Sometimes, a particular application comes along that is just so groundbreaking, so interesting, so... kick ass... that it deserves its own special mention in a separate, "you must download this app right now" kind of article. While I write a number of these such stories--weekly updates of interesting little programs you might want to check out if you have a spare moment--rarely do I so vehemently demand that you grab an application and download it. Immediately.
Instant Elevator Music is that kind of an application.
But what, pray tell, does it do? Install this app and use its configuration screen to select an audio file of your choosing (MP3, Ogg Vorbis, or Wave). Then sit back and wait. Literally--wait. The next time you encounter an application that displays some sort of a progress bar, your music will start playing until your task has finished. It then gently fades out, leaving you with a new kind of relaxation and joy with which to tackle your newest activity.
For being such a seemingly simple program, Instant Elevator Music comes with a number of options for customizing your background jams to your liking. You can set the kinds of progress bars the application should look out for--from just downloads, to Microsoft Office bars, to everything, et cetera--and automatically have music start playing whenever windows starts up. As well, you can instantly stop your music at any time by clicking on the icon in your system's taskbar.
I mean, this sounds like the stupidest application you could ever think of to install at first. But I promise you--it is uniquely soothing and a neat little addition to the boring ol' day-to-day elements of the Windows operating system. Your friends will think you are the coolest person alive the next time you install a program at a party.
Each week, Maximum PC picks a new free or shareware download as its favorite of... the week. Have a nifty application that you can't live without? Twitter David Murphy @acererak with your latest suggestions.