On HN this morning, I saw this neat Hipster Sound website which lets you enjoy the bustling noise of a coffee shop from the comfort of your home. However, I was reminded of how much I appreciate the 99-cent Ambiance app on iOS, which lets you download thousands of background ambient noises and mix them into tracks. Combined with the phone’s timer, Ambiance is responsible for me getting a lot of work done throughout the day.

Some caveats: Apparently there’s a Mac Desktop version. However, it sells for $9.99 and hasn’t been updated since 2012, so I don’t think it’s a good buy. When I had an Android phone I bought Ambiance for it, but the Android version was noticeably inferior in that the sound would skip at regular intervals. It’s such an annoying bug that you should just not buy it for Android.

Other alternatives as mentioned in the HN thread: