Coffitivity And The Sounds Of Silence

I’m not really the type of person that listens to music when I’m working, since my library of music is the kind of stimulating stuff that makes you want to suddenly parkour out of a skyscraper, run up and down the sides of the building, chase down some perps, and then parachute into a war zone, all in the same minute. I don’t like any kind of pop music or anything that comes out of the radio – it’s basically the equivalent of elevator music to me. I need something else to run in the background when I want to be productive.

We already have binaural apps such as Pzizz that help you get to sleep. These feature sounds from environments other than those from around the bed you can’t call asleep in: beaches, air, forests, birds. We live in a world where quiet is too quiet and we can’t even fall sleep in it. Some of us need some kind of environmental submersion to quiet our world down or at least bring it to a baseline we can understand, such as the aforementioned waves crashing into beachside sands. Anything to not be alone with our busy thoughts, right?

It’s not often I write about a specific single app. Not many apps catch my eye and stay on my iPhone for very long other a couple of niche apps for camera filtering, notifications that tie into IFTTT, health, chat like Viber and the usual suspects of social networking apps. To get onto my phone, an app should be unique and useful. OK OK I still play Angry Birds every once in a while, but everything else I have is considered “useful” or at least considered “productivity.” When I do have some work to do, I need something that gets me into a calming and focused environment. This app seems to help.

An app has come along that gets you into the age old coffeehouse environment that let geniuses like Isaac Newton do their thinking. Coffitivity. It gives you the feeling you are in the relaxed setting of sitting down at a Starbucks or other coffeehouse surrounded by people speaking, complete with dish ware clinking and feet shuffling, even while you sit at your desk or your commute. The Mac app works great for me. They have Android and iPhone apps too in case you find yourself trying to focus while not at your laptop or desktop. I’m assuming they’re working on a Windows version for the rest of you.

But what about other environments – the ones that you crave to put you in that go use and serene place? Do you feel more relaxed in a library where you only hear the occasional footsteps go by, or pages turning, or maybe even a book drop? Do you like the sounds of certain train stations in Tokyo or New York City? Footsteps down a city sidewalk? The sounds of winds through fields of corn? Maybe a historic place like a quiet area of a Smithsonian museum, or a busy day in Philadelphia’s Independence Hall. Wouldn’t it be great to have a live audio feed from London to hear Big Ben bong every hour? What about sounds from airports and airline travel? What sounds relax you?