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Background Music

Is it a good or bad feature

     
3:46 pm on Oct 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I have heard background music occasionally on websites, but my volume is muted most of the time anyway, so I don't know if it is a popular feature, or even if it is a good or bad feature. Is there any consensus on this?
3:48 pm on Oct 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Personally I don't like it. I know many that feel the same way. If you allow users to kill the music then I don't think it is a big deal, unless it really slows down load time.
3:48 pm on Oct 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Every web page should have embedded midi - people are just chicken.
3:56 pm on Oct 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I hate it. I just hate it. Oh, how much i hate it. If i hear a midi sound at a web page i close it immediately. Seriously. No second visit.
3:58 pm on Oct 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Please dont do it :)

They slow things dwon also, well the ones I have come across. It makes me think of tacky.

IMHO

4:03 pm on Oct 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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>I just hate it. Oh, how much i hate it.

Agree. I give away the speakers that come on any PC we have and/or mute the sound card.

Computers are meant to be seen, not heard.

They also make sites dog-slow, as mentioned above.

4:04 pm on Oct 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Have to agree - smacks of mom and pop websites (not that there's anything wrong with that! - just not v professional;))
4:04 pm on Oct 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Unless your site is a tribute to 1993, DON'T DO IT!
4:16 pm on Oct 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Rule of thumb: do not force music on your user simply for "background." In other words, you wouldn't want it for most pages.

A possible exception: if the point of the particular page is to present a piece of music, so that your users may even expect the music to automatically play, then you are not "springing it on them." (Example: a site, or section of a site, devoted to providing hymn tunes & lyrics.)

But even here autoplay is not required. Some users would prefer to make their own choice about whether to play the music (e.g., some may be there only to read the lyrics).

In any case, provide an obvious way for people to turn it off!

4:36 pm on Oct 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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users would prefer to make their own choice about whether to play the music

I think that says it best.

That goes for flash too! On a home PC it's not so bad but in a busy quiet office having music thrust upon you is just suicidal in terms of revisits and is a diciplinary offence in some offices I have had the pleasure to work in ;)

4:46 pm on Oct 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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What Yidaki said. Just more.
4:46 pm on Oct 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I'll go out a little further than most and say it will depend on what kind of site you are building and for what audience. Many sites for car companies, musical artists, movie studios, and other flashy industries play movies (including background sound) and users put up with it. But I do emphasize that it's "put up with" more often than "looked forward to." And boy, BMW or MTV or U2 are one thing, but if Drugstore.com or Yale University or the Dallas Morning News ever pulled a stunt like that . . .
4:50 pm on Oct 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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99% of the time its bad idea, but one site I visited recentley had some quiet sounds of the product being used and it was really nice, felt like I was in the shop :)
4:51 pm on Oct 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Don't listen to these technophobes, these are the same folks who got the <BLINK> tag deprecated - Philistines all...
4:59 pm on Oct 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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The fact that you had to ask tells me that *you* shouldn't start messing with background music.

It's actually been used extremely effectively (a couple of film websites and Massive Attacks old site spring to mind) but the designers of those sites didn't need to ask whether it was ok.

To pull something like that off without being tacky/just-plain-nasty you really need to be sh*t hot and know exactly what you're doing.

And even then it's risky.

TJ

5:28 pm on Oct 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Tacky is the word - really tacky.

People's musical tastes are so different. Your favourite music is someone else's pet hate.

5:32 pm on Oct 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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naff naff naff
5:39 pm on Oct 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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"People's musical tastes are so different. Your favourite music is someone else's pet hate. "

That is the whole problem summed up in one sentence. You will drive some of your visitors to make an early exit.

Plus the whole slow loading issue.

5:57 pm on Oct 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I've always thought MIDI was cheezy... even back in the day.

I had an MP3 play in the background (the page loaded with an M3U, with a link to the MP3 inside), but it strained bandwith like crazy.

-panic

5:59 pm on Oct 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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What Yidaki said. Just more.

I'm with Sinner_G on this one for sure :)

6:03 pm on Oct 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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LoL. I can't believe y'all forgot the important weighing decision: "Does this help my Google ranking?" Answer no, so don't do it ;) Obviously I am kidding but I was kinda hoping the original question was a joke too. Websites should not make sound unless you are sampling a sound for a purchase or specific entertainment/education of some kind. That may change one day but that day is definitely not here (and you aren't going to set the trend, sorry :) ).
6:04 pm on Oct 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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If the site is dedicated in some way to music or sound, then it's okay. So long as it doesn't play automatically, ever. You need an on button as well as an off.

Many people surf whilst playing other music, and boy can that sound awful when you surf to a dodgy page! Lots of homepages with music are breaking somebody's copyright anyway.

6:08 pm on Oct 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Websites should not make sound unless you are sampling a sound for a purchase or specific entertainment/education of some kind.

Even then, you probably shouldn't have it as background music :P

-p

6:11 pm on Oct 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I also hate it! Especially when you listen to something else at a low volume and bg music pops up real loud overtaking the whole house while everyone is sleeping... Ufff!
6:20 pm on Oct 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Background music on Web sites is soooooo 1990s. :-)
6:39 pm on Oct 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Especially when you listen to something else at a low volume and bg music pops up real loud overtaking the whole house while everyone is sleeping

That also holds true for Flash banner ads with audio. I'd be listening to my CD audio extra low at work, and out of nowhere, you just hear Macho Man Randy Savage say "Buy my new CEEE-DEEEEE ... OOOOHHHHHH YEEEEAAAAHHHH" at full blast.

Needless to say, calling it embarassing would be an understatement.

I think audio shouldn't play unless there's a user action that causes the audio to play (i.e. a button that says "Click here to play audio")... but that's just me :P

-p

6:55 pm on Oct 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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What Yidaki said:

If i hear a midi sound at a web page i close it immediately. Seriously. No second visit.

Very annoying if you're one of those rare people that surf at work. :)

6:57 pm on Oct 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Personally I love background music.

Especially when its added to blinking text and java storms.

Throw in a disabled back button and I am in hog heaven!

(although flash site for max payne 2 is really cool)

7:07 pm on Oct 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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BC got it on the nose
Every web page should have embedded midi - people are just chicken.
nothing quite beats a heavily quantised piano sonata.
7:16 pm on Oct 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Actually, the worst thing I've ever seen was a banner with background music... It was on a popular Italian site, advertising for a large phone company. Just lasted a couple of days before disappearing.
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