Audio Clips on Websites

Southern Gospel record exec Kevin Ward has a blog post up about sound clips that start playing automatically when you visit a site. [EDIT, 6/7/12: Broken link removed.] This is something I’ve addressed before, but I cannot remember whether I have here, so let’s revisit it.

Ward’s post is right on. Including sound clips on websites is a great idea—a must for any music group. It has revolutionized music purchases, letting people who stop by quickly determine if your style and their tastes match.

But setting the music to play automatically (especially at 100% volume) is counter-productive. Think of it as too much of a good thing. Ideally, people will visit your site more than once—in fact, ideally you will have committed fans who visit the site regularly. No matter how much they like a song, after they have heard the same 30-second clip for the 365th time they will eventually turn off the volume before each visit or quit coming. You don’t want either.

Do you like audio clips to automatically load when you visit a site?

[polldaddy poll=2754803]

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10 Letters to the Editor

Southern Gospel Journal welcomes letters to the editor. We will post the most thoughtful and insightful submissions. Ground rules: Don't attack or belittle groups or fellow posters, or advance heresies rejected by orthodox Christianity. Do keep comments positive, constructive, and on topic.
  1. I don’t think groups take into account that people may visit their site multiple times in one short time period.

  2. There is actually one artist site that I don’t go to anymore because of this very issue. It’s not one of my favorites and I sure don’t enjoy being blasted by their music! If artists want us to play their clips, all they have to do is make sure the media player options are easily and obviously accessible on the page.

  3. Sometimes I’m listening to Pandora and the clip conflicts with it. Sometimes I’m on line while my wife is napping nearby and the clips disturbs her. If I want to hear it I will start it myself.

  4. I often listen to SG radio stations while the computer is on. I hate to go to a website and the music blast out. There have been a few sites that it was unbareable when you visited their site.
    I can imagine a person sitting at their office desk and the office is quite and you hit one of those sites and the music blast out. Boss may bet a little upset at you for goofing off at work.

  5. I agree. I find it annoying to have a clip blare out while I’m surfing the web, especially at work. We’re allowed to use our internet for personal use so that isn’t an issue, but distracting or disrupting someone’s train of thought is. So, I’d rather just have the option handy right on the home page and click on it when I so choose.

  6. It’s called the mute button and if your surfing at work, and it’s not allowed, you should be caught.

  7. I, as many others seem to, often am listening to something else when I open a webpage that autoplays. It’s very annoying to have multiple tracks playing simultaneously. Diana states it well…just have the player options easy to find on the website and I will choose if/when I listen to it. This goes for people’s personal blogs, also. In addition, there are some people still on dial-up (either by choice/financial constraints, or because of lack of broadband availability), and sites that autoplay greatly slow down the loading process. I know; I remember it being a huge irritant in my dial-up days. I love it when sites have songs/clips available–just let ME choose if/when I listen! 🙂

  8. Hmmm … I wonder if anyone in cyberspace is listening! The consensus seems to be pretty general!

    Mute is really easy to reach on the computer I have now, so I’m not annoyed as much as I used to be, but I still don’t like it. I was listening to iTunes through the family stereo this last Sunday and trying to look up album credits online when somebody decided they knew what I wanted to listen to more than I did.

  9. Does anyone here remember when embedded MIDI files were all the rage in the mid/late nineties? It was considered poor form to let those things run automatically back then, although many did just that.

    Too bad this point of netiquette has been allowed to lapse. Just because the speed is there to pump FM-quality sampled music at surfers doesn’t make it any more of a good idea than it was ten-to-twelve years ago.

  10. Somewhat along the lines of this… I have always said that not enough SG groups have MP3s available for purchase on their website.