Music in the workplace June 28, 2008Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Random musings.
I love listening to music and own around 500 CDs, which, because of my anal nature, are classified on the shelves according to genre (comedy, jazz, classical, folk, rock, soundtracks, etc.) and alphabetized by artist . However, I usually don’t listen to music when I’m working. When I do, it is generally innocuous, soft music that plays in the background.
I use a variety of methods to listen to music in my office (for example, right now). I have a wireless speaker tucked in the corner to listen to music that I am playing on my stereo in the living room, but that usually doesn’t make much sense. After all, I am sitting in my office most of the time and using the computer for music consumes a lot less electricity. I generally only use this option when I am cleaning my apartment because I am in and out of every room so frequently.
The program I generally rely on for music while I work is iTunes. Being frugal, I don’t buy music through iTunes (most of my CDs were purchased from used CD stores or free from Borders listening stations-an employee perk that no longer exists). The iTunes interface itself is free, and I have either downloaded music or copied them from my CDs over the years (my collection of Christmas music is so large that I recently had to move it onto a USB drive to free up several GB). I use iTunes to listen to the various playlists I have set up based on what I am working on. I usually listen to my Relaxation playlist, because I find it difficult to concentrate if I am listening to rocking tunes such as those by Evanescence or BAP. I have also subscribed to several free iTunes podcasts, such as Car Talk Radio, but I don’t listen to them very often because they require concentration.
Streaming radio is also a great way to listen to music. There are a ton of ways to listen to streaming radio. For instance, you can now go to just about any radio station web site and stream their broadcast to your computer. I prefer streaming music through my iGoogle page LabPixies gadget, which allows you to choose five radio stations for its settings. I have two German radio stations, one British radio station, and two local classical music stations stored in my LabPixies gadget (if you haven’t tried Kent State’s station, WKSU, I suggest you give it a listen). I find listening to German radio sometimes helps me get in the “German state of mind.”
I just “stumbled upon” Pandora Radio, which plays music based on your likes and dislikes. I must have signed up for it a while ago, because I didn’t have to set it up. Right now I am listening to Eva Cassidy Radio, which features soothing songs by female singers with clear voices such as Sarah McLachlan or Fleetwood Mac’s Landslide. I like it because I am exposed to singers who I might not necessarily listen to otherwise and am not bound to a radio station’s playlist. It’s also ideal music for working at a high-stress pace.
I’m curious to hear how others work. What programs or methods do you use? I am always looking for new and interesting music sources. Do you listen to music while translating? Do you only listen to music when you are proofreading? Or do you refuse to listen to music because it interrupts your concentration?