Music on websites
/forum/topic/1148568/0



Carson Wilcox
Registered: Oct 07, 2007
Total Posts: 180
Country: United States

Just wondering what your feelings are about having music on websites. I've never had it before but when I migrated to Zenfolio I added it to my homepage only. Most of the feedback I've had has been positive but I've had a few negative emails as well.
So just wondering what your feelings were.

Thanks very much for participating.

Carson
http://carsonwilcox.com



cwebster
Registered: Oct 03, 2005
Total Posts: 3394
Country: United States

I dislike music on photo web sites for a couple of reasons. I often don't like the music chosen (your music tastes are not mine) and I often listen to music on my computer and don't want yours interfering with mine.

If you absolutely have to use music, be sure you own a license to use the music, and buying the MP3 on Amazon or owning the CD doesn't give any such license.

<Chas>



Carson Wilcox
Registered: Oct 07, 2007
Total Posts: 180
Country: United States

Thanks, I hadn't thought of the music interfering with the viewers own music.



AlphaValues
Registered: Dec 15, 2011
Total Posts: 50
Country: United States

+1 on the dislike. My experience is that if someone isn't listening to music on the pc already, it's for a good reason - whether or not they share your tastes. Amongst both my IT professional colleagues and non-IT friends, I don't know anyone who likes music on sites.

Also, it drastically increases page load times, already an issue for graphics heavy sites.

Music on photo sites, IMHO, falls into the category of "just because you can, does not mean you should."



nolaguy
Registered: Mar 09, 2011
Total Posts: 672
Country: United States

Not a fan at all if it's just background noise for a static website.

I can appreciate well chosen music as a soundtrack for a slide show.

But, and this is my personal bottom line: invite me to opt in to the music, not stuggle to find the dinky little "equalizer" graphic in order to silence it.

Opening a site and having the sudden jolt of your anthem is nothing but irritation and (for me), the equivalent of pulling up to the drive-thru window and having the cashier lean out her window into mine, slather my face with secret sauce and shove a handful of fries into my ears.

(How's that for imagery?)



Invite me to turn the soundtrack on, don't make me spit out the Big Mac you assailed me with.



miccullen
Registered: May 22, 2003
Total Posts: 1114
Country: Australia

I hate music that starts automatically, it's OK if it's optional (but defaults to off).

Nothing worse than having some horrid (to the listener) music blare out when you're looking at stuff late at night and the whole place is quiet.



RDKirk
Registered: Apr 11, 2004
Total Posts: 8976
Country: United States

Carson Wilcox wrote:
Thanks, I hadn't thought of the music interfering with the viewers own music.


Really?

I rarely see a Net Genner without implanted earbuds anywhere she's allowed to implant them.



RDKirk
Registered: Apr 11, 2004
Total Posts: 8976
Country: United States

You're missing an essential option:

Music on slideshows only. Most people will expect a slideshow to have appropriate theme music.



RDKirk
Registered: Apr 11, 2004
Total Posts: 8976
Country: United States

cwebster wrote:
I dislike music on photo web sites for a couple of reasons. I often don't like the music chosen (your music tastes are not mine) and I often listen to music on my computer and don't want yours interfering with mine.<Chas>


This is an important consideration for photographers. If you are trying to convince a potential client to like your photography, you've made that task ten times harder if you're trying to convince them at the same time to listen to your choice in music.

If you happen to score with both photography and music, great. But the chances of scoring bullseyes simultaneously in both are slim, and it's harder with music than with photography.

I find that people have extremely particular tastes in music. Even people who might be considered "eclectic" in their musical tastes will still be violently particular about choosing their own music to listen to rather than having someone make a choice for them.

People are much more particular about their music than their photography. People will entertain looking at new styles of imagery much more readily than they will entertain listening to a new style of music. Flash a strange image at them and they will still pause to look at it. Blare strange music at them and they will bolt instantly.
.



Wolfr
Registered: Jul 29, 2012
Total Posts: 51
Country: Belgium

Good websites don't have music unless triggered by the user by choosing to play a video.

Music on slideshows is not expected unless it's a video.

A music player might be cute but not relevant on a photography website.

Music on sites is hard to do right. Only dedicated music sites like last.fm/soundcloud or http://hypem.com/ do it somewhat right. Still hard for users to find the tab where the music is coming from if they have a lot of tabs open.

Autoplay is evil.

- Someone who has been designing websites professionally for +-5 years



RDKirk
Registered: Apr 11, 2004
Total Posts: 8976
Country: United States

Still hard for users to find the tab where the music is coming from if they have a lot of tabs open.

I forgot about how annoying this is. A lot of people google by hitting successive links and letting the tabs open in the background. Then music starts on one of them, and the user has to seek out the offensive tab. Very annoying.



Carson Wilcox
Registered: Oct 07, 2007
Total Posts: 180
Country: United States

Looks like decision has been made, I removed the music a couple of days ago and I'll leave it off.

Thanks
Carson



alohadave
Registered: Jul 26, 2005
Total Posts: 843
Country: United States

I will usually leave a page when music auto plays. I bought a print at a craft fair and visited their website and was assaulted by loud music (and it always seems to play at full volume) that couldn't turn off. I never went back to their site.



Alan Goulet
Registered: Nov 24, 2007
Total Posts: 71
Country: United States

In my opinion, and based on most everything I've read on the subject, it's not a good idea from a useability standpoint. Of course, that doesn't apply if you're trying to promote music.

(I also design web sites professionally)

Alan



Jamesbjenkins
Registered: Mar 23, 2012
Total Posts: 785
Country: United States

The only place music belongs on a photography website is the slideshow.



Skarkowtsky
Registered: Feb 22, 2009
Total Posts: 1419
Country: United States

Music playing while viewing imagery will have more influence on the viewer's interpretation than you might think. Consider when you've made a photo with music playing in the background of your studio, opposed to the silence of just you at work. Different vibes, and a different approach to working, and maybe, a different outcome. Certainly true for fashion, where it more often loosens everyone up, and enhances the atmosphere.

Music certainly influences emotions, decisions and attitudes, whether we're creating, or viewing. I'd just present the photographs, without added distractions.

You can ignore everything I've just said, and base your decision on this fact. It's a gimmick when applied to a still image. Music works in TV spots because when done right, it complements camera movement, pacing, and narrative. Some of those elements just don't exist in an obvious form in a still photo. The reason why it works in a slideshow is because of the 'movement' through fades and floating. Think about it.

Let the images speak for themselves.



lukeb
Registered: Nov 13, 2010
Total Posts: 1804
Country: United States

"Also, it drastically increases page load times, already an issue for graphics heavy sites." +1

Not all of your visitors have fast cable modem service.......



BenV
Registered: Jan 01, 2008
Total Posts: 7832
Country: United States

from a professional web designer, music is almost always frowned upon. If you want to link to a slide show that has music, that would be fine, but as far as automatically playing when you enter the site, thats a no-no.