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.
* 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
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.
More like staring at their phones. But seriously, there's people talking. Turn the volume up!
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 .
edit: I may try it out in the evening when reading a fiction book though.
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.
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.
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?
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
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.
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.
Yes. It is somehow at times comforting to hear humans speaking, even if they are not choosing to speak to me.
These days society seems to be run by extroverts, for extroverts, and little if any regard is given to introverts.
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")
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.
My "noise stack" when I'm really trying to concentrate is usually: pink noise + rain storm + c418 on spotify
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.
* 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
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!
(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" :-) )