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  1. #1
    SitePoint Addict Divisive Cotton's Avatar
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    Music that auto-starts on entering a website

    This is one of the most annoying things I come across on websites

    Webmasters: Don't do it
    Clients: Don't do it

    It just chases people away as fast they arrive
    Let everyday be Christmas

  2. #2
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    Mittineague's Avatar
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    Having autostart music can be annoying. I generally associate it with "newbie" sites.

    I myself was guilty of this and other perhaps more annoying things way back when. When I first discovered all of the wonderful things that were possible, my inclination was to immediately include them in a web page (this was when I had an AOL hometown site).

    Pages had autostart mid, animated gif dividers and icons, javascript autoscroll, marquee and blink tags, unusual "web" colors etc. OMG am I really admitting this?

    But it didn't take long for me to realize that despite my "awe", having a page busier than a Las Vegas night was in fact "awful".

    I think that in some circumstances judicial use of "special effects" can have a place. But as to autostart sound, I guess if it's somethng the user might reasonably expect or is warned about so it won't startle them by jumping out of their speakers (hopefully not at work!), it might be OK.

  3. #3
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    I could not agree more! I like to listen to podcasts when browsing the web and having some abomination of a website use noise pollution to try to make their website have emphasis will make me simply leave their website. It is a VERY bad thing to do, and for people with hearing disabilities like tinnitus it can be potentially damaging to their hearing if the noise suddenly explodes through their speakers.

  4. #4
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    Another agreeer here too. More and more people [citation needed] are getting used to tabbed browsing and hence opening several sites at once. I hate it when one of those sites in my many tabs (which one?!) starts playing music. Imagine if more sites started doing it; nightmare.
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  5. #5
    Is Still Alive silver trophybronze trophy RetroNetro's Avatar
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    I absolutely hate it when I am listening to some music and browsing then all the sudden there is new music playing. I get all distracted, start to panic, I begin sweating trying to figure out where it is coming from.

    Adding autostart music is just wrong in my opinion, but if it must be done, please for love of [diety] include a stop button too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mittineague View Post
    Pages had autostart mid, animated gif dividers and icons, javascript autoscroll, marquee and blink tags, unusual "web" colors etc. OMG am I really admitting this?
    I think we have all been there. Thinking back on it, it is funny now the very first web page I ever made. I did not even know it was called HTML. Heck, I spent weeks trying to figure out framesets. Then once I did, I found out they we're bad.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Addict wibble wobble's Avatar
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    I'm in agreement with everybody above :P

    One interesting technique: on TruTV.com, a video clip starts playing straight away, but with the audio muted.
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  7. #7
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    Whilst autoplay music is truly the spawn of satan, so too is the technique employed recently on the SMH homepage where the autoplay Flash cannot be closed nor can any links be clicked on until it's finished its ~10 second animation

  8. #8
    SitePoint Addict mason.sklut's Avatar
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    It's common in MySpace pages and such. But when I do encounter a site with auto-playing music, I tap the mute button on my keyboard instantaneously

  9. #9
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    Especially it kills on myspace profiles: you press to watch some music video clip, it starts playing and in a second myspace player, some mixpod player and whatever else start play at the same time, the cacophony is perfect... But most of myspace users don't know to set play=false, instead play=true, but these people can not be blamed, they are on myspace by other reasons...

  10. #10
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    I put websites that auto-play music in the same category as people that scratch their fingernails down a chalk board..

  11. #11
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    What if the site is a musician's showcase?

    Of course, even there, I'd still expect mute/stop/volume controls.

  12. #12
    SitePoint Guru
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    Quote Originally Posted by josh909 View Post
    Whilst autoplay music is truly the spawn of satan, so too is the technique employed recently on the SMH homepage where the autoplay Flash cannot be closed nor can any links be clicked on until it's finished its ~10 second animation
    YEP, that is SO annoying, and it's not just the SMH. What are they smoking at Fairfax?

    The Flash ads with talking people that walk around the screen are especially irritating too.
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  13. #13
    SitePoint Addict Romuba's Avatar
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    I agree absolutely that autoplaying music can be seriously frustrating and I really don't like it...., BUT, I recently completed a site for a client who sells printed wallpaper of forest scenes and he wanted forest sounds. I have cut the sound file to be only about 15 secs and then repeats and it actually works. The sounds are not intrusive at all and in fact rather mellow.

    My conclusion then is that in very specific circumstances it can work but please don't splatter sound clips all over any site. I also am not keen on the promo clips that automatically start playing and suddenly you have some guy (or girl) talking about something and you now need to figure out which tab they are hiding behind
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  14. #14
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    I'm against, I always have the radio on while I surf, usually speech radio, and there is nothing more annoying than having bursts of godawful sound (and on my computer they are all godawful) interfering with whatever I'm listening to.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by blisshome View Post
    What if the site is a musician's showcase?

    Of course, even there, I'd still expect mute/stop/volume controls.
    You're still not expecting music to play. If you want the user to focus on the music, make the play button prominent.

    I love music and I find the idea of browsing the web in silence quite dull. Don't you think big music fans might already be listening to music on their computer? The mistake that's made is assuming the internet is accessed in a vacuum, and not via an operating system that can do a zillion other things.


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