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Productivity-through-music app Focus@will now available to keep you on task

focus at will
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Distractions are both plentiful and dangerous. It may be YouTube, Facebook, or Tumblr that calls out the procrastinator in you and takes away from that tasks at hand. But Focus@will believes that with the power music, you can improve your productivity. The platform has been in private beta, but the founders today announced that it’s now open to the public, although it’s still in beta mode.

Focus@will CEO Will Henshall says that the demand for the app was “high” during the first month that its private beta launched. The app boasts a 90 percent user revisit rate, which contributes to Henshall’s confidence in releasing the app to the public. As far-fetched as Focus@will might sound, Henshall just might be onto something here and he backs it up with his “science.” The way Focus@will works is that the instrumental music being played from the service’s library “helps soothe the limbic system.” Crash course on anatomy: the limbic system is responsible for our fight or flight response.

Its library of instrumental-only music is picked from a variety of well known and not so well known composers, but added into the mix are crowd-sourced tracks commissioned by Focus@will and music labels. There are eight types of music genres to choose from, including classical, ambient, jazz, “alpha chill,” among others. You won’t find a complicated interface that often times accompanies music streaming services. Focus@will, at least in its beta stages, is made up of play, volume, like, and skip buttons. All that’s required of you to start playing music is to sign up using Facebook Connect, email, or Google+.

Similar to Pandora, Focus@will calls its own engine the “Cloud Based Genome Algorithm.” Focus@will can play music that’s exclusive to you using a powerful patent pending algorithm that tracks feedback from each user’s interactions with the music – whether they’ve skipped or liked the track. The genome, as it tracks your tastes in music, becomes fine-tuned to one user over time since one person’s genre of music that boosts productivity may sound like cacophony for another user.

Henshall says that to get the best experience from Focus@will it’s important to leave feedback for each song whether it’s liking or skipping the track, which seems fairly obvious. But one unconventional rule of thumb is in order for Focus@will to refine its playlist for you, if you start to actually notice the music, skip it so Focus@will knows what songs have woken you up from your state of hypnotic productivity. So will it actually work? We’re willing to give it a try; anything to keep us focused amid the plethora of new cat videos the Internet manages to churn out on a daily basis. 

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Francis Bea
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