Slashdot: News for Nerds


Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Coders: What do you listen to?

FortKnox (169099) writes | more than 9 years ago

User Journal 41

btlzu2 thinks he found the perfect music to listen to while coding. This warrents a JE on what everyone else listens to. Me? I like to listen to video game music. I have a CD full of old 8-bit nintendo music, plus mp3's of background music for lots of PC games (lotsa starcraft music, shogun:total war, etc...). I also listen to classical music for movies, like the final credits for Bladerunner. Basically, I listen to background music wbtlzu2 thinks he found the perfect music to listen to while coding. This warrents a JE on what everyone else listens to. Me? I like to listen to video game music. I have a CD full of old 8-bit nintendo music, plus mp3's of background music for lots of PC games (lotsa starcraft music, shogun:total war, etc...). I also listen to classical music for movies, like the final credits for Bladerunner. Basically, I listen to background music with no lyrics.

What do you code to?

cancel ×


Depends on my mood (1)

Aggrazel (13616) | more than 9 years ago | (#10509026)

Sometimes I like game music too...

Other times... I like stuff like Yanni, Henri Mancini, Electric Light Orchestra, Pure Moods etc.

Other times I like They Might Be Giants...

Other times I'll listen to Pink Floyd...

Usually though its music without words.

Metal (1)

ryanr (30917) | more than 9 years ago | (#10509160)


SWEET ascii "devil horns" !!!! (1)

mekkab (133181) | more than 9 years ago | (#10509170)

You da man!

Re:Metal (1)

Tet (2721) | more than 9 years ago | (#10511983)

Hard to argue with the inherent truth of your statement :-) Currently I have on rotation:
  • Megadeth - "The system has failed" [1]
  • Rammstein - "Reise, reise"
  • Epica - "The phantom agony"
  • Therion - "Lemuria"
  • Sirenia - "An elixir for existence"
  • Blaze - "Blood & belief"
  • Season's End - "The failing light"
  • Ensiferum - "Ensiferum"
  • Duran Duran - "Big thing" [2]

[1] Welcome back, Dave. A great return to form after a couple of pretty dire albums.

[2] I listen to very little that isn't metal, and when I do, it's quite rare. But this is one of them.

Re:Metal (1)

mekkab (133181) | more than 9 years ago | (#10512252)

[1] Welcome back, Dave. A great return to form after a couple of pretty dire albums.


Hmmmm. If I pick this up and it sucks, its your fault.

Re:Metal (1)

Tet (2721) | more than 9 years ago | (#10512383)


Yes, really -- IMHO, of course. It may not be up there with the great Megadeth albums, but it's head and shoulders above "Risk" and "The world needs a hero". In places ("Back in the day" and "Kick the chair", for example), it harks back to the Megadeth of yesteryear. Sure, I'd like it a bit faster and a bit heavier in places. But most importantly, I'm enjoying it, which is more than can be said of their recent output.

Re:Metal (1)

ryanr (30917) | more than 9 years ago | (#10513782)

Hmm... I haven't heard of several of those bands, I'll have to hunt them down and check them out.

Techno trance (1)

GeckoFood (585211) | more than 9 years ago | (#10509441)

I like trance music, although I am well beyond the appropriate age to be a raver... 4 Strings, Fragma, 4 Clubbers, Solar Stone, State One, DJ Astrid, etc...

That said, I spent today listening to 80's hair band music, in particular the Scorpions.

Massive Attack, Tricky, Portishead. (1)

red5 (51324) | more than 9 years ago | (#10509461)

Massive Attack, Tricky, Portishead. Back when I used to code for a living they were what "all the cool kids" were listening. I've been out of the game for a while I suppose. These days it'd probably be Postal Service, The Streets, or Air (coding to surfing on a rocket sound good).

As for the 8-Bit video game tunes. I have mario-bros as my ring tone. I 0wn.


red5 (51324) | more than 9 years ago | (#10509477)

Preview, early and often. God I sux0r.

Lots (1)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 9 years ago | (#10509473)

Module files (I don't recall what format specifically

"Astroid Belt" (astroidb.something)
"Astraying Voyages" (astray.something)

You've probably never heard of them. Both are good, really loud, through headphones.

Other good sources that put me in a move-forward mood:

Pure Moods I and II.
Pearl's Girl
Quake 2. (If I could find's been missing for years, and I really want it back.)
Oh No! More Lemmings!

