general though, I prefer to be in a spot where I don't have to use music to compensate for obnoxious background noise.

Definitely Ratatat, especially the leaked album which is more repetitive and less in your face than songs like wildcat.

re: Bach: agreed. I've found that really listening to Bach -- even starting to understand his use of counterpoint -- requires enormous concentration, but is totally worthwhile; for that reason, it's easy to tune out when I just need some background noise.

I choose the music style according to what I feel like in a given day, but here are some favorites:

Dark Ambient: Lustmord, Gustaf Hildebrand, Robert Rich

"IDM": Aphex Twin(anything choosen from what I have) and Autechre

Metal: Burzum(filosofem), Xasthur, and mostly atmospheric BM

Industrial: Suicide Commando, VNV Nation, SPK

(Fin)NRG: Alek Szahala and Nomic

Classical: Bach, Handel, Liszt and Chopin

Demoscene music: Bitfellas radio

I will generally create a mix of from the above styles in a playlist and listen to it, when it begins to bother me (after some hours) I'll just change music style.

Also sometimes I just get some game CD and listen to the tracks, usually I choose Total Annihilation.

yay for IDM and kvlt black metal.

I enjoy trance a lot, mainly Pendulum at the moment. Their latest album is amazing. The Prodigy is up there too.

The Killers / Linkin Park / Muse in a different mood.

Mighty Mighty Bosstones / Boo! for a third mood

I've got a 100 Greatest Guitar Solo's album which also serves me well.

I wouldn't consider Pendulum as trance, though. They started as Drum and Bass, but seem to have gone a bit further away from the genre, into something more mainstream (which has worked out very well for them, their newest album is indeed amazing).

As for trance, I'd recommend listening to something from a few years ago. A friend of mine (registered here actually), advised me to listen to Tiesto's In Concert 2003. On his words, it's one of those sets that once you start listening, you just can't stop.

PS: Also, Tiesto's In Search Of Sunrise 6 has a beginning that I just love: the sound of sea slowly transitioning to trance. You can listen to it on youtube, on a video with the first two tracks from ISOS6.

Tiesto's stuff is good, Deadmau5 is also good if you want something a little more upbeat.

di.fm has jpop now too http://www.sky.fm/jpop/

I usually just listen to chillout or minimal

I am the same, and the effect of music on the productivity of workers has been known for a long time. However, music which is primarily focused on lyrics or just listening to speech (eg. audio books) can be quite disruptive, and in most cases I find that this reduces my productivity. I think this is because when I'm writing software I'm probably also using the same language areas of the brain which are triggered when listening to speech.

Also, it's well established that speech and singing are handled by different brain areas, so do not necessarily conflict.

I've found that nothing helps me into the zone faster than white(or pink or brown)-noise type audio: waves at the seashore, rain falling in a forest-- that type of sound. It's intriguing to me how a little randomness can gel my mind.

I certainly recommend trying it before going with the Provigil (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1524757)

White noise or water in the background can work for me, but I've never been able to do anything complicated/thought-intensive with music playing -- it just saps some of my attention more than it seems to for many people.

Possibly related: Jonah Lehrer responded to the Provigil article; below is a comment posted by Joe Shelby on Lehrer's response post (http://scienceblogs.com/cortex/2008/05/the_hidden_cost_of_sm...):


Not "drug" related, but a similar study I once read about (I think it was cited in Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister's Peopleware) was about geeks and their listening to music while working. They were given a simple programming task, one easily done in "300 lines" using what we call brute force programming (follow the specified requirements to the letter).

The test was originally designed to see if listening to music while working affected accuracy, with the idea that musical distractions might lead to more bugs in code.

The programmers were allowed to work exactly as they would have worked in real life (this was back before easy internet connections made "cheating" more possible)), so some had headphones full of their favorite music, others worked in silence.

What they found was that both groups (those with music, those without) completed the task with equal accuracy - music didn't affect that precision.

However, they also discovered that some programmers found a secret in the proposed algorithm they were implementing. With a little cleverness, you could implement the algorithm in only 50 lines instead of the full 300, and be done in half the time. Of those that discovered the shorter implementation, most were from the programming in silence group.

When I really need to concentrate, I go for my "Pretentious Shite Radio" station on Pandora, which I seeded with John Cage and Steve Reich.

that´s funny. for me it´s just the other way round: if there´s music while i´m coding i can´t concentrate very well and always listen to the music instead of coding. :) but it´s possible that this is because i´m a musician too. i always wonder why i can´t blend it out while coding. (i can blend it out while driving a car e.g.) has anybody else similar experiences?

