What's the best music for coding?

Published Fri, Feb 18 2005 5:41 | William

Different strokes for different folks  - I know.  But for me, I usually download the last nights Phil Hendrie Show which is a 3 hour show but usually comes to about 1 hour and 45 minutes b/c commercials are edited out.  That usually causes me to start busting out laughing a few times so it ensures I start the day in a good mood. [BTW, a caller called in who was driving to work listening to Phil.  He was laughing his a33 off.  Anyway, at the next light or somewhere, a guy in another car said “Lex and Terry” are really funny, huh?”  So the dude wanted Phil to make some “No I'm not listening to those handj0bs, Lex and Terry”.  I'm a devout Howard Stern fan, but him and the “Good Christian Folk” down this way would have some issues for sure - so he's not on any station I can find and won't be on Sirius.  I can get Opie and Anthony on XM (I originally thought they sucked but Skicow showed me the light) but they are too distracting because they always have strippers and chicks on their show.  But if you ever get a chance to Listen to Lex and Terry, do whatever you have to, including gouging your eardrums out with a Pen, to keep from hearing them.  They are the medussa of the auditory experience.  It's so lame, unoriginal and boring it hurts, and they are sooo in love with their stuff.  It's really brutal).

Back to my original point.  In general, Techno/Trance/Club remixes does it for me.  Lords of Acid, Prodigy, DJ Acosta, Fat Boy Slim (Right Hear Right Now is probably the reigning King of music I love to code too), Chemical Brothers.  But that's my “Work coding music”

At home I prefer a little Ghetto and roll with Fifty Cent, Geto Boyz, NWA, older DMX, NAS, IceT, Body Count and of course Tupac.  Usually, whenever I start ranting on my blog and wake up in shock that I actually posted something like that, it's due to a few too many Rum & Cokes and Tupac.  And beleive it or not, listening to Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata  or Barber's Adagio often have the same effect as listening to Tupac's Hit em Up.  I have a whole compliation of hard core stuff dubbed “Music to Drive by“ {get it?} but I'm sure I wans' the only guy who thought of putting all of his most hardcore rap on a few cds and giving it a name like that. 

I tried coding to metal - but it does nothign for me.  Metallica and Anthrax will work in a pinch, but that's about it.

Not sure exactly where Tool comes in, or A Perfect Circle - but they kicks sooooo much a33 that they are always cool to code to.  Beavis and Butthead were right “This is the coolest band I've ever heard or seen“

Then there's that whole area of stuff that makes me wish I was deaf - which always kills any desire to code.  Dave Matthews band - uuuuuuuuh.  I know, I'm the only person in the world that doesn't like Dave Matthews, but every time I hear it it makes me wish I was an 18 year old girl that just got accepted into Chi Omega while driving a Hybrid Yugo and eating Tofu.   Nothing against sorority chicks - being a TKE myself I spent quite a bit of time with them, I just don't like feeling like one and Dave Matthew's music, I suspect, is laced with Estrogen.

So what do you listen to when you code?

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# William said on February 18, 2005 9:32 AM:

I have to stick to music with no vocals - trance, classical, jazz - I like it all.

# William said on February 18, 2005 9:48 AM:

I rarely listen to music when working because I find it to distracting but when I do I listen to Tool, A Perfect Circle, or System of the Down. Because sometimes you just need to beat the machine into submission.

# William said on February 18, 2005 1:53 PM:

I listen to a wide variety: Alanis Morissette, ABBA, John Denver, Latin music (Luis Miguel, Ricardo Montaner, Lucero), Maroon 5, Weird Al Yankovic, tons of classical (Beethoven, Chopin) as well as movie soundtracks (John Williams, James Horner). I love instrumental, non vocal music too...I like it all (except Dave Matthew's band...that wears on me real quick).

# William said on February 18, 2005 3:15 PM:

I'm with Andy on this one - good metal (System of a Down, Tool, pre-Black album Metallica), or industrial (Ministry, KMFDM, Front 242, Nitzer Ebb), always works it for me - or some old skool punk (Fugazi, Bad Brains, Operation Ivy, Black Flag (Rollins is always pissed!)).

Bill - If you like Prodigy (Fat of the Land type Prodigy) have you tried some Industrial? and I'm sure that you like Crystal Method too!

Basically anything that gets my brain moving at 100 mph is good for me :)

Though I can't really code to rap - love the old skool but just find it hard to code to.

# William said on February 18, 2005 3:33 PM:

Vangelis, Kitaro, Andreas Vollenweider, Ozzy, Jarre, Pink Floyd

# William said on February 18, 2005 11:27 PM:

I forgot to add Rammstein is also one I will listen to while coding.

# William said on February 19, 2005 4:13 AM:

CAKE and Barenaked Ladies gets me going while coding.

# William said on February 19, 2005 9:29 AM:

i love Rammstein but haven't listened to it since i lost my damn CD - arrrggfff..

but mostly i either tune in to hitzradio.com or drive my colleagues insane by playing Lil Jon & East Side Boys - Get Low over and over and over and over again!

# William said on February 19, 2005 8:56 PM:

Yea, but better than techo/trance/whatever is when it's in a language you don't understand :). That way you'll never risk any chance of accidentally getting distracted. Try Ayumi Hamasaki.

Brian: Lost a CD? There's this cool new thing called P2P... try eMule.

# William said on February 19, 2005 10:08 PM:

did someone say alanis morrisette?

for me it's basically the same. techno and rap. anything with a strong beat. prodigy, chemical brothers, crystal method, eminem, dre, ghetto boyz, and whateva.

aharvey danger, cake, green day, sugarcult, american hi-fi, and some more upbeat punk/pop. but usually its all about the beat.

# William said on February 20, 2005 9:50 AM:

Why am I reminded of the first scene of Office Space whenever some coder says "rap"? :)

# William said on February 20, 2005 8:09 PM:

Dude - let anyone that claims programmers are nerds read the responses here - you guys fucking kick a33

# William said on February 21, 2005 12:23 AM:

I listen to the Hard Trance or Goa/Psy Trance streams from http://www.di.fm/

# William said on February 21, 2005 1:57 AM:

Michael Giagnocavo: yeah i know...i try to be as conscientious as possible.

but that aside..might have to go "purchase" it pretty soon..now that it's been mentioned i'm getting withdrawal symptons already!

# William said on February 21, 2005 11:14 AM:

Michael I know what you mean about the Office Space thing...and actually Office Space is what introduced me to ghetto boyz. Although i listened to rap before that.

In my car or at home I don't listen to techno and rap really, just pretty much while I code. I read somewhere that the steady beat helps occupy the part of your brain that would otherwise wander and distract you, which I don't need while I'm coding.

# William said on February 21, 2005 11:15 AM:

Scott - which song do you like better "Mind of a Lunatic" or "Trigga Happy N****"? Or even better, "Let a hoe be a hoe". True poetry there ;-)

# William said on February 21, 2005 12:14 PM:

There's something with the beat of Let a hoe be a hoe that bothers me...seems off. I can't listen to it. Mind of a lunatic is pretty good though, but Trigga happy is the jam.

# TrackBack said on February 22, 2005 8:57 PM:


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