I don’t care if it’s music or words of welcome – I find it rude. Yes, I just realized that it is rude – exactly that.
It’s sort of like when you’re having a quiet conversation with someone and a third party rushes up all noisy and assumes that whatever they have to say is much more important than the conversation I’m involved in. I expect that from three-year-olds but not from adults.
Another reason I hate is is I’m often listening to something else – a radio conversation (right now KPFK is discussing healing herbs and how to grow them in background) or my own music. As I cruise along hearing baroque which I find wonderful to write to, and I click on your site and you’re talking at me it throws me clear off. I have to scramble first to figure out what’s going on and then to find where the off button is on your site.
Our web pages are not out there in splendid isolation. They are, or can be, a conversation of sorts. That conversation is unlikely to take place when you put sound barriers up, or at least you and I won’t have much interaction if I have to turn your voice off.
I suspect the same thing is true for clients. Imagine a client searching for a writer from the quiet of her home and suddenly sound from your site blasts out at her. Or how about the fellow looking for a writer on the q-t from his cubical. You’re voice just busted him and maybe even caused real problems.
The risk isn’t worth it.
If you want sound, and sound can be wonderful, make it optional. Let your visitor decide if they want to listen to your dulcet tones or your favorite rock band.
How do you feel about websites that play sound automatically?