Yes. If music is on, I want to listen to the music. It's distracting if I'm trying to think about something else.

An interesting exception is in cafés, where I'm fine to hack away as long as the music isn't too loud.

One other point about music while programming is that it leads programmers to put headphones on, which I sometimes find detracts from collaboration.

I find that collaboration sometimes detracts from flow. I'm the type of programmer who will put headphones on without even listening to music if I need to get something done.

I'm usually get a new album or discover a new band, play them a whole heap then slowly burn out on them and move on. Have a heap of music but usually a couple of albums/ artists are being played a lot.

At the moment listening to the new soilwork album a fair bit, something I've been mixing it up with recently is the music from X-Ray Dog, all epic orchestra style music from films.

same with me, everything with lyrics distracts me.

I listen to soma.fm "drone zone", mellow film scores such as revolutionary road, american beauty, monster. Or tycho "past is prologue" is also played a lot...

a discussion on stackoverflow: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/14987/audio-while-program...

Some time ago I got out of the habit of collecting music. These days I listen to one of three or four internet radio stations, depending on mood. (I have a shellscript `listen` which is basically mplayer and a case statement.)

My current favorites: loads of ETN.fm and evolved.fm, a good deal of bassdrive.com, with a bit of UnitedBreaks.fm for variety.

I'm very much in love with my 'Global Underground' series; Nick Warren, Dave Seaman are favourites.

I'm often preferring silence these days, but when I do feel like tunes, I like stuff that's doesn't tear my attention away from what I'm doing.

The Aphex Twin:

  Analogue Bubble Bath
  Analogue Bubble Bath 2
  Analogue Bubble Bath 3
  Analogue Bubble Bath 3.1
  Analogue Bubble Bath 4
  Analogue Bubble Bath 5
  Selected Ambient Works
Also, Trace Nico and Speedy J.

Try some Boards of Canada

For something old school, FSOL Lifeforms

+1 came to say the same thing

Thanks, will do.

+1 for Speedy J haha, thought I was the only one. Old stuff like G-Spot especially

Yeah, you're not the only one, but we seem pretty few and far between.

There are a handful of 'nostalgic' / rocky DJ mixes I really dig for coding background music. Their length and variety is definitely an advantage of a single artist or album. Some of my favourites I've found from the interwebs:

Tanquery Tom's Clean Up your Room mix - http://www.modularpeople.com/modcast/55-tanqueray-tom-clean-...

Resident Advisor set from Johnno Burgess - http://www.residentadvisor.net/podcast-episode.aspx?id=131

RA set from Greg Wilson - http://www.residentadvisor.net/podcast-episode.aspx?id=119

RA set from Discobloodbath - http://www.residentadvisor.net/podcast-episode.aspx?id=139

Pretty much anything I know by heart and can sing along to works for me. I just shuffle my "Top Rated" playlist all day and try to add at least a few new songs to it every so often.

It's a pretty big mix, with everything from Zero 7 to MF Doom to David Bowie to Gravity Kills to Johnny Cash, Oasis, Dr. Octagon, Lemon Jelly, Hole, and a ton more.

I'm a big fan of Zoe Keating for coding music, and as a bonus she recently switched to bandcamp so there's quite a lot of it streaming: http://music.zoekeating.com/

Quite a lot of layers to concentrate on, but for some reason it also just works to get me in the zone.

+1 for Zoe Keating. I first heard of her about 4 years ago, when she opened for California Guitar Trio in a tiny litttle church in San Diego. One of the best performances I've heard. If you get the chance to see her live, absolutely don't pass it up.

Thanks for the pointer. I'm just now giving her music a listen and quite like it.

awesome stuff. if I had to choose again, I would have learned the cello instead of the guitar. such a cool instrument!

* Perfume / GAME


* Parliament / Mothership Connection

* Anything I know inside and out and can sing along with without thinking

I highly recommend: http://www.radioparadise.com

Listener supported radio with an eclectic mix of music, Pink Floyd to Beethovan, Portishead to Cab Calloway, and plenty of indie music I'd otherwise never have heard. DJ Bill Goldsmith mixes his playlists so they almost never interrupt my train of thought. When the music does, my concentration was usually dragging anyway and then I take a 3 min break to check the playlist page and set a rating so I don't forget to pickup the cd next time I'm on a spree.