MIDI files

Day of the Tentacle
7th Guest
Chill and Fever from Dr. Mario
Dune 2
DOOM and DOOM ][
Double Dragon II
Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest
Some FF8
Parasite Eve

...I guess there's just a whole bunch of stuff. The only common theme is that the music has to evoke an emotion such as happiness, anger, or maybe even put me in a trance. (Pearl's Girl does that.)

The only problem is I occasionally get distracted to the point where I sort of conduct the songs, punctuating each note with a finger jabbed into an imaginary vertical keyboard. But you didn't just read me saying that.

Industrial and Goth, Mostly (1)

the_mad_poster (640772) | more than 9 years ago | (#10509773)

KMFDM, Ministry, :wumpscut:, Switchblade Symphony, My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult, Skinny Puppy, Zeromancer, etc. etc.

I spent today listening to Mudvayne, The Cult, Stabbing Westward, Godsmack and more.

There a pretty involved thread [] on the topic that someone started over at Devshed Forums some time back (it's dead now, however, so don't dredge it back up lest you incur the wrath of the ancient ones and someone locks it).

Re:Industrial and Goth, Mostly (1)

N473 (183700) | more than 9 years ago | (#10510076)

right on... my mix is something like:

cradle of filth, misfits, clinic, manson, motorhead, morrissey, ministry, front line assembly, bright eyes, bad brains, beatles, radiohead, sepultura, leonard cohen

Phish (1)

Patik (584959) | more than 9 years ago | (#10509775)

Lots of live Phish, Radiohead, 311, DMB, some miscellaneous 90s rock... Guess I'm pretty mainstream, though I don't like pop. I've even got a nifty iTunes script that pastes whatever is playing when I hit F4.

NP: Phish - 1994-12-29 - Split Open And Melt

One other one... (1)

btlzu2 (99039) | more than 9 years ago | (#10509865)

...which was suggested in reply to my JE was Sigur Ros. Have you ever listened to them FK? It is really really good for coding. The guy (Jonsi) does sing, but it's nonsense mixed with Icelandic which isn't too distracting actually.

Beautiful stuff!!!

I actually think the computer game music would be cool too. I suppose you can find that type of music on various peer-to-peer dens of iniquity? :)

Re:One other one... (1)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 9 years ago | (#10510079)

Yeah, it depends. I can hook you up with some. Some is free on the net (shogun:total war), some come in actual CDs (metroid:prime has a CD, I know for sure).

But, if you can do the streaming thang, try Gaming FM [] . Its a very nice site. Pick from 'old' consoles, modern consoles, PC games, or a variety of all.

Stuff without words (1)

Pirogoeth (662083) | more than 9 years ago | (#10510052)

I like to listen to classical. I also have a number of anime soundtracks, many of which are quite good as far as soundtracks go. No words where I'll find myself singing along, and nothing too loud where I'll start nodding my head to the beat, a la Beavis and Butthead.

Re:Stuff without words (1)

robi2106 (464558) | more than 9 years ago | (#10525765)

Ahhh finally a Classical reference. I was reading down the list hoping someone else had this.

I find that fast baroque music does wonders. IT has complex melodies and counterpoint that seem to help with complex thoughts. Specifically I use songs with out words, or words in another laguage. Though if I listen to a piece a lot, I know which words are comming up and I tend to sing along (even if I don't have a clue what that German word means).

As an example, I have a playlist of Glen Gould playing the entire Well Tempored Clavier (Book 1 & 2) as well as Bach's Theme & Variations. I think I also have some Bach organ pieces.

Also good for my coding would be Enya.


Semi-Obscure Alternative (1)

dead sun (104217) | more than 9 years ago | (#10510147)

I find nothing better than listening to a bit of alternative to get the creative juices going.

I heartily recommend bands like The Folk Implosion and The Gufs which are some of the best things I've listened too. The big reasons being that there is real depth to the music itself. It's a swarm of instruments, melodies and harmonies, interesting vocals, and great percussion. Go find the The Folk Implosion's One Part Lullaby CD in your library or something. Seriously, find the CD and not an MP3 of the stuff. The subtle interaction in the music means you don't want to lose any data there. It's stuff I can drown myself in on my stereo and feel completely immersed. One of my absolute favorite CDs, especially to work to.

Some other actual recommendations might be Better than Ezra , Toadies (a bit heavier sound), or Soul Coughing . If you want to break some beats and not be distracted by following too many lyrics then Fatboy Slim , Chemical Brothers , or Orbital might fit your groove. KMFDM also fits that bill but has more lyrics. If you're feeling silly then They Might Be Giants , Reel Big Fish , NOFX or Presidents of the United States of America . More sedate might be Soundgarden , Eels , Candlebox , Cracker , and Blind Melon . If you ever really feel like depressing the hell out of yourself I highly recommend Black Lab .

