Music helps while you are working, but sometimes all you need is a little background music (or ‘noise’?) and that is where Italian startup Noisli comes into play.
I had heard about sites, like Rainy Mood, which allows users to play background music, such as the sound of rain, as a soothing alternative to a number of music options out there. But what sets Noisli is the number of options that it offers. Rather than offer a few set levels of volume for rain noises, Noisli goes well beyond by letting users chill to sounds like “fire”, “the train”, “a fan”, “the forest”, “rain”, “thunderstorm”, “wind”, “night in the forest”, “leaves”, “coffeeshop”, and just plain old white noise (the sounds do not have listed names, so I identified them as well as possible).
Even cooler than being able to choose between various options is that users can combine sounds and volumes to make a custom mix. It’s a simple service, but I found myself having fun while playing with the various sounds to create an interesting track. Or, if that doesn’t suit you, there is the possibility of clicking on the “productivity” or “relax” buttons for custom tracks or the “random” button for, you guessed it, a surprise sound.
The service is not just musically-oriented, as they offer a plain-text platform writing documents. Unlike other services, this is nothing fancy, as there are not even editing tools. Just a simple space, still in beta, for users to write out any that they need to finish. Simplicity is certainly the aim here.
Italian Stefano Merlo, who created the service, tells me that he built it back in September 2013 out a desire to find his own useful service for playing background music. And it has proven to be quite a success, averaging roughly 100,000 unique monthly visitors with esssentially no marketing budget.
Those who access the service through the web are in luck, as it is free online. Those who access the service through iOS, however, will need to pony up $1.99 if they want mobile access.
The startup is not revealing their financial details, but would tell me that they have closed a small seed round, which includes Hampus Jakobsson as lead investor, and is in the process of completing another round. The company says that they are currently planning to roll out new features in the near future, but again declined to go into great detail.