Tis’ the season for the library to be annoyingly overcrowded with people who aren’t actually working but feel too guilty to go back to their rooms and go to sleep. Their “five minute study break” has been going on for over half an hour, and you have a paper due in two hours. There are no rooms left in Chambers that aren’t covered with signs saying “DO NOT DISTURB.” Is there anywhere quiet on campus? No. Do you have to focus? Yes. It’s time to listen to a lot of low key, instrumental music.

The best places to find study playlists ranked in preference:

  1. www.8tracks.com

On 8 tracks, you can search by genre, band, mood, or tag. The playlists are sorted by new, trending, or popular (always pick popular). If you can stomach the overly cutesy pictures next to the mixes, you’ll find great, long playlists to keep you going for hours.

Here’s one to get you going:

http://8tracks.com/cactits/push-yourself

2. Youtube playlist feature.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=videoseries?list=PL3FB4CE844FDD381C&w=560&h=315]

Okay, this one isn’t as exciting, but it is incredibly underutilized.  Search “your favorite band, playlist” and you’re set. This is also a great way to find up and coming people who don’t have albums out yet (or on Spotify yet).

3. Spotify

This is self-explanatory. If you don’t know what this is, how have you been doing your W101 assignments? I understand if you have loyalty to Pandora (but if you are exclusively a Pandora person: does “Sound of Silence” by Simon and Garfunkel come up on every single one of your playlists, too? I understand the link between Elliott Smith, sure, but I can’t see the music preference algorthim going from Ke$ha to Sound of Silence. Life is a mystery.).

4. http://www.npr.org/music/

Their live stream is great 80% of the time, especially at night. It’s finals, you’re up at night. If you want to find new stuff, this is great. Plus, you feel kind of pretentious listening to NPR and death glaring the people talking too loudly at the table next to you, and in these trying times of academic uncertainty, we all need a little bit of a superiority complex.

Take what you will of this post in jest, but do check out some new music while you’re studying. If you’re attached to your computer, it’s a great excuse to hear something new.