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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!
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 ;)
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.
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.
joined:Oct 27, 2001
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