Focus@Will is currently only available in the US for its “open” beta phase, though there are plans to open it up to international audiences once the company has ironed out licensing issues. This should happen later this year.
In a nutshell, Focus@Will is a music-streaming service designed to help you, well, focus. That’s not the only difference between it and the likes of Spotify, Rdio and Deezer, however.
Officially launching in public beta yesterday after a short private beta period, Focus@Will doesn’t offer any search features, or anything else beyond a drop-down menu for genres, a play button, skip button and volume control.
The HTML5 Web app is aimed at those looking to improve their concentration and information-retention when working, studying, writing or reading.
You can choose from Classical, Focus Spa, Up Tempo, Alpha Chill, Acoustical, Jazz, Cinematic or Ambient. And all the music on offer is instrumental only, which is an obvious step to take given that lyric-based music can be distracting when working with words (written or spoken).
Focus@Will essentially offers curated playlists of music, all of which was very nice when I tested it, but I’m not entirely sure I’d use this over, say, Spotify, where I can create my own playlists of musical mind-sharpeners.
That’s not to say there isn’t a demand for this, however, as company CEO Will Henshall notes the feedback they got during its short private beta phase was overwhelming.
“We have been astounded at the positive response we have received from our patrons over the past month and are extremely pleased to see the impact that our project has had on people,” he says. “We are excited to share Focus@Will with a larger number of patrons with the public beta launch as we improve and refine the system to ready it for a full launch.”
Since it hit private beta back December, the team at Focus@Will has been fine-tuning the productivity-based music system, adding newly commissioned tunes to the music library en route. For example, they’ve now added electronic dance music DJ/producer Josh Gabriel and Peter Gabriel’s musical director, viola player John Metcalfe.
While it’s only available as a cross-platform Web app for now, native mobile apps for iOS and Android will be arriving in the future too. On signing up, I received a message to say it only supports Chrome on Windows 7, but I listened to it fine in Firefox, so I can only assume this message has yet to be updated.
An interesting idea for sure, and one we’ll be keeping tabs on as it progresses through public beta and into a full international launch.
➤ Focus@Will (US Only For Now)
Feature Image Credit – Thinkstock