Audio on Blogs – a pet peeve!

Okay folks.. I know some people like to have embedded audio in their blogs that plays whenever anybody open the page, but please, take my advice and DON’T DO IT!! There are many reasons why you should not embed audio (or video for that matter) on your blog that auto plays without user intervention, however I’m only going to mention the two most important!

1. It makes the page take longer to load in. BE, users should especially be aware of this as it can push the loading time beyond the 30 seconds that users are obliged to stay before getting a credit. You then lose the opportunity to get a “real” regular visitor, as most people are like me, and simply won’t hang around that long waiting for a page to load.

2. It’s damn annoying! When I’m online I’m either listening to the radio, mp3’s, podcast’s or other streaming media. I don’t need or want your cheesey midi file interrupting what I’m listening to.

If you want to put media on your site, fine, but put it in a link so I can turn it on if I choose to. If it’s not done like that I’ll just whack the escape key which will turn it off anyway, so all you’ll have achieved is to annoy users and make them less likely to return to your site.

There are probably a hundred good sites out there that I don’t visit, because I never gave them the opportunity to show how good they are! Why? Because they take too long to load in, and play cheesy music that I can’t control. In this age of broadband, it naive of you to think that anybody would want to listen to cheesy midi music on a site, or low bit rate mp3’s, when they’re probably already listening to something on Shoutcast.

As, for the rest of the people who may visit your site that haven’t yet made it into the broadband era and are still stuck with dial-up access, all your doing is making your site take way to long to load for them to ever want to come back.

It’s simple, embed media files in your site if you want, but if they auto play, and load in before I decide I want to listen to it or watch it, then people like me probably won’t be coming back to your site.

10 thoughts on “Audio on Blogs – a pet peeve!”

  1. I totaly agree with you, just came here via BE. Thanksfully BE has the ability to turn of audio in the audio toggle option. That option really rules.

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  2. CT I’m afraid that I can’t agree with you when it comes to Podcasting. The Web is no longer just a visual medium, and when it comes to podcasting and streaming media, the content is aimed squarely at users who want such content. It’s unobtrusive, simple, and it doesn’t download onto your machine unless the user specificaly wants it.

    The web was primaily a visual, text tool, but as bandwidths increase, so does the ability of the web as a content distribution platform.

    For example, if you don’t like audio presentations, then you stay away from so called “audio blogs”. Picking up a “podcast” requires specific software so you have to go out of your way to get it, so there is no way it can be intrusive ont he average person browsing text content.

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  3. I can’t tell you how much I agree with that! I find it so irritating. Especially when I’m surfing at work and have forgotten to turn my speakers down…

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  4. There’s pretty much no one who wants to be subjected to random background music anymore – especially MIDI!!!! But people like to embed, so whaddya gonna do, right? Here’s what: please, if you put audio on your page (which is your choice, and yes – the web is not just sight anymore, but sound as well) but please have some obvious opt-out button at the top. Please. For the love of all that is good in this world.

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  5. I agree, although I’d take it a step further (since, really, the “don’t put background music into your site” ettiquette was established in, what, 1997?):

    For me, blogs, and the Web generally, is a visul/textual medium. So I take a dim view of the podcasting fad that’s making the rounds. If you’ve got something to post, write it out, use photos/images, but don’t present it in audio (much less video) form.

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  6. I realize it’s a matter a preference in how one absorbs content. But my preference, when it comes to blogs especially, is reading. I control the pace, I tend to retain the information better, and ultimately, it’s what I’m used to.

    I know others prefer the audio method of podcasting, and that’s fine. But for me, if someone opts to present their blog content via audio (podcast or whatever else) or other format, I’m going to pass on it, because I don’t feel it’s an effective use of my time. Again, this is a preference.

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  7. *whew*
    I was actually going to write a rant about this myself. This is probably one of my biggest net peeves.
    It was thoughtful of BE to provide the audio toggle, unfortunately I think perhaps the abudance of midi files has broken it.

    Your advise on how one should place these files as an option was very kind and generous. Far more generous than I could be.
    *lol*

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  8. i hate midi music with a vengence, not only on web sites but answering macines and when people put you on hold what do you get midi music. for the love that all is godd oin the world stop with midi music lol

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  9. That’s why I just use a radioblog thingamajigger script, because I know a lot of users already have their winamp or whatever media player jamming on their desktop, that way it dosen’t annoy them.

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