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July 10, 2013 10:37 AM   Subscribe

Coffitivity is a website that allows you to listen to the sounds of a coffee shop on your computer. The New York Times's Well Blog has the details.
posted by Going To Maine (51 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite

 
Let me know when you have the app that puts out the smell of freshly ground arabica beans and the hiss of a well-pulled shot, for after I've had my daily ration.

The fact that that is the sound I expected as I hurriedly loaded this page should tell me I truly have an addiction problem
posted by C.A.S. at 10:43 AM on July 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


But I listen to music on my headphones. I need a website that gives me a nice atmosphere, delicious coffee, and the will to do actual work.
posted by saul wright at 10:46 AM on July 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


So glad I'm not alone. I once downloaded 'coffeeshop ambient' from the Freesound project for this very reason. Pairing with music, though, seems ripe for distraction.
posted by leotrotsky at 10:47 AM on July 10, 2013


I need an app that physically ties me to the chair and removes any and all other stimuli please.
posted by The Whelk at 10:48 AM on July 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


What are they saying? I've stopped working to listen more closely. The girl just laughed. Did her friend tell her a joke, or did she see how awful this spreadsheet looks? WHAT ARE THEY SAYING ABOUT ME?
posted by mittens at 10:55 AM on July 10, 2013 [17 favorites]


I'm working from home today and ran out of coffee this morning so listening to this would just be a cruel taunt.
posted by octothorpe at 10:56 AM on July 10, 2013


How do they get the sounds of some guy working on the 'next big screenplay' on his laptop?
posted by hal_c_on at 11:01 AM on July 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is brilliant. Thanks.

Incidentally, I'm really hoping that one day they put out an air-freshener that is "fresh ground coffee + clean paperbacks." That combo was by far the best part of Barnes & Noble/Borders. Combine that with this soundtrack and a little background music and I would probably get serotonin syndrome from all the warm fuzzies.
posted by en forme de poire at 11:03 AM on July 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'll also note that my neighborhood no longer has a coffee shop and it's six blocks from here to the nearest one.
posted by octothorpe at 11:05 AM on July 10, 2013


octothorpe: that is the saddest news.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:09 AM on July 10, 2013


One delightful inaccuracy: every café I’ve visited insists on blaring music. Every single one. Like we need a soundtrack. No.
posted by scamper at 11:12 AM on July 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Interesting. I've sort of developed a thing where I can only do writing work in coffeshops - I suspect it's more that there aren't going to be any shrieking kids demanding attention than the background noises that's the issue though.
posted by Artw at 11:16 AM on July 10, 2013


I'll also note that my neighborhood no longer has a coffee shop and it's six blocks from here to the nearest one.

My god, man! Where is your neighborhood, 1982?
posted by entropicamericana at 11:24 AM on July 10, 2013 [6 favorites]


Going To Maine: "octothorpe: that is the saddest news."

I appreciate your sympathy.
posted by octothorpe at 11:25 AM on July 10, 2013


I'll also note that my neighborhood no longer has a coffee shop and it's six blocks from here to the nearest one.

This is not counting the chains, right?
posted by Artw at 11:25 AM on July 10, 2013


No coffee chains on Pittsburgh's North Side. We've tried to get Starbucks to move in but they told us no.
posted by octothorpe at 11:29 AM on July 10, 2013


I opened this in a new tab like 45 minutes ago, and was all "WTF is this fake-ass coffee shop background noise? This is kind of lame."

I just finished composing some e-mails I was putting off writing and wondered "Wait what? Where the hell is that noise coming from?" I only realized a few seconds ago that I left the tab open.

My god, it motivated me and I DIDN'T EVEN REALIZE IT.
posted by raztaj at 11:35 AM on July 10, 2013 [12 favorites]


Stumptown's LA Roasting facility is going in on my block. I have a feeling that the smell of roasting coffee is going to get old, alas.
posted by Ideefixe at 11:37 AM on July 10, 2013


octothorpe, you think that's something, I live in SEATTLE, 10 minutes from downtown and there isn't a coffee shop in my neighborhood (the Starbucks 1/2 mile away on the main drag does not count). Running out of coffee at our house just does not happen.
posted by bizwank at 11:46 AM on July 10, 2013


I'll also note that my neighborhood no longer has a coffee shop and it's six blocks from here to the nearest one.

