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Focusli Is a Nature Sounds Applet for the GNOME Desktop

focusli sound extension for GNOMEMany people find listening to ambient noise or nature sound a great way to slow a speeding mind, relax and focus on whatever task it at hand.

Focusli is a nature sounds applet for GNOME Shell.

It embeds an easy-to-use nature sound board into the menu bar.

Click on an emblem to play the associated sound (e.g, rain for rain sounds, people for coffee shop, etc). The volume slider beneath lets you adjust the noise level separate from your main system audio.

Focusli even lets you layer multiple sounds together and adjust the volume level for each one individually. This lets you create your own custom nature sound soundscapes that play in the background.

We’ve written about ambient noise apps for Ubuntu before but this is the first one I’ve come across that integrated in to GNOME Shell.

“Improve focus and increase your productivity by listening to different sounds right from GNOME Shell,” reads the extension description.

Focusli has six sounds, all of which are streamed from the (royalty-free) soundbible.com service the first time you use them. Thereafter sounds are played from cache, meaning you won’t need an active web connection to use the applet:

  • Rain
  • Wind
  • Summer Night
  • Coffee shop
  • Whitenoise
  • Camp fire

Distraction

Like many the developer of Focusli, Felipe Borges, says he has “a hard time avoiding distractions during working hours. My hyperactive brain wants to wander off distracted by any kind of noise around me”.

Again, like many, he found that listening to background nature sounds such as rain and wind helped to ‘constrain’ him from distraction.

“In doing so, inspired by Noisli.com, I created a GNOME Shell extension with similar functionality,” he says.

It’s possible to add additional sounds to Focusli by editing the ~/.local/share/gnome-shell/extensions/focusli@feborg.es/sounds/database.json file.

You can see a short video of Focusli in action below.

Like what you see hear? You can install Focusli from the GNOME Extensions website:

Install Focusli from GNOME Extensions