Yeah, I know, the 90s called and wants it's music back. There's just so much good from that decade. I also find myself liking some newer stuff from Linkin Park . Also System of a Down though I've generally always kinda liked their stuff. They're getting way more polished though.

I listen to a mix (1)

sielwolf (246764) | more than 9 years ago | (#10510350)

of recently purchased CDs (which should be familiar to anyone who follows the journal) and old albums. I try to stick to things that are pretty innocuous since I share a lab most of the day. The recent stuff:

Aphex Twin RDJ Album
Boards of Canada In a Beautiful Place in the Country
Method Man Tical
Interpol Antics
Sielwolf IV
Jesu Heart Ache
Arpanet Wireless Internet
The Bug feat Warrior Queen Aktion Pak

Before Blue cut herself she mentioned the story about being a 'black' girl. I remembered Soul Coughing's "White Girl". So I also threw on Irresistible Bliss today. Add on Sade's Greatest Hits. I had my second disc from Nina's Four Women but I took that off yesterday. Appended Soundgarden Superunknown, Ruby Short-staffed at the Gene Pool, King Geedorah Take me to Your Leader, Quasimoto The Unseen. Also a limited 12" from Soundmurderer and SK-1, "Search and Destroy".

So just a standard mix of IDM, East Coast hip-hop, dark ambient noise, NYC retro (ugh) rock, post-grindcore, electro, industrial ragga, alternative, grunge, 80's R&B, 60's black classical, trip-hop, East Coast indie hip-hop, West Coast indie hip-hop, and Detroit amen jungle.

I stay away from the drillcore and metal because it makes discussion difficult to follow. It too easily falls into the conversation dB range. Otherwise it's business as usual.

these days (1)

mekkab (133181) | more than 9 years ago | (#10510604)

for coding, I've been listening to a 4-minute beat-progression I "Sequenced" in Hammerhead (think TR-808 with some samples). I also enjoy Acid breaks, too. Current guilty pleasure; on the drive to work, I've been listening to Chris Liberator "its fucking 'aving it" and the shit just rawks after the first 15 minutes. Hard, burbly, acid goodness.

From 99 to 2003, I was big on a Nicky Blackmarket jump up/ragga jungle set with MC Stevie Hyper-D. "I say junglists are you ready? Oh lord have mercy!"

My old playlists have a big ass mix of crap; Styles of Beyond, Sick FM, Reflections Eternal (feat. Bahamadia), Roni Size, The Brittle Stars, and more.

AS for lyrics; lyrical music is okay if I alreayd know all the lyrics by heart; then my conscious mind can just slide over them.

Re:these days (1)

red5 (51324) | more than 9 years ago | (#10511867)

AS for lyrics; lyrical music is okay if I already know all the lyrics by heart; then my conscious mind can just slide over them.

I find that singing (or humming if there are people in the room) along to the lyrics in a song helps to distract the left side of my brain while the right side focuses on coding. Or maybe it's the other way around.

for game music (1)

trmj (579410) | more than 9 years ago | (#10511056)

check out this site [] . they are the ones who truly 0wn.

Re:for game music (1)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 9 years ago | (#10513544)

aye. I was listening to minibosses before they were big. I still think "Contra" was their best hit (followed closely by "Metroid").

Re:for game music (1)

trmj (579410) | more than 9 years ago | (#10513795)

I'm more a fan of Castlevania, followed closely by Metroid. But that's just for the minibosses.

For overall game music, there's a shitload of creativity being spun off the zelda series. I have 68MB of the stuff myself.

Re:for game music (1)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 9 years ago | (#10513834)

You do have the classical piece that a Japanese orchestra did for Zelda, right (It was a dedication to Myamoto, I believe)?

Re:for game music (1)

trmj (579410) | more than 9 years ago | (#10514277)

I have 4 of them :)

Nothing... (1)

MacBrave (247640) | more than 9 years ago | (#10512841)

at least while I'm at work. There is an asinine company policiy banning walkmans, mp3 players, etc.

Re:Nothing... (1)

TechnoLust (528463) | more than 9 years ago | (#10513181)

Mine too, so I throw a CD full of MP3s in the laptop THEY gave me. :-)

speaker phones (1)

baby_head_rush (131448) | more than 9 years ago | (#10513354)

Ah, the joy of listening to other people's conversations on their speaker phones. (volume set to 11)


Several types... (1)

Randolpho (628485) | more than 9 years ago | (#10513066)

... but mostly classical, easy-listening and showtunes. Stuff I can tune out while I'm thinking.

