As I might have mentioned before, I like company when I work or at least the background drone of an active office, it turns out that this noise is good for you as studies such as this one from the Journal of Consumer Research state, this is currently breeding a whole pack of apps that generate this kind of noise such as http://coffitivity.com/
Now this is all just telling IT staff what they have known for years, and anyone that has watched productivity and staff retention plummet due to a petty manager banning headphones will be able to attest to the advantages of a none “silent as the grave” working environment.
Over the years I have built up my own bank of favourite audio media, which have in the last year or two moved solidly to my phone, I though I would share
Most of my music comes from http://www.di.fm/ the most amazing site for digital music (I have been a member since April 2005), they have a huge range of channels for the different styles of electronic music with excellent web and native mobile app players.
- NightCore – When the coding frenzy has me in it’s spell.
- SpaceMusic – When working against the clock and needing to not fret.
- Euro Dance – Gentle coding, when I’m not under the Gun
- Hard Core & Hands Up & MainStage – Serious coding, when I am under the Gun
This is supplemented by Spotify though I have learnt not to rely on a track or artist permanently staying on the platform, to this end I tend to use Spotify as a discovery platform then go buy the DRM free music from amazon
The BBC IPlayer is not just for music but holds a full week of BBC radio, it is really worth installing and regaining access to all those stations we lost when we stopped being near a radio, though I suspect if you are not from the UK you are out of luck (Americans this is how were feel all the time so tough)
Podcasts are my staple access to current news
- Daily Tech News Show – Tom Merritt does the best daily round up of the world of tech.
- This Week in Tech – Still the classic tech round up show.
- Politics Weekly – The most sane way of finding out what the UK government is up to.
- This week in Law – Strangely fascinating to see the impact tech has on the legal system and how they cope with its ever changing status.
- Friday Night Comedy from BBC Radio 4 – Very English and low stress comedy.
- Documentary of the week – My thought provoking / guilt trip session for the week
- The Infinite Monkey Cage sort of like XKCD in audio form
- Security Now – A bit rambling but still far and away the best security pod-cast for IT
- Mahabharata Podcast – an excellent English language re-telling of the ancient epic.
- German pod 101 – very very good language pod-cast (variations for all major languages)
For Android my podcast client recommendation is Doggcatcher feature and usability wise I have found it just cant be beat.
I have loved these since my very first one in 1981 “2 ADVENTURES OF THE SECRET SEVEN read by Roy Castle” and they fill a large part of my culture gap. now-a-days Audible (or rather Amazon) has pretty much nailed this market down with their fab app.
However while Audible is great, the content providers are as normal being a pack of arses with 81983 unabridged titles on the UK site vs 111016 on the US site, I have even phoned up Audible UK to ask about this and they are no more happy about it than we are, so Audible is not the be-all and end-all of Audio books if they don’t have something keep looking.
In addition some of the best narration was done ages ago and the companies that supplied these books to libraries (back when audio books were mainly for the sight impaired, elderly or dyslexic) have still not moved these masterpieces to the modern world so you might want to have a hunt around off line for some classics.
My personal recommendation for a Android player for Audio books is Music Folder Player it’s very well behaved, plays all sorts of files, has things like sleep timer and such but most important plays files by OS details (file name, folder etc etc) rather than ID tags)
There we go hope that provided a moments amusement
† As many of my clients read my blog and other social media, I will point out that I tend to not listen to audio books while working, as they are kind of distracting, I tend to listing to them during beak (to give my eyes a rest) and while travelling