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Auto Play Video or Not

     
6:11 pm on Nov 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I have an opinion question to ask. With so much video being used on web sites today I was wondering what the general consensus is about auto play video vs. having to click the button to start watching it.

I convert most of my video files for clients to Flash. One of the settings is to allow the video to automatically start playing as soon as the page loads or give the user the control.

Even with a fast connection my browser takes a few seconds to start playing and still may stick as it buffers. I was wondering what the general opinion on this point is.

6:28 pm on Nov 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Not

...

6:12 am on Nov 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Auto playing video is as bad as auto-playing sounds/music on a website. I'd avoid it.
9:27 am on Nov 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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If there is any audio on the video then definitely not. There's no telling where a visitor might be when they look at your page - work, library, airport etc
7:49 pm on Nov 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Thank you all. This is the direction I was leaning for many of the same reasons, I just wanted some confirmation that I had my thinking straight.
9:24 pm on Nov 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

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My vote is no. Nothing is more annoying than auto play videos or sound.
10:25 pm on Nov 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

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No, no, no, and NO!
10:31 pm on Nov 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Auto playing video is as bad as auto-playing sounds/music on a website. I'd avoid it.

Exactly!

Auto play anything gets me to the back button in a hurry, unless I REALLY need some info on the site.

2:03 pm on Nov 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Generally I don't go for autoplay. However there is one page on our company site when autoplay has considerable impact and is easily stopped. So far, all comment has been favourable.
5:42 pm on Nov 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Avoid it! Let the user view the page, read the description then decided whether to play the video or not.
10:02 pm on Nov 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I don't disagree with the above comments, but remember that they are not necessarily representative of the general, lay internet user.

We are sophisticated web developers so of course we don't like losing control of the website we are browsing. But an auto-start video might be useful for some demographics and niches.

I'd try both ways, one way per week. At the end of the two week test period, measure the bounce rate on the pages. If there is a significant difference, go with the lower bounce rate.

11:09 pm on Nov 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

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If it isn't something that they are interested in at that moment, then it is a distraction and inconveniece.

If I am listening to internet radio while I am working and your video comes in on top of what I want to listen to, I am going to be especially upset. Even with no sound - video = movement and distraction on the page. This is almost always a bad idea. Ir cutesy little animated .gifs turn people off an auto-play video will multiply the negative effect.

There are sites that run auto-play videos and I either leave pretty quickly, or zap it out of the page.

You've got to sell me on playing it, just as your content has to sell me on clicking on more links or Buy buttons.

Sell me and I might click. Force it on me, and it probably won't go well.

3:52 am on Nov 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

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i'm ok if you put a pile of food in front of me but force-feeding is torture.
similarly with auto video...
5:58 pm on Nov 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

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my browser sometimes crashes especially when I have multiple ones open and things are running slow already; I dont need one of those pages to automatically start downloading a video.