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Music to listen to while programming - part 2

Add Comment! By Phillip Isola on June 1st, 2009

Here is the second half of my list of favorite songs to listen to while programming. Each song is matched with the coding task I think it best complements. You can find part 1 here.

6. Math and geometry

Ludwig van Beethoven - Moonlight Sonata
This is one of those songs that probably makes babies smarter. Maybe it will work on me too? When it comes to mathy coding, I definitely need all the help I can get. Conveniently, this song is also somber enough to suit the mood that hits me when a thick tangle of matrices refuses to behave.

7. GUIs

Nobuo Uematsu - Terra's Theme
Sometimes you just need good old school MIDI (or maybe a slightly updated version of it). For many of us, this was the music we were listening to when video games first captured our imaginations. Nothing's better than Final Fantasy to remind us of those magical days, and Terra's theme is one of the best. When working on 2D, I feel it's appropriate to hark back to a time when 2D was the only D.

8. Post effect shaders

Jefferson Airplane - White Rabbit
One call makes lines larger.
And one call makes them small.
But the ones that Whaleman gives you,
Don't do anything at all.

9. Fixing syntax errors

Ennio Morricone - The Ecstasy of Gold
Fixing syntax errors is like weed whacking. It's a chore, but it makes you feel powerful, and you can have fun doing it. It's almost like debugging, except you plow through 100 errors in a minute instead of one bug in a day. One of my favorite things is when I forget the semicolon at the end of a class definition and out tumble 3000 errors, jangling and glinting in the type checker's glare. Tremble errors, for ye know of the coming keypress, and know it shall be thy doom!


Muse - Take a Bow
You are exhilarated to at last run the program, and it all seems wonderful at first. Time to take a bow.

But there's an ominous overtone. In fact, you "bring corruption to all that you touch." Everywhere you look, every button you press, you find a new bug. "You must pay for your crimes against the Earth." And you will pay. Debugging comes next.


John Powell - Bourne Music
I am the agent. The bug is my target. Get some rest, Bug. You look tired.

That's it for now. In the comments on part 1, you guys suggested a lot more great music to listen to while programming. Please feel free to continue here. But this time, I think it'd also be interesting to hear more about the sources you guys use to find and play songs. I often use Pandora, or simply listen to my songs on iTunes. I've also been trying out Mugasha, which is a cool beta service for electronica. And I've been having fun with this sweet Philip Glass applet that jaggerlink posted in the comments last time. What else is out there?