If you find it hard to focus in a silent environment or think you’re at your most productive when you shut out the world around you, check out Blanket.
Blanket is a new desktop app for Linux designed solely for the purpose of playing background noises like nature sounds (e.g., rain, storm), indistinct ambient noise (e.g., coffee shop), as well as white noise and pink noise. Nothing more, nothing less.
Listening to background noise is a staple life hack. It can help slow a speeding mind. It can help dial out distractions around you. And it can wrap you up with sense of familiarity and safety.
For instance I worked out of a coffee shop most days for the past few years. The warm “buzz” of the place was as key to my ability to concentrate as the soya lattes I supped — oh for the days before lockdown!
Why use a dedicated desktop app like this when web-based service like MyNoise are readily and freely available? A quick Google turns up hundreds of white noise generators, and there are countless YouTube playlists providing hours of comforting static.
Well, for one, you don’t have to be connected to the internet to play these sounds: they’re available offline, all the time. Besides we all have too many browser tabs open most of the time, right?! Having one less thing running in your browser, gorging on memory, is a big plus!
Plus Blanket allows you to play multiple background sounds at the same time. This means you can create your own custom ambient noise mixes. You can adjust the volume of each sound stream independently, ideal for creating multi-layer wall of relaxing sounds.
You can also add your own custom sounds.
If there’s a downside to be mentioned it’s that the range of “sounds” included in Blanket isn’t (yet) as expansive as those available in similar apps on other, less friendly systems. But the important point is that it has the essentials – more than enough for most people’s needs.
Plus, unlike the Focusli GNOME extension that serves a similar purpose, you can use this app on distros and desktop environments where GNOME Shell extensions don’t function, like Cinnamon in Linux Mint, Xfce, MATE, and many others.
Blanket is free, open source software with source code available on Github (should you fancy contributing code or filing issues).
But the best way to get cosy with Blanket is to install the app from Flathub.