Help me see the rain...
May 21, 2010 4:53 AM   Subscribe

When I'm at work or at home and I want to concentrate on coding I often plug my ears into the sound of rain and thunder (usually courtesy of I'd like to extend the experience of immersing myself in a rainy day even further - so I thought I'd ask the hive if it knows of any screen savers / other apps that package a realistic visual and audial experience of rain together. In my mind, I'm imagining a viewpoint across a park with heavy rain falling on trees, wind whipping through leaves, branches swaying, thunder and lightning in the distance -- but anything that brings the experience at looking out at a rainy day would be welcome. I'm open to suggestions about video files, streaming cameras, screen savers, anything else, as long as the rain is the major theme. Bonus points for lack of relaxation / pan pipe music in the background. What say you, Hive? Can you help?
posted by planetthoughtful to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
Compiz with the rain effect turned on? Here's an example (it can be made much more subtle than this but you get the idea).

Also, an indoor fountain may be up your alley. They are not too expensive and pretty convincing since they use actual water.
posted by quarterframer at 6:49 AM on May 21, 2010

Check Vimeo yet? That would be my first bet. Also, if you are able to use xscreensaver, there are instructions on the web for making it play video files (like what you can download from a typical Vimeo video page). Beyond that, I would suggest even though it's audio-only. Some fantastic soundscapes there.
posted by circular at 7:20 AM on May 21, 2010

Pretty sure I know what you're looking for, but searches came up empty. Don't see how a couple of minutes of video from YouTube or something would really help. I can offer a 1024x768 desktop background for more inspiration. Also consider a small fish-tank on your desk, the gurgling of the aeration may provide some of what you want, plus fishes for when you need to give your eyes a break.
posted by hungrysquirrels at 7:47 AM on May 21, 2010 has tons of high quality, lengthy recordings of rain, and not that simulated rain junk either.
posted by LudgerLassen at 8:40 AM on May 21, 2010

Scented oils!

For me, the feeling of rain is best triggered by its scent, kinda wet cement + earth + fresh greenery + ozone. It turns out that bacteria is responsible for much of that scent (so cool).

There's many different kinds of incense oils that come pretty close to replicating the scent of rain. Since the scent is complex and subjective, I won't recommend a particular brand but if you go by a health food store/Whole Foods and sniff some testers you'll probably find an oil that conforms with what you think rain smells like. Put a few drops of oil on a cotton ball and put it near something warm (I put them on my computer) for a subtle scent that travels a few feet.
posted by jamaro at 8:47 AM on May 21, 2010

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