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Hipster Sound – Coffee shop booster (hipstersound.com)
61 points by krozo on July 15, 2015 | hide | past | web | favorite | 49 comments

Not to take away from the OP, but I generally find I need background noise at times that I can't be at the computer...the most used (purchased) app on my iPhone is Ambiance:


One of the best 99 cent purchases I've ever made...you get access to a huge library of sounds, from a variety of colored noises (e.g. white, purple, blue, brown) to user-recorded background noise, including coffee shops and various subway stations around the world. There's also a decent selection of chants and gongs that I use for meditation.

And you can mix up to 7 or so tracks together...I like throwing in the clicks of an Apple ][ keyboard, the sound of the ocean, an air conditioner, and some white noise. The big plus is that I can use it with the phone's timer to set off blocks of concentration.

Sorry to post something as an alternative to the OP, just wanted to point out something that's worked for me...as far as browser-based noise sites go, the OP is one of the better I've seen...Turning on all the cafes at once is actually somewhat soothing.

edit: I'd never visited the Ambiance app page until just now, and so found out they have a Mac app...the 99 cents for iOS is definitely worth it. $9.99 for the Mac app that hasn't been updated since 2012 is probably not worth it. Also, when I had an Android phone 2 years ago, the Ambiance app was substantially inferior to iOS, in that the audio would skip at a regular interval. It was so annoying that I just stopped using it while on Android.

Have you tried Thunderscape?

I really dig http://asoftmurmur.com/

* he has worked very hard on blending the loops. They are not detectable in the 100 hours or so I have listened to them.

* It has an Android app

* I would much rather listen to outdoors noise

This may be my favorite from this thread simply because there are individual volume sliders for each sound.

Thanks, this is awesome!

http://www.noisli.com/ is pretty good as well.

when not listening to music and needing to drown out coworkers on the phone I am partial to earplugs + http://rain.simplynoise.com/ (it also has an app) I usually take out the thunder which is distracting but the rain itself sounds nice

Love the idea of having unintelligible ambience in different languages.

I'm a little amused by the fact that no one seems to be talking in in the Berlin one. Makes me imagine stereotypical Germans staring straight ahead drinking their coffee as efficiently as possible.

They are talking, just not very loudly. It depends a bit on the venue, but generally in Germany it's considered polite to keep your voice down in public places so as not to disturb the other guests. Plus, many German people like to keep their discussions private (maybe it's a hold-over from the dictatorship).

> staring straight ahead

More like staring at their phones. But seriously, there's people talking. Turn the volume up!

I really like this, but the background tracks are a little short for my taste. Fireplace and rain are only 3 minutes, and they don't loop very well. It's not so noticeable when it's mixed with the cafe tracks, though. I like Rainy Mood [1] for ambient rain.

I love the scene in Interstellar with the wide shot as they slowly fly past Saturn, where sounds of the jungle are playing in the background. I think ambient sounds and visuals would be really good for mental health when you're away from nature. In the city, on the ISS, or a manned mission to Mars, etc.

In the next few years I'm planning to travel the world and capture beautiful scenery for VR. I want to take long videos, from sunrise to sunset. I'm really interested in Google's GoPro rig, but the JauntVR 360 camera [2[ looks very promising too.

Then I would like to composite a virtual workstation inside those VR videos, with virtual screens, so I can do some work or reading in there. Apparently Samsung is working on an 11K screen with 2250 PPI, so I think this will be feasible in the near future. I've been starting to do some practice runs, too [3].

[1]: http://www.rainymood.com/

[2]: http://www.jauntvr.com

[3]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-5SNis4zLM

Are these loops ? They are quite short, not a good thing as the brain tends to focus on the loop timing.

edit: I may try it out in the evening when reading a fiction book though.

My 2ç:

I don't understand how one can concentrate in the noise, pardon me, ambiance of a café with people chatting, glasses and cutlery jingle belling and chairs creaking.

On a physical level, these sounds are distracting by themselves.

On a social level, these sounds remind us that we are in a place where it's okay to relax and engage in typical homo sapiens activities such as : gossiping with friends, hitting on each other and having a good time. I believe it's not a good thing to mix those signals (eg: invoking a cool ambiance to work. Work is hard, it's supposed to be harder than relaxing. Both aren't opposite though.).

I said that as someone suffering from tinnitus and regularly using white noise to fall asleep and getting literally enraged by cpu fan whistling noise.

I used to listen to music to motivate myself (laundry, etc.) but then I found out I was way more effective working )and getting in the zone) in silence without using audio crutches.

I still use music when running though but not for the whole run.

My theory is in a noisy office, the noise is "distracting" because there is a higher chance of noise being relevant/important to you, but in a cafe-situation the noise is "anonymous" and you don't need to critically filter it.

I too also have adopted silence as the standard working environment. I don't play music in the car while driving anymore as well. The only time I play music is when I want to exclusively listen to music.

This looks cool.

Also, because I'm interested: I wonder why your average HN comment section seems to generally enjoy or recommend ambient café noise, and yet "open offices" tend to be thought of so poorly. Is it that the café ambiance usually does not carry a sense of work-related stress? Does working outside of your office make ambient noise more tolerable?

> Does working outside of your office make ambient noise more tolerable?

Ambient noise in a cafe is different than ambient noise in an office, in my experience. Obviously this is going to be different in each office and cafe, but I'll try to compare/contrast them.

In a cafe:

* (Con) The conversations of my closest neighbors, clearly-audible.

* (Pro) Muted conversations of everyone in the building

* (Pro, sometimes con) The espresso machine(s)

* (Pro) Weather sounds (rain, wind)

* (Con) Road noise

In an open office:

* (Con) Office air conditioner noise

* (Con) Typing and mouse clicks

* (Con) Every conversation in the space is clearly-audible.

