When is autoplay music acceptable on a website?

Interesting question, don't you agree? I would like debate a bit about this subject, because I ran a poll on Twitter and I believe we all encountered this on our endless endeavors around the Internet realm.

Music. Love it or hate it, it's a part of our lives. It doesn't matter if you're an avid listener or just the average Joe that listens to it occasionally, the point is that music is all around us.

Just open up a window, close your eyes and hear the world. But our lives are split between a life we have in the outside world and one in the world we call the Internet. And believe it or not, there is music on the Internet, and lots of it. Mind blow, right? My thoughts exactly.

We have a lot of websites that let you listen to music directly online and that's nice and all but what happens when we encounter a website that is not a music streaming service, but it has music playing in the background? You close the tab and move on with your life. Haha, I wish it were that easy.

For some it might be, but that's why I ran a poll and wanted to get others opinion on this. You can comment on this article, because I would like to see what you think about this.

First of all I would like to say that it's the client's fault for all this debating. If a client wants something, chances are the developer or the agency will comply and implement those requests. So if the client wants music on his/her website he or she will get music on said website. Do we, as developers and ordinary people, find this acceptable? Well some of us do, some of us don't.

According to the poll, 81% of you said that background music that autoplays is unacceptable and you hate it.

There are two paths here. One is to a have a button and let the user choose if they want music or not or just autoplay the bastard. Usually it's the latter, but there are some exceptions.

Alright, but what about the rest of the results? 19% of you said that you find it acceptable sometimes, eg. a Chrome Experiment, and 0% said it was acceptable. Chrome Experiment.

My opinion of the matter is as follows. As long as I expect something to be interactive and has the word experiment in its title I automatically assume it may have music in the background, so I turn my normal music down, but in some cases when I came over a random website that has songs of birds and rivers in the background that autoplays, I immediately close the tab in question.

Why? Well, because knowing that something is thought of as an experiment, implies the fact that the guys and gals behind it, experimented with video as well as audio. But if something has the word flower in its title, I won't expect it to have music in the background. That is just my opinion on the matter, but I would like this discussion to go further. What are your thoughts on this?

Is autoplay music acceptable on a website disregarding the title?

PS. You can find the poll results here (opens new window) and still vote. 😃

Until next time, code long and prosper!