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Autoplaying Music on a Website


Senior Member
I'm in the process of designing a website for a new restaurant. It has not been the smoothest process, as, although the clients are very nice people, despite my best guidance they have commissioned a site that is simply not that great.
That's a shame in itself but these things happen and when push comes to shove the client will always get final say but this morning I got an email that might just be the straw that's going to break the camels back.
'we would like to have a music on the opening of the website which you can find on youtube...'
What to do...

Sean Lee-Amies

Working on assumptions here, not implying you haven't tried any of the following but...
Have you tried asking why they want to add <stupid suggestion goes here> and find out what their reasoning and logic is behind it?
Have you showed them competitors sites? If you cherry pick the best looking sites from competitors that are doing well, they are more likely to realise that what they thought they wanted was a bit crap. At the very least, by showing them some professional looking sites, it might at least curb their back seat driving habits when they realise that what they thought was good design is actually nowhere near as good as what is possible.
The only other method would be to put forward a case, based on experience, facts and studies on the subject (music on load) as well as possibly third party (other designers/developers) opinions.
Unfortunately a lot of these issues spring up when the right things haven't been established at the start of the project, and can often be near impossible to deal with half or part way through, once all the expectations from the client and the designer/developer have been set. If none of those methods work (or haven't already worked) then I guess there's always the possibility that your client is just someone who's too difficult to work with on a project. If so, go with balders advice, there's nothing more you can do.


Staff member
last time I checked you would need to pay royalties for 'music' to be played on a site, you might also need a license in the same way that an 'on hold' song while on the phone does. Paying for it would likely put them off :)
And for the record.... I absolutely HATE music playing on a site when I haven't pressed play.

Sean Lee-Amies

Yes, I hate music on websites too. Even artists websites, as I've always usually got my own music playing at the time.
You know, we could make a poll about this and then wac, you could use the results of that poll to help "guide" your client?

Tony Hardy

Autoplaying websites are terrible. Videos that autoplay narc me off too. Levi's licensing reasoning is a good shout though. Having to fork out even more money is normally enough to put clients off ;)


Well-Known Member
Total faux pas.
If you try to explain that this is one of the biggest reasons for people leaving a website without viewing it, it may help.
People understand when you associate it with losing custom.
Explain that many people browse at work and music is an instant "close window"
..... or just tell them that they can but it's not easy and will be expensive.
Win, win.
last time I checked you would need to pay royalties for 'music' to be played on a site, you might also need a license in the same way that an 'on hold' song while on the phone does. Paying for it would likely put them off :)

Unless it's something they made on their bontempi.

Turning this around, you could use this to your advantage using it to show future clients what happens if they don't listen to you.
Would it eat more bandwidth as well?
I've never left it on long enough to find out but does the music start again when you click from one page to another?
Browser compatibility?


Senior Member
I think balders point is very valid. Although I will always try and steer the client in the right direction, they do of course have the final say. Levi, a good point on the rights issue, the problem is that could result in them choosing a much worse royalty free piece.
The worrying thing is I'm starting to find the music....ok. I might have to throw in a few animated gifs and host it on geocities.
I think the real issue here is that I want to put my name at the bottom of this site and it could have been so much better than it will be but at the end of the day I, and frankly none of us are consumers of design if we are designers and nobody knows there own business better than the proprietor so...

Sean Lee-Amies

That's kind of like saying patients should be able to influence the production of their drugs because they are the consumers. Or that because someone often walks over bridges they're some how automatically entitled to make decisions for architects, about things they have no idea about.
To be honest, I think everyone who uses the internet is a consumer of design. When you play games or visit websites, regardless of if it's bbc news or an article regarding the latest jQuery plugins, you're consuming design all the time.
Perhaps it's time to try some new client finding techniques? Some times a bad client, no matter what you do or say, will always be a bad client.


Senior Member
Those are reasonable analogies Sean but not particularly well suited to this scenario. If you commissioned a house or a new kitchen, I would imagine you would take on-board the designers expertise and ideas but when push comes to shove this is your kitchen and I'll be dammed if I'm having a central island with built in induction hobs just because the chap is more ofait with kitchen vogue than myself. At the end of the day design is subjective and highly personal and I think this idea that being a designer makes you the final word on all things stylistic is not a healthy attitude to have.
Sometimes being the designer means that you cant unbiasedly judge a design, I'm sure you would agree.

Sean Lee-Amies

I certainly do agree, but not when they want to play music on load ;) There are just some things regarding design that aren't subjective and people should understand that if they haven't spent a long time studying a particular field then they aren't going to be as knowledgeable as someone who does it for a living. I'm talking more about forcing bad design into a project, I love it when clients get involved and have their own creativity to the table.
I can accept that my analogies probably weren't well suited for this scenario. However, I believe there's quite a large difference between personal style choices and business marketing materials which have specific targets and goals that need to be met. Given that the point of a website is to attract people to your business and promote it in a positive manner then being forced to make bad design decisions, such as playing music on load, surely defeats the entire purpose of the website and works against its own goals.
Surely it then becomes an objectively bad decision and isn't really down to personal preference? Perhaps you could liken it to a businessman who has a personal preference for cheap suits. He likes the cheap suits, but when he goes to meet his fancy clients, they laugh at him behind his back and he loses business. He's more than entitled to wear cheap suits, but he's shooting himself in the foot by doing so. Well, in this hypothetical situation at least.