The sure-fire technique I use when confronted with unexpected audio is to close that browser tab and never return to the page again.
I'm sure I'm not the only one.
It was a quiet morning at the office. The early risers among the team were settling gently at their desks and discreetly going about their business. All that could be heard was the swish of papers, the soft clicking of mice and several varieties of birdsong. Birdsong? I thought I might be suffering the effects of the previous …
Ah but then there's the case where you open a few tabs at once (for example when looking at a site like el Reg or similar news places, a tab per story of interest) only to have one or more auto-play video/audio files and it's then a race to hunt down exactly which one is doing it.
Made even more fun when multiple tabs decide to play ball, and you get a complete audio-mess coming out.
May just be the reason when at my desk the Lync headphones are generally always plugged into audio out and mic (and fairly often being used to stream 'net radio to drown out the office noise), and when travelling the laptop is usually on mute by default...
I can guarantee the author that I hate both audio and video autoplayback equally. Especially when this happens at work, when I have 20+ tabs and the one doing the noise has to be hunted down. There's a reason why I use my headphones these days.
Interestingly, the sites that don't do instaplayback are porn-related, so real-life actually ended up being the reverse of that "welcome to the first audio-enabled porn site!" joke. Good for them, but also sad to see that only the porn industry thinks about their users well-being...
<pedantry="on"> Technically Clive Barker didn't write Hellraiser, he based the screenplay on his short story the Hellbouond Heart which is one of the Books of Blood. So I think you should really be saying "I suppose a copy of our Old MacDonald could have inspired Clive Barker to write the Hellbound Heart which he later rewrote as the screenplay for Hellraiser.<pedantry="off">.
Yes, you're right, I need to get out more.
As I've already said, he wrote the screenplay for the film Hellraiser but that was based on The Hellbound Heart which I don't believe there is commercial novelisation of, therefore whilst he did "write" Hellraiser, it has stage directions in it, if that's what floats your boat and you enjoy that kind of thing then certainly you can read it, I'd wager it's probably a lot more enjoyable to watch though.
Nope, that's simple courtesy. The only time my workstation isn't muted is when I have headphones plugged in to the audio jack and if I can hear any noise from them when they're placed on the desktop then I turn the volume down as it's too loud. 30 people in an open plan office is plenty noisy enough without speakers being added in to the mix.
The website gets an extra gold star is I can find the URL without much hassle. That way, if I decide to watch, youtube-dl -F tells me what formats are available so I can pick the right one - download it, watch it and if I think other members of the family will be interested, move it to an NFS export.
Damn right. I don't block ads as such, but I use a flash blocker, and have animated gifs turned off. Anything that still manages to move gets adblocked. Usually at the domain level.
Whenever I have to use a browser that I haven't set up, and see all these animating looping things all over the place, I wonder how people can tolerate it without going nuts.
"Damn right... Anything that still manages to move gets adblocked... I wonder how people can tolerate it without going nuts."
When I read your post, I had this vision of a guy at his computer repeatedly starting to use the mouse, seeing the cursor move, and yelling, "God damn you, stop it! STOP IT ALREADY!"
I'm currently looking around half heartedly for a domain name where I intend to name. shame and mock all the terrible websites I visit. My main gripe is text that is non enlargeable or overlaps when it is enlarged making it unreadable. I'm visually impaired you see. But noisy bastards are well worth shaming as well.
Using a softphone has it's advantage..
after making or receiving a call, and leaving the cans on for a bit, either to fire up some music or just pure laziness, and accidently clicking one of the offending sites, or having 20 something tabs open then wondering where stuff the weird talking/music/advert is coming from is annoying.
Also annoying is the fact they tend to be 400% louder than everything else, luckily my pads absorb the blood trickling from my eardrums.
On the occasion, however, where speakers are used, be it at home or in the office,(maybe after some other tit has used the PC and left the speakers on full blast because they had their crappy headplugs in) it is amazing how something loud totally disables your ability to consciously react, we all know keyboard shortcuts to close an offending tab or window we know there is a little X in the corner to do it, but when what seemingly appears to be a trillion decibels of noise emanating and reverberating around the (apparently deathly silent) office or room your hands and brain refuse to function you madly spasm your hand trying to resist the urge to cover the screen (where the sound is NOT coming from) while simultaneously trying to force it to perform fine motor functions and close a window.
it is also amazing how accurate human directional hearing is too in these circumstances, and for at least the next hour or two you get knowing glances from people around you, until the next person does the same thing, then the baton is passed to the next poor sod.
I have had that happen on my cell phone too if I have had the volume on for any reason while outside ( vibrate never seems vibrate-y enough these days), and then a text comes in and, because I use text to speech for it my little robot voiced pal happily screams out the contents of the message, and my kids (generally the only ones who text me ) are generally not known for their eloquence it is usually some diatribe of unmentionables, not that the phone cares.
Oh my, so that's why I am no longer able to buffer videos! I rarely used the "stop downloading" option anyway, mostly to get the screenshots used for troll entries (i.e. showing boobs on the thumb preview that never actually appear in the video) but I did use the "pause 'till it finishes downloading" function a lot.
The thing is this: many a web surfer is listening to something else, be it music or the guy who just called about the problem with getting this intrusive noise from this website turned off. Autoplay video _without audio_ would be less than half as intrusive, but still be a never-return criterium for me.
I just don't understand why so many web designers think their page holds the complