Free, non-stop non-distracting music
March 15, 2015 8:13 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for music streams that are free, continuous, and non-distracting.

Since setting up good speakers at home, I've had Musopen Radio playing whenever I wasn't listening to something actively. It's improved my quality of life a notch. What makes it work, however, isn't the genre (although I do like classical music), but that:

- It is continuous. The music never stops for announcements or ads.
- It plays a lot of pieces that I haven't heard before.
- It is not attention-demanding. I love metal and other intense kinds of music, but it inevitably distracts me.
- It is not explicitly "relaxation music," which can be grating.

Things I've tried that haven't worked:

- Putting on Google Music Instant Mixes derived from my own music library. Not only does the music demand my attention, but I find that rearranging the queue does as well.

- Pandora, Spotify, Rdio. Besides the active management problem, they have really annoying ads, and I don't want to pay for these services. (Also, they tend to not have what I want to pay for, just what I already own.) I'm not opposed to paying for services (I donated to Musopen), but I'm not going to sit through a painful ad-laden trial.

- Power 85. This is exactly what I'm looking for! Except I don't like the music, but I thought I would because I like Carpenter Brut. If there were a radio station of all Carpenter Brut-likes, that would be great.

- Focus @ Will: I feel like I know what it's trying to do, and so I resist it. It also stops every hour (last I tried it) and so has to be babysat.

- Podcasts like Music for Programming. They're great, but again, they only last an hour or so each.

- Stuff from this amazing boring music thread. That is largely the sort of music I want, but delivered continuously and uninterrupted.

- 10 Hours of ___ videos on YouTube. If those loops were about two hours long, maybe it would work for me, but it doesn't.

I'm going to check out Songza mentioned in this previous question, but ideally, I wouldn't have to pick a playlist. I'd just open the site and let it play.

OK, I hope I have not pre-shut-down the thread. Suggest away!
posted by ignignokt to Media & Arts (10 answers total) 35 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Have you perused the genres available on SomaFM?
posted by Mizu at 8:17 PM on March 15, 2015 [4 favorites]

It's far from being the flashiest thing out there, but from time to time I'll just pick a genre or artist on Grooveshark and hit play all. Depending on what you're into, there's enough content there that it'll go all workday. You'll need to click on the page every 2 hours or so to confirm yes, you are still alive and listening, but that's about it on the maintenance side.
posted by phunniemee at 8:39 PM on March 15, 2015

Best answer: You barely have to do any picking for Songza (their default interface just gives you a few options, which can be good for avoiding choice fatigue!) and it sounds like basically exactly what you want otherwise. Also seconding Spotify and SomaFM.
posted by en forme de poire at 11:02 PM on March 15, 2015

Best answer: I've been listening to Radio Dismuke (popular music from the 1920s and 30s) quite a lot lately as a pleasant, non-distracting background soundtrack. The only interruptions are occasional station identification breaks, which sometimes include a brief "tell your friends" self-advertisement - but it's very unobtrusive, unlike Spotify ads or YouTube interstitial ads that tend to be obnoxious and incongruous.
posted by usonian at 4:07 AM on March 16, 2015 [3 favorites]

I don't know where your tastes run but I always recommend Radio Paradise for stuff like this. It's continuous, no ads, with maybe one 20-second period every hour where they say "you're listening to Radio Paradise" and maybe tell you what song you just heard.

The playlist varies, but really every song they play is decent. I hear a lot of stuff I've never heard before and they don't repeat themselves too often.
posted by bondcliff at 6:13 AM on March 16, 2015 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: I've had Radio Dismuke on all morning, and it's worked very well! I guess I don't mind the station ID kind of interruptions. Now that I think about it, WJIB had those, and I didn't mind those.

I'll check out another suggestion this afternoon!
posted by ignignokt at 8:30 AM on March 16, 2015 [1 favorite] is an incredibly ugly website but it gives you ambient music streams from soundcloud, optionally overlaid with police scanners or other random chatter.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:16 AM on March 16, 2015 has minimal station ID interruptions. I like their groove salad for working; the music has minimal words.
posted by daveliepmann at 11:18 AM on March 16, 2015 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Songza's "Cosmic Dreams" minimalist "playlist" has generated a four hours+ long (with at least one repeat) stream of music and is fantastic. Radio Paradise doesn't work for me, but I think it could work for someone that's not distracted by lyrics.
posted by ignignokt at 1:07 PM on March 16, 2015 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I tried's Secret Agent station this afternoon. Good stuff. One song had vocals, but for the most part, it struck a good balance between fun and backgroundyness. Groove Salad and the others look like they have a lot of potential.
posted by ignignokt at 5:53 PM on March 17, 2015

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