The nearest coffee shop to me is a tiny Starbucks in a truck stop adjacent to a trucker convenience store, playing country music for ambiance, which also contains a Burger King and Subway.

Next from there is a Joe Muggs in a Books-A-Million, which is the only real bookstore remaining in town.

What I am saying is, count your blessings.
posted by JHarris at 11:49 AM on July 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


I don't drink coffee so I've never been to a coffee shop, but I decided to open Coffitivity in one browser tab and Rainy Mood in another, and I quite like the effect. I am also fond of Rainy Mood and any of the You Are Listening To stations.
posted by ralan at 11:55 AM on July 10, 2013 [9 favorites]


I live in a Swiss village where the closest coffee shops are a pizzeria and an old people's home. It's only fifteen minutes into town by bus, though, where the good coffee shops are (an an espresso runs to about four dollars).

If I can somehow become invisible to my wife and 12-month-old, this plus my home coffee setup might have finally cracked working from home...
posted by Omission at 11:57 AM on July 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


I can't do my work in a coffeeshop because 1) I need giant monitors, and 2) I am capable of eating snacky snacks and drinking coffee all day without limit. This solves all the problems and is more enjoyable than simplynoise.
posted by rouftop at 12:07 PM on July 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


The first time as tragedy, the second time as farce: world's first webcam was pointed at a coffee pot.
posted by notyou at 12:14 PM on July 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hey, can you keep an eye on my laptop while I'm in the restroom?
posted by Sreiny at 12:16 PM on July 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


I kinda want to take my laptop to a coffeeshop, turn on my speakers, start this up, and see how long it takes for anyone to notice.
posted by webmutant at 12:18 PM on July 10, 2013 [8 favorites]


ralan: I don't drink coffee so I've never been to a coffee shop...

Flagged for offensive content.
posted by wenestvedt at 12:41 PM on July 10, 2013 [11 favorites]


How do they get the sounds of some guy working on the 'next big screenplay' on his laptop?

If the gentleman is of such discerning taste that he utilizes a mechanical keyboard, then I have just the right thing for you oh it sings the songs of my people we the children of mother ibm model mmmmmm keyboard
posted by Foci for Analysis at 12:49 PM on July 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


*clears throat, jangles fork on plate, mumbles distantly*
posted by oulipian at 1:00 PM on July 10, 2013


This is actually kind of enjoyable, but it's basically just a looped audio file.

Strange that we live in an era when a loopable audio file needs its own design-heavy Web Two Point Oh jQuery-based website, mailing list, suite of apps, and a four-person team to manage it all.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 1:05 PM on July 10, 2013 [7 favorites]


Yeah .. not really getting hipster twats on MacBooks anywhere ...
posted by GallonOfAlan at 1:12 PM on July 10, 2013


Everything about this makes me want to scream. "Reasearch shows…" "Growth Hacker…"

Granted, I also hate coffee, and background chatter is like water torture to me. My boyfriend will love it.

Also, a popup window asked me what I was "working on," which I found a bit… forward? My hangover is my own business, thank you.
posted by wreckingball at 1:16 PM on July 10, 2013


I like to listen to the sounds of a piglet slaughterhouse at work.
posted by jimmythefish at 1:24 PM on July 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


I love the idea, but my preferred coffee shop is also a full-menu Thai restaurant with a case full of gluten-free baked goods and award-winning ice cream. An app just ain't going to cut it.
posted by restless_nomad at 2:12 PM on July 10, 2013


ralan: I don't drink coffee so I've never been to a coffee shop...

wenestvedt: Flagged for offensive content.

Lord knows I've tried to be one of the cool kids with a mocha-choca-latte whatever it is that everyone is drinking, but something in coffee just tears my stomach up. I don't mind things that are coffee flavored, but I just can't drink actual coffee.

Weirdly enough I can drink hot tea with no problems, but sweet tea (meaning cold tea, for those of you not from the Southeastern US) gives me a headache.
posted by ralan at 2:42 PM on July 10, 2013


I'll just drop this here: RainyCafe
posted by MexicanYenta at 3:10 PM on July 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


I was really prepared to hate on this but now it's been running on my speakers for 15 minutes and I can't seem to find the will to stop it. Maybe it's the sound that's addictive and not the caffeine...?
posted by randomkeystrike at 3:20 PM on July 10, 2013


I'll just drop this here: RainyCafe

Now I've got BOTH sites running, with both cafe and rain on this site... I've also just discovered that multiple instances of coffitivity increases the acoustic size of the "crowd."

