The new year tends to be that period when every media under the sun throws up a "best of" list.
I don't usually partake in these things, but several people have been asking me about my "best this", "best that" and other favourites of the year.
So, before January ends, I thought I'd compile a little list of digital items that marked the previous year for me; and simultaneously avoid responding to multiple emails. Make of it what you want.
Without a doubt, that one goes to Upstream Color.
It's dense, mysterious, perplexing… and asks more questions than it answers. But it's beautiful and demands multiple viewings.
Immunity by Jon Hopkins is the winner here.
Driving, thumping techno intersects with delicate ambient. Best listened to in its entirety, it's a journey.
Best desktop application
f.lux is a simple little utility, but it's made a huge difference to my working habits.
It makes the colour temperature of your display adapt to the time of day: warm at night when under artificial light and colder during daylight.
It helps you go to bed at a reasonable hour, avoiding that cold blue glow that messes with your body's natural rhythm at night.
It's made such a difference, I'm about to jailbreak my iPad to install it there too.
(obviously, I disable it if I need to do colour-precise work).
Best mobile application
I tend to walk alot in town. I'll leave early and walk to meetings, go and grab a sandwich somewhere distant at lunch, skip the metro and trek it instead, etc.
There are gadgets out there like the fitbit that will help you measure your steps and reach your goals but your phone is quite capable of doing the same or damn close.
I don't have targets to reach or calories to lose, but I like keeping track of my rambles. Moves fits the bill perfectly.
It keeps track of your step count/kilometres covered, can do calorie counts if you're into that and traces your movements on a map, including stop locations pulled from foursquare.
It's also great for getting an idea of how long it takes to get to certain places when planning a return trip.