Ambience and Mood Videos

Lately I've been eyeing suggestions from people about which music fits with reading. While I adore music in all its forms - my enthusiasm for it is about as high as it is for books - I actually turn the tunes off when buried in the pages. There's something distracting about music (with lyrics) if I'm reading or trying to sleep. While studying or doing work in the office, I will listen to film scores or a few classical or celtic pieces. Some of the best genres out there are instrumental. Trust me, I have a large supply of that - if I had to choose a music to read by, instrumental would fit all the way, but even then the highs and lows depending on the piece can be distracting.

My favorite film scores are the  sort of music that is too powerful to fade in the background as mere white, soothing noise.

Enter: Ambience noise. My rain addiction. I've been a huge fan of Rainymood.com for years and have recommended it almost everywhere at least once. I spent years playing it on the background of my computer when it used to be in the living room. I've bought the app for the android, although for some reason never used it much (doesn't sound the same on the phone, and if I use the phone for music, it's usually when I'm in the mood for more hyper or normal music anyway). Since Rainymood doesn't have an official Roku app (I requested one, but...), I've taken to  listening to a clip through Youtube videos. Rainymood has their own up in 12 minute format, but someone else also recorded 10 hours of Rainymood (their older version), which is what I use to sleep with at night and read.



There are many rain videos out there; most of them are decent to fantastic. Perhaps I'm just so used to the way Rainymood sounds that its the reason I keep returning to it. I love the sounds of rain, but I'm not as crazy about rain hitting puddles (makes me think of that annoying sink dripping into water) or rain on tin roofs. While I'm sure they're recording that hard rain effect from tin roofs, ships and cars with decent equipment, it just doesn't sound the same or soothing when recorded. The best I've found myself to be happy with is the soft rain in Rainymood where the rain is clearly outside and there's frequent soft thunder in the background. Thunder is a must - it's not the loud, haunted house fakeness either, but authentic sounding. The rain and thunder vary in intensity.

Rainymood has a lot of mixes to start with a song - some are celtic and instrumental, especially the violin or piano. Some are themes like with minecraft or Outlander. Every kind of song genre basically. The video is the song of the day, scroll down for the song options.



If you want an impressive thunderstorm at sea, I love this one. The dark colors of the video make it ideal for sleeping in a dark room, and if you want something to watch and relax to, the effects of the waves and being sucked into the water is mesmerizing. It is very heavy on the rain, thunder and rushing water sound though - so it's best saved for certain occasions. It's nearly hypnotic.


My second favorite ambience is almost calm - it's a natural sounding winter storm on a solitary road covered in snow. Sleeping with this is wonderful - when falling asleep with the sound and sight of this it almost helps me think my room is colder than it actually is, which is a good thing since I prefer a cold room at night.  Snowstorm ambience may be underrated. There's something tranquil and peaceful, almost nostalgic and semi-haunting about.



This one uses haunted type sound effects - perfect for reading a suspense or horror book. A favorite, it helps to set the mood. At the first it sounds little overdone but it evens out. Better played at lower volumes for an ambience feel. I used this one when doing some reading for a few hours with the Dewey 24 hour read-a-thon in 2017. Unfortunately there isn't movement involved in the video, but the music is chilling.




Speaking of how picky I am, for some reason I dislike the fireplace ambience. That's either as popular as rain, or maybe even more popular. I don't get what my issue is with it either. I like fireplaces, I like candles, I don't think there's much out there MORE relaxing - but hearing it on an app or the screen in a video with the crackling gets under my skin. Call me weird. Here's one tossed in with rain that I can recommend to a degree - I try to drown out the fire sound since this is too cool.




I love the style of this one to be in the Hogwarts library - if you like the sound of rain on the roof or the windows, this is a nice one.  Yep, and you get to see floating books float across the screen;  how nifty is that?





If you like the sound of waves, this one is gorgeous. And, of course, lighthouses are always epic backgrounds in almost every situation.

I notice a lot of ambience videos have nature sounds like crickets, frogs and birds chirping in the background. Not my thing. It's fine in real life but on videos I find it distracting.




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For those not seeking videos, you could always try Mynoise.net - where you can find different customized settings for rain and storms, fireplaces, wind, and other sound sources. It's surprisingly well done - I usually don't like the generators and customized websites because to me they are rather fake - but some of this is impressive. A cool feature as well is, if you really dig something and keep returning for you, you have the option to purchase the MP3 and keep forever with you in whatever format you choose (without those pesky streaming charges).


When doing the "wind", I really enjoy Autumn Wind. Reminds me of an actual windy day that may as well fall into winter with snow, or else would be a good night-time feel. I'm not always one for water sounds outside rain, but Irish Coast was well-done, if not a bit repetitive.


 Not all of it is natural ambience - some of it is well-done music that is wonderful for the background or meditation. Especially check out Sleeping Dragon.











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