Sometimes you need to block out the world in order to work. I find the best solution is to put on a solid pair of closed-cell headphones, like my beloved Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro 250ohm headphones, and spin up some good music. With the right tunes I can dive in and work for hours.
Sometimes, however, your MP3 player has died, or your iTunes library sounds a little stale, and searching for music on YouTube would be too much of a distraction. You want fresh playlists of music, with no ads or interruptions. In that case, I have a few suggestions:
Musicovery uses a neat graph – Calm to Energetic, Dark to Positive – to gauge your emotional level, and produces a music track to suit.
You might want music with more sound and ambience, less rhythm. If that’s the case, may I suggest:
Even distant thunder and raindrops might be a little too structured for you. Your tastes might run to pure noise, in which case SimplyNoise is your friend.
Or you might like the electronic sounds of the city: You Are Listening To Los Angeles is a hypnotic mashup of ambient music overlaid with live feed captures from the radio traffic of the Los Angeles Police Department. (Or, if you prefer French, Montréal. Other cities are also available: Chicago, San Francisco, New York, but I prefer the LA mix.) Or perhaps 24 hours of the warp engines of the starship Enterprise at idle?
I personally find heavily lyrical music distracts me from code or writing; give me instrumental tracks, classical to electronica, and I can develop for days. What about you? What's your favourite music to code or design to? Do you have a favourite site that feeds your musical need?