I have several playlists I use, depending on my mood... Classical (Mozart, Beethoven, Star Wars ep4 soundtrack, Lord of the Rings Trilogy soundtrack, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon soundtrack, etc -- I love epic movie soundtracks for coding), Easy Listening (Benidictine Monk chant, Enya, Harry Connick Jr., Isreal Kamakawiwo'ole, Loreena McKennitt), and Showtunes (buncha Disney movie soundtracks, Les Miserables, Little Shop of Horrors, Willy Wonka, Rocky Horror).

I also have a pop and rock playlist, but I rarely play those when I'm working... I find they're more distracting than helpful. I do play them when I need a break or a pick-me-up, tho.

It varies.... (1)

slothdog (3329) | more than 9 years ago | (#10513419)

Thanks to bands sending me stuff for my station, I typically get around 3-5 new CDs a week. It gets to be a pain to lug a bunch of CDs back and forth (and the jewel cases get destroyed in transit) and we're not allowed to store mp3s on work computers, so I've felt lucky if I *can* listen to music while I'm coding.

I think I've got a good system going with iTunes sharing, although it would be nice to be able to create playlists remotely. I'm still in the process of importing all my CDs, so as of today what I'm listening to leans heavily toward a-ha, Alphaville, Anything Box, B! Machine, Beatles, and Camouflage.

coding homework anything (1)

orange_6 (320700) | more than 9 years ago | (#10513919)

I usually throw on a stream from either:
Dirty Radio []
Soma [] (usually groovesalad)

Barring that I pull something from my collection

Fila Brazillia (Old Codes....New Chaos or Mess)
Underworld (anything)
RJD2 (anything)
King Tubby
Kings of Convienence

so bascially anything :)

music (1)

eglamkowski (631706) | more than 9 years ago | (#10514473)

I've been listening to computer game music lately myself!

Also hawaiian music and TMBG.

I code to internet radio... (1)

blazin (119416) | more than 9 years ago | (#10517182)

Mostly [] actually. A bunch of channels to choose from.

Little bit o' this.... (1)

curtisk (191737) | more than 9 years ago | (#10517524)

Game related music and soundtracks, not so much MIDI though, for instance Final Fantasy Symphonic Suite, and I love listening to the Space Channel 5 soundtrack.

Other than these have been in my CD stack recently:

  • Peelander-Z : P-Bone Steak
  • Electric Hellfire Club : Kiss the Goat
  • Buckethead: Giant Robot
  • The Cramps: Stay Sick!
  • Various DJ mixes by my friend each @ 1 hour
  • Specials : Collection
  • Inspecter 7: The infamous (some old acquaintances and a high school friend, but a damn fine CD regardless)
  • Nick Cave and Bad Seeds: Murder Ballads
  • All the stuff Sam and Dave have been putting out recently...when will there be the "Blind Butcher" split EP fellas?? =)
  • Dug out some ol' wax trax stuff like Lead into Gold: Chicks & Speed / Futurism
Different stuff for different moods/times of the day

howard stern (1)

Triumph The Insult C (586706) | more than 9 years ago | (#10521104)

we download the shows every day w/bittorrent, then we (me and my nemesis) listen to the show throughout the day

I'm a a bit late to the thread, but... (1)

PDA_Monkey (801668) | more than 9 years ago | (#10521513)

I mostly listen to electronica when I code...

The Alpha Conspiracy
Almost Human/Billion Dollar Brain
Amok Vibes
Budha Building
Daft Punk
Dirty Vegas
Energy 52
French Affair
Kenny Beltrey
Kid Koala
Luke the Wizard
Milk Inc
Taxi Doll
Wide Receiver

A great site to check out is

While coding, I listen to: (1)

Abm0raz (668337) | more than 9 years ago | (#10523113)

- Talk radio (
- Primus
- Billy Joel
- Queen
- Jimmie's Chicken Shack
- Mighty Mighty Bosstones
- Dead Milkmen
- Red Hot Chili Peppers
- Cowboy Bebop Soundtrack
- Presidents of the USA
- the TV (cartoon network, sports, TLC, Discovery, or game shows)


Better answer (1)

slothdog (3329) | more than 9 years ago | (#10523487)

To better answer the actual question... Much as I prefer electronic pop with vocals, I've found that listening to it while I'm trying to concentrate at work can be distracting. For reading or heavy coding I've found the smoother, no-vocals kind of stuff at some of SomaFM's [] stations to work well. There's an aacPlus stream for Groove Salad at Tuner2 [] that sounds amazing at only 48kbps.
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account