I'm afraid that this is going to come off sounding cruel, and I don't mean it that way, though it's something that often makes me mumble rude words under my breath. I know it's done with all good intentions, in an effort to create a particular atmosphere and share something precious and important. It's meant to be meaningful, not annoying, certainly, I understand that. But it's annoying nonetheless.
I'm talking about music on blogs.
If you've had a song written for your child, or a playlist of songs that your child enjoys, or an inspirational tune that always puts you in a peaceful frame of mind, it is entirely right and nifty that you should share it with the people who are reading your words. But would it be so bad to make it an opt-in experience? To have a big button up top that says, "Listen to my musical selections as you read?"? People would want to do that, I think, particularly if they're enthralled by the rest of your blog.
But when you make the music ring out every time someone hits your site, here's what happens, at least to me. I read blogs in my RSS reader. If it looks interesting, I hit the link to open the page in another tab. I keep reading, opening, reading, opening, and then suddenly I have unexpected music blending unpleasantly with the music I already have playing on iTunes. Then I either have to hit the mute button and lose the music I want to listen to, or scurry frantically through tabs searching, searching for the site making that noise, then scrolling furiously to find the off button, which is usually hidden in a sidebar somewhere, often with decoy idle music players for extra confusion.
So what was meant as a nice extra touch to website design becomes a reason for me to arrive at a site angry, cursing, and frustrated.
I started web writing in the early days of Geocities, in which adding as many gewgaws to your site as possible was the general idea. I was more Warrior Mom than Holly Hobbie, and the froufrou bothered me then. Maybe that's why the music bothers me now. Maybe I'm just always looking for something to be bugged by. Maybe I've written way more words about this than it deserves. What do you think? Does blog Muzak make you nuts too? Add your thoughts in the comments.