Best Practices on Using Music on Websites

Think before you share your favorite song on your website. When using sound or music there are a few considerations before you embed sound, they are:

1. Have you provided controls to turn it off or turn the music down? Not everyone will want to listen to your music. Some will already be listening to their own music and when yours starts up it will simply be an annoyance.

2. Do you own the rights of the music to play it on your website. Just because you bought the song at iTunes, does not give you the right to play it every time your website pages load. It is very important to read the rights on the music you have. For example on nearly every branded artist’s song you can buy online the license is for personal use. Using music on your website moves it to commercial use. Even using it on your MySpace site is a violation of the artist’s rights and can get you in trouble.

3. How long is the music clip? Does the clip play over and over and for a client who stays on your site two to four minutes does it become fatiguing? Before you add music, have some of your friends and colleagues listen to a four minute version of it, what do they say?

My recommendation is if you add music embed a controller to allow others to turn it off, turn it down, or play it over. Only use music that you have bought with a commercial license on the Web, do not use music clips from your iPod or personal library of branded artists, and of course do not embed music to auto load on your pages.