Bill and his wife Rebecca have a nice community going and it's pretty obvious they're passionate about what they are doing.

I prefer music that you can "catch a ride on" because they have a lot of forward harmonic motion: Bach, Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven come to mind. For Bach go no further than Glenn Gould's performances.

Other than that it's occasionally nice to put on some 60's and 70's rock, the grungy kind of stuff (from Pink Floyd to Led Zeppelin to Metallica) that the forefathers of programming languages and personal computing listened to while they worked. There's got to be a relationship (either aesthetically or culturally) between the workflow that they created for us and the music they used to keep them going.

Classics: Beethoven, Mozart

Ambient and slow electronics but transparent ones which don't seem too psychedelic or w/ hard feelings, as they easy distract and 'sell' you their emotional setting when you really need to focus instead. So I'd exclude things like Boards of Canada, Aphex Twin, while including artists like Biosphere, Carbon Life Forms, early Orb.

If you're into harder tones I really appreciate stuff like ACDC and Iron Maiden while working - they're quite energetic but not overwhelming like harder metal.

Silence is also very good, esp. if you can hear sound of the trees, waves or whatever nature is outside.

It's freaking me out, but my tastes have totally changed over the years. It used to be The Dead Kennedy's and 70's punk, but lately it's minimalist modern classical, like Robert Rich or David Darling...

Reich is somebody who I've been introduced to in the last couple weeks. I haven't tried him yet, but I find his work absolutely mind blowing...and exhausting to listen to. It's like a really great hike up a mountain, watching the scenery slowly change the entire way, then absolute exhaustion at the end of the climb.

Steve Reich is another Reich worth listening to. My work/concentration playlist has Music for 18 Muscians, Violin Phase, and Octet. All great minimalist pieces that are interesting enough to keep your mind engaged, but not too distracting.

I was not aware there were two Reich's in minimalist music? Who's the other?

di.fm Chillout and soma.fm Groove Salad via PyRadio, my very own command line internet radio player: http://www.coderholic.com/pyradio/

I prefer silence for zoning in ... the quieter the better, not even humming air conditioners if possible.

If I do feel I need some help to zone in, hip hop works best for me (Eminem's 8 mile album is my fav). I can't listen to classical music and concentrate on something else. Impossible. .. and songs with good lyrics are equally distracting .. but since English isn't my first language, I can only cursorily follow hip hop lyrics and so I quickly fall into listening to the words as sounds without meaning .. and the beat goes on.

I created a website where I can create/listen to my music playlist and at the same time to my friends' music playlist: http://jamafriend.com

Massive Attack Portishead

Massive Attack discography is my current working music.

Absolutely, Collected is a great collection of their best work, and Mezzanine is great as well.

Surprisingly, another piece of music that's great to listen to is the soundtrack from the movie Mr. Brooks with Kevin Costner. It's great for coding.

This guy did the soundtrack: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramin_Djawadi

I am disapointed by their last album (Heligoland) some of the best new songs are missing (All I want,..).

Boredoms (especially Super Roots 9)

Fuck Buttons (especially Tarot Sport)


Giraffes? Giraffes!

Lightning Bolt

I used to listen to digitally imported but now I find most of the stuff they play (even on the psytracne/goa station) annoyingly repetitive.

Russian Circles


Explosions in the Sky



Quantic is really cool for the trip/hip hop loving people looking for no lyrics songs.

RJD2 is one of my favorite as well but I end up singing along the songs most of the times :)

I've come to conclude that I am alone in the world in this respect: I deliberately do not listen to music when coding (or studying) because I find it way too distracting. I end up listening to the music; enjoying it; analysing it. I would liken it to putting my favourite television show up on a jumbotron while playing tennis. It either is going to distract me terribly, or, if not, it is borderline pointless to have it playing.

Soma.fm: groove salad and Secret Agent. I'm in a good routine when they're on. Just like supermarkets with buying music, they tell my brain it's coding time.

I like that: "they tell my brain it's coding time." It's more important to me I think to have the same music than specific music.

I use ephiphany radio (http://www.epiphanyradio.org/) and Joey Fehrenbach radio on Pandora. They are what tells my brain it's coding time.

I'm trying Epiphany now, thanks.

I don't usually listen to music when I code, but when I really need to concentrate or am distracted by background conversations, I usually go for Einstein on the Beach by Phillip Glass.

Back in college, I'd often listen to classical music while working on math. But I occasionally found it distracting (especially Bach, I'd concentrate on the sequence of notes rather than the problem at hand).

