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Friday, March 25, 2011

Continuously Playing Music on Websites

People often ask this in forums and message boards.  "How to build an HTML site with music that plays continuously?"

Unfortunately, this isn't a simple thing. You have the following options, each with their own set of problems.

OPTION #1 - Embed an MP3 player on a plain vanilla page. Invoke it to open in a Pop-Up window from a link on your home page.   The player will remain open while people explore other site pages or until they close the pop-up window or leave your site.  NOTE:  The user must initiate the pop-up window. If you attempt to open a pop-up automatically on page load, it will be defeated by pop-up blockers (98% of browsers).

OPTION #2 - Put your player into a frameset.  NOTE: Framed sites pose many other problems as detailed below.
http://apptools.com/rants/framesevil.php

OPTION #3 - Build your entire site with Flash.  NOTE: Flash sites are not SEO & user friendly. Also Flash isn't supported by many web devices, most notably Apple's iDevices.

OPTION #4 - Build your entire site on one very large page
EXAMPLE:  http://alt-web.com/DEMOS/SmoothScroll.shtml
Depending on content and page size, this could delay your page load quite a bit.

OPTION #5 - Forget about continuous playing music/sound.  Simply embed your media player on the first page and allow people hear it once.