Sound or no sound?
April 1, 2007 10:41am CST
This is a point of great contention among web site creators moreso than it is among surfers. However there are surfers who do have strong opinions too. So I am asking you as a creator and as a surfer...How do you feel about sound on websites. There is the school of creators who say YES, and they attempt to create sites with appropriate music whatever format it may be in, the most annoying of which is for sure the electronic sounding midi file. Some like to put a control on the site so you can turn the music on or off. Some just bury it so you need to turn off your volume if you don't want it. What is your thought here? Personally, I love music. Unless I have on a cd or a "radio", I will usually leave the sound on my browser unless the music is so annoying that it makes me want to scream. Accordingly, there are web creators who say no music, mostly for the reasons I mentionned above...they know people have their own sound preferences and noise schemes going on. The sounds on a website I really despise are the little noise usually coming from java or flash applications which cause "buttons" to click when you press them, or slide bars to make some weird sound. I don't really need my browser to ding success when I send out an email query to a site. For some reason, these little sounds get on my nerves. Maybe it's because the interfere with music I am playing or TV that may be on. My personal rule is not to include sound or music on a site unless it is specifically enhancing some feature, like a juke box site that gives the listener a choice or if it is an obvious cute feature like a nursery tune rhyme for a child's site or a specific request of a favorite melody on a young person's site. The other thing about including music in any form is that I am always careful to include at least a generic "Copyright remains the property of respective holders." in small print at the bottom of a page. Even if it's a midi file or a portion of a piece, I still include the disclaimer. If it's a whole song then you really shouldn't be using it. If it's possible when using a portion of a piece, you should find the exact copyright information. Granted, it's really hard to sue for copyright and get people to pay for using protected content, and "everyone" violates this rule without thought. It's the same as "everyone" downloading illegal music files for their computers and ipods. However, especially if you are doing any kind of marketing at all on your site, you should cover your butt and at least make the general statement disclaimer so it's not outright piracy that looks to have a negative intent. If nothing else, it's courtesy.
1 Apr 07
My preference would be a site without music with a visible button "turn on music" or something similar. That because I'm either not having my headphones on in which case it's a perfect waste of bandwidth or (this one's the worst) I'm already listening to my own music or Internet radio and I don't quite need the interference. If I am interested in the site's music then I can either put on my headphones or stop what I was currently listening and press play :) (I find it quite annoying when I'm listening to something and then there's this other music overimposing; but wait, which one of my 20 open tabs is guilty for that?) As for the copyright I think you are doing the right thing :)