Glassworks by Phillip Glass gets me to be productive, it is repetitive and some people can't stand it but it works for me. For math the only thing that works for me is silence.

For casual browsing I use Spotify and just look around a bit for something I like, the artist radio has found me quite a couple of gems.

Telefon Telaviv is probably some of the best working music I have ever had. Also Sigür Ros is creating beautiful unobtrusive soundscapes.

Good choices. Sometimes I like stuff like Gas, Deep Chord or Basic Channel (dubby techno) others Post Rock that's been mentioned, but usually like very calm loopy atmospheric stuff like Harold Budd, William Basinski, Tim Hecker, Ryan Teague, the pop ambient series.

I can't listen to anything with words.

I like streaming; set it and forget it.





sorry thesixtyone... we used to spend a lot of time together, till the UI change ... =(

Thankfully there is still http://old.thesixtyone.com :)


Thanks!! You just made the end (technically start) of my day! That and having a ASK HN submission that got wonderfully great feedback.

I am thankful for HackerNews. I bet we'd all get along reasonably well offline which is a very very unbelievable thing to say relating to anything involving the internet.

Thanks a lot, have a good day!

You'll find it is still not really the same, they took quite a bit out of the UI and old.thesixtyone.com sadly isn't quite right.

But it is better than the new UI

+1 for Boards of Canada -- I prefer "Music has the Right to Children" over "Geogaddi" when coding -- the latter is a little too angular and abrasive at points.

"Combustication" by Medeski, Martin & Wood is another great one for sustained productivity. For me, anything that grooves is helpful. Stuff with lyrics tends to be too distracting.

Have you tried any of the more recent BoC albums? The 'Beautiful Place out in the Country' EP is unabrasive, and I find 'Campfire Headphase' less angular than Geogaddi as well.

Yeah, "beautiful place" is on heavy rotation for me as well.

I like http://rainymood.com Not music though, just the sound of rain.

Can't believe no one has mentioned The Album Leaf.

Also, Uyama Hiroto, Nujabes, The Dead Texan, Oceanlab, Antoine Dufour, BT, Dosh, Juno Reactor, Lusine and Lusine ICL, Pacific UV, RJD2, Shugo Tokumaru, The Cinematic Orchestra and The Six Parts Seven. Most of it has no lyrics, most of it is rhythmic and soothing to some degree.

Album Leaf rule. Now I have to check out the others in your list.

Let me know what you think!

I listen to various stuff, but at least once a month I listen to Tubular Bells from Mike Oldfield...a pure classic!

And an absolutely stunning musical work. The number of great themes in that music is amazing. It's a shame, I've never felt that his later work ever really explored and expanded on those themes well.

Sarah Brightman's "Symphony" album.

Swallow The Sun "New Moon", "Hope" or "The Morning Never Came".

Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova "The Swell Season".

Deftones "White Pony".

The music has to be (at least for me) the slower kind. For some reason, fast-paced or brutal-sounding music tends to distract me from doing the work (and I'll just enjoy the music instead).

The Flashbulb. Good ambient music, doesn't get in the way when you're really focusing on your thoughts...

I like The Flashbulb as well, but it depends on which album as to what mix of ambient/breakcore/weirdness you get. :)

For GROOVESHARK or THESIXTYONE users, it would be nice if you share your username. Mine is d0m on ts1.


Movie and Video Game OSTs radio station with a HUGE rotation. Usually get in the zone quite fast when listening to it, but I could see it being a bit distracting for other people. YMMV.

How I get into "the zone" is by repeatedly listening to my new favourite Bollywood song of the week.

I prefer to listen to the same track over and over again. Sometimes I do this with a new song, and listen to the same thing for the entire day.

I find this less distracting that listening to a radio station or a long playlist.

I generally pick the song in the morning depending on my mood.

I do this a lot too and it annoys the hell out of everyone around me.

YouTube Repeater (http://www.youtuberepeater.com) is super useful if you're like me and listen to most of your stuff online.

Also, to answer the main question: Enter Shikari.

I have a playlist of 90's electronica (underworld, prodigy, aphex twin, orbital, future sound of london, the orb, daft punk, etc) called "AMPED" that I made for if I'm losing focus. If I ever fade out, I put that on and it gets me in the zone.

If you never have try some 8-BIT music while coding. It really gets you in the zone.

Where's a good collection of 8-bit music? I like the music the 8bit renditions of popular music that Engadget stars their podcast with, but don't know a good archive for them.

YouTube is currently the best place to find it, just put together or find a playlist. I was spoiled with this, because we built a website for creating YouTube Playlists and we made a bunch of really good ones for Video Game Music. That site is mostly broken now though...

But I will still provide you with my favorite collection of 8-bit (well 16 bit technically) music: http://flotate.com/?p=12352-Phantasy-Star-2-Soundtrack

I used to listen to Mega Man walkthroughs on youtube. Love the music they created for that series.

I don't know any good collections but di.fm has a radio station for it now http://www.di.fm/chiptunes/

Thank you for the great tip.

We Are Hunted (www.wearehunted.com) is a pretty neat web app for finding new music

Here's what I'm listening to http://wearehunted.com/by/stevelindstrom/


HN equivalence of subculture musics radio, very diverse. My favorite is the sunday afternoon program "Minimal Wave Electronics"

Buddha Bar and Cafe del Mar discography. Music with other languages vocal.

I focus on whatever I'm currently doing really well to Tool and Daft Punk, so mostly them. The music definitely fades into the background, and could probably just as well not be playing, though.

I use http://playlistnow.fm (if you ask for an invite you should receive it pretty quickly)

The site suggest you playlist depending what you are doing !

FG dj radios - 4 radios. great house / deep house at any hour.

Recent studies suggest that music may be a detriment to coding, but I still use it anyway. Playing around with the soundtrack from Inception. Its interesting....

Either di.fm's eurodance or vocal trance offerings, Streaming death and black metal, or gaga face radio, which is all lady gaga music

Stop looking at me like that >_>

http://like.fm/chris is what I listen too. Auto play is coming soon.

And yea background music keeps me focused.

I prefer silence when my environment is not distracting but in a busy office AC/DC our similar music through headphone helps to concentrate.

Music gives a great motivation for coding, I'd say it is a must...

But you must know a balance and time when to turn it off.

Try Japanese traditional music for relaxation.

- Underworld



- Pink Floyd

- Ratatat

- Daft Punk

- Thievery Corporation

- Manu Chao

- Chopin

- Beethoven

- Mozart

just to name a few

second Ratatat 'LP4' and 'Classics' are pretty good.

Try Dan Deacon - especially Bromst. Discovered this a few months ago; now probably my all-time favorite for coding music.

I switch between alternative and new metal, electronic (house / trance), and hip-hop / rnb. Pandora.com is awesome.

It depends on my mood at the time, but i will always listen to Beck, Tool, Color haze & Red hot chili peppers

Classical if I'm doing a long task, Creed / Alter Bridge or similar for a lot of little programming tasks.

Gets me in the zone: John Coltrane, Chic Corea, Miles Davis, Grateful Dead, Allman Brothers

I am a huge folk punk/anti-punk fan. Some I suggest are,,,

-(early) Against Me!

-Andrew Jackson Jihad

-Wingut Dishwashers Union

-This Bike is a Pipe Bomb

-Defiance, Ohio

boards of canada

Motown always does it for me

Steve Reich is rhythmic, repetitive, and very cool. Highly recommended.

pretty much everything, hiphop, drum'n'bass, breakz, pop, rock... In the office i'm always listening to music while coding, makes it easier to filter out background noise.

qixxiq: Take a listen to http://radio.hbr1.com:19800/trance.ogg :)

Mogwai, Boards of Canada, Autechre, etc.

Porcupine Tree

+1. I find that their psychedelics (Lynton Samuel Dawson, Voyage 34, Staircase Infinities, No Reason To Live No Reason To Die, Moonloop) mix quite well with Pink Floyd's (A Saucerful of Secrets, Atom Heart Mother, Set the controls...). Most of the later works are too vocal and distracting.

Last.fm "Pendulum Radio"

can't concentrate when music is on.


robert schumann

Drum and bass FTW.

Some free sources of D&B are BassDrive.com (live djs), Pandora and Last.fm. After you know what you like there's plenty available (used & cheap) on Amazon.com

Also a lot of techno, Vivaldi and Bach

Boards of Canada. I suggest starting with the Trans Canada Highway EP. The track is called "Left Side Drive".

metal > amon amarth > dimmu borgir

hah, naw - my favorite is music without lyrics. Seems to make me more productive.

Hah, I like Amon Amarth. :(

I usually go between post rock, noise, grindcore, techgrind, chillout and lounge.

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