* (Con) Doors opening and closing

* (Con) The annoying beep our badge entry/exit system makes

* (Con) Phone conversations

Almost all of your cons (perhaps with the exceptions of the entry/exit beeps) for open offices are applicable to cafes also.

Its an Overton Window issue.

Open offices are a bad idea but at the "Popular" stage of the fad its possible for both sides of the argument to rationally discuss open offices.

The idea of intentionally creating noise drifts into the "Unthinkable" range of the window so its not even possible to debate, the only people who can speak are the folks who like it loud and distracting and the quiet people are literally speechless. Honestly I find the idea of an intentional noisemaker as trolly or something loud people would use to tease or punish people they know don't like noise.

I guess the only comment I can make is someone needs to make a parody of the parody noise generator for riot background, crying baby, next door neighbors having sex, random gunfire/arty/mortars, low flying jet aircraft, and boom car background sound generators. How about a die grinder machine cutting steel at 20Krpm? The sound of a chainsaw clearcutting a forest. Or the sound of a refugee camp? Because if a little distraction is good, and a lot is better, then huge amounts must be awesome. Just like adding salt to cooking.

Same reason you can tune out the murmurings of a crowd but perk up when you hear your name. At work, keywords that might be meaningful to you constantly pull at your foreground attention instead of receding into the background.

People don't try to talk to you at a cafe.

People also typically tend to have less one-sided conversations at cafes; or if they do, they tend to do it more quietly.

I'd much rather be in an open office with colleagues working on the same thing I am than in a noisy, distraction-filled coffee shop or at home with a screaming kid and a dog barking every time something goes 'bump' outside.

I think there is a deeper Problem with our attention span and concentration ability when people need this type of "noise".

If people feel the need to hear "café noise", maybe it's just a sign of loneliness?

And if you need white/pink/whatever-noise, maybe your office should integrate some noise policies or try to reduce noise by giving offices to small teams of people.

I get that people use those audio streams and soundfiles to "shut off distractions", but to me, this is only a fix to a bigger problem.

Edit: Maybe someone should start beerbarsound.com, so you feel like you're out drinking with your friends, but in reality you're sitting at home/the office, working, without any friends.

> If people feel the need to hear "café noise", maybe it's just a sign of loneliness?

Yes. It is somehow at times comforting to hear humans speaking, even if they are not choosing to speak to me.

The age old introvert vs extrovert comes to mind.

These days society seems to be run by extroverts, for extroverts, and little if any regard is given to introverts.

These days?

I think it's always been like that, and these days we're starting to recognize that introversion isn't a deficiency, it's just how some people are wired (and doesn't necessarily equate to "shy" or "awkward")

I think people are all different and what helps one person focus may not work for someone else. I focus better at a coffee shop and/or with music playing. It has nothing to do with loneliness, it's just what makes me more productive. If sitting quietly at home works better for you, do that.

I am pretty sure the conclusion of the study posted on HN some weeks ago which concludes that music as a boost method for working is subjective and wrong could apply to café ambiance.

> [M]aybe your office should integrate some noise policies or try to reduce noise by giving offices to small teams of people.

Oh sure, I'll just meet with HR and Facilities to rearrange the 100-cube farm so people are in rooms when they feel like talking.</sarcasm>

In a small company, this might work, but you're probably missing out if you don't hear the conversation. If your group is big enough that the conversation doesn't relate to you, or isn't important to you, then it's usually big enough that you're powerless to change it.

that's the case for me (a sign of loneliness)

mynoise.net seems to have more features and sound.

My "noise stack" when I'm really trying to concentrate is usually: pink noise + rain storm + c418 on spotify

Thanks for sharing the site. I usually just listen to electronic music, but I really enjoy the rain/water sounds.

Just discovered pink noise because of you and my mind is blown! It's very calming and hypnotic!

Brown noise (unrelated to the brown note...) seems to be really good at cancelling out background conversations if you're in a crowded office too.

Great combination! I might finally get some work done today, thanks!

For color noises (there are 6!), try http://concentr.me

For programming (or other work that involves intense logical thinking), nothing beats silence for my productivity.

Complete silence is, unfortunately, unachievable. But music of any genre, the buzz of people talking, a droning TV - all seem to interfere with my ability to concentrate on a hard problem.

I'm the same. Any noise breaks my concentration.

Same here, wish offices were built with attention to varying needs of silence levels by different employees.

couple of sounds that are missing:

  * different cities in US
  * people waiting in line at Starbucks
  * hipster using this in a coffee shop
  * complaints about the use of jquery over X
  * busy office
  * successful hot startup

I've always found http://musicforprogramming.net/ to be quite a good way to gain focus ..

How many fucking domains does it take to play a sound?

This is cool, but it's using so much CPU on my machine that I can't see myself using it often (Chrome 43 Mac, scrolling the page is jumping it to 40% & sometimes even 80% CPU).

Coffitivity does something similar as a Mac menubar app with minimal CPU use - or they used to, looks like they've gone mobile only now?

Love that you have a Berlin cafe in there, more of those please!

Nice & fun! Just a quick typo: you used singular everywhere except for Paris, where you used "CaféS", you probably want to remove the S

(and from what I could gather, the tab coming at 38€, it's either quite an expensive café where you got hammered, or a 4 person meal at a "Brasserie" :-) )

This is a bizarre web page. What does it do? I wouldn't know without reading comments here.

This is great! If only this existed for chiptunes/keygentunes!

I usually use www.rainymood.com to drown out the distractions

Ambiance is not just auditory input but visual cues as well.

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