Monday, September 30, 2013

Fire Breathing Toaster: A Coffee Shop in Your Pocket

by Bill Adler

A while ago I wrote about an ambient sound website,, that will will massage away your stress through calming sounds. There are other mood and sound websites that can attend to your spiritual and anti-anxiety needs, including Rainy Mood,, which fills your room with rain and thunderstorm sounds. It's ultra realistic and strangely serene.

Today I want to mention another website with a different sound arrangement that may suit your particular predilection: Coffitivity, Lately I've found myself unexpectedly productive while writing at coffee shops. My productivity boost might be partly because of the caffeine, and it might have something to do with a race against a dwindling laptop battery.

But there's something else about a coffee shop that helps focus one's mind, and that's the sound. The cacophony of voices, spoons bumping against the inside of coffee mugs, and the hiss of espresso machines make coffee shops almost magically productive places to work. But the problem with working in a coffee shop, of course, is that you're spending $5 an hour on coffee to rent the work space. (You're not buying a cup of coffee every hour or so? Tsk. Tsk.)

Coffitivity recreates the music that is a coffee shop noise and plays it over your computer's speakers. Or through your headphone. Or via an iPhone app. Give it a whirl at, and you won't feel guilty about not paying your rent at an actual coffee shop by ordering cup after cup.


Bill Adler is a writer. He is the author of "Boys and Their Toys:Understanding Men by Understanding Their Relationship with Gadgets,", "Outwitting Squirrels," , and a mess of other books. He tweets at @billadler. His Fire Breathing Toaster column is published on Monday and his Tech Column is published on Tuesday.

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