Also, I've got to pee...
posted by randomkeystrike at 3:22 PM on July 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


ralan: I don't drink coffee so I've never been to a coffee shop...

wenestvedt: Flagged for offensive content.

Lord knows I've tried to be one of the cool kids with a mocha-choca-latte whatever it is that everyone is drinking, but something in coffee just tears my stomach up. I don't mind things that are coffee flavored, but I just can't drink actual coffee.


It's not worth the effort if you don't care about changing, but decaf might help with the stomach-tearing-up. And apparently this Black Blood of the Earth stuff, while very caffeinated, also has relatively low acidity.
posted by Going To Maine at 3:57 PM on July 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


I love the idea, but my preferred coffee shop is also a full-menu Thai restaurant with a case full of gluten-free baked goods and award-winning ice cream. An app just ain't going to cut it.

The basil coconut ice cream at Thrice is just fantastic. Thanks for reminding me about that place.
posted by no mind at 6:24 PM on July 10, 2013


Iserenity.com did this ten years ago; their "rhythm of a restaurant" loop got me through many unpleasant study sessions in the early aughts. Sounded very much like the linked site.
posted by Pomo at 9:20 PM on July 10, 2013


Sounds crowded. I'll take mine to go.
posted by BlueHorse at 12:14 AM on July 11, 2013


Looking for more information about Rainy Mood I found this:

Nature sounds for me

where you can MIX your rain, fire, crickets, thunder etc. to your heart's content.

It is magical.
posted by runincircles at 1:10 AM on July 11, 2013


Sounds crowded. I'll take mine to go.

Absolutely. I've never understood this sort of thing. At least, for getting work done.

I mean, I'm mad at my computer fans. And at the air conditioner. Libraries are not actually all that quiet, and are often too busy otherwise (especially college libraries). Coffee shops are laughable, unless all I'm doing is reading very straightforward material on a familiar subject, or replying to email. Not for actual study, or, hah!, writing. Because I literally cannot hear myself think in those situations.

Sometimes at home I will have some very subdued lo-fi, ambient or classical music on while doing certain kinds of tasks, but even that is too much a lot of the time.

And the wind, thunder, rain etc. generator programs I've played with are all too perceptibly looping a short sample, which becomes a source of building annoyance that gnaws at my focus before I even realize where its coming from.
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:09 AM on July 11, 2013


I'll just drop this here: RainyCafe

For whatever it's worth, the MP3 that Coffitivity is using is a larger file than RainyCafe's, which suggests its longer, higher quality, or both. Should anyone care.
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:12 AM on July 11, 2013


Sort of a derail, but this is a video of every scene in Twin Peaks where coffee (and sometimes pie) is mentioned or consumed.
posted by Going To Maine at 7:27 AM on July 11, 2013


Pie!
posted by The Whelk at 7:29 AM on July 11, 2013


Oh goodness, I've wanted pretty much exactly this sort of thing for quite a while now. I have a lot of computer work to do but even though I find precisely the aural environment very stimulating, I'm too penniless to frequent cafes.
posted by Anything at 12:38 PM on July 11, 2013


Pie!
Delicious pie. And damn good coffee.

posted by Smedleyman at 12:52 PM on July 11, 2013


FWIW, I did my most productive writing during a month long period when I was commuting to work by bus. I had a steno pad and a pencil, and I just wrote and wrote and wrote. Sometimes I'd be unhappy to reach home, because I was on a roll.

Maybe I should play that Norwegian train video when I want to be productive.
posted by MexicanYenta at 2:29 PM on July 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Looking for more information about Rainy Mood I found this:

Nature sounds for me

where you can MIX your rain, fire, crickets, thunder etc. to your heart's content.

It is magical.


It's strange. I live where I here these sorts of nature sounds just by opening my windows. It is beautiful and at times really loud. Yet I find I'm liking the coffee shop sounds and the 'are you listening' links for background noise. When I'm working it sometimes seems too quiet. Yet it's not really. It's just sounds that I'm so used too I tune them out unless I'm purposely listening to them.
posted by Jalliah at 5:40 PM on July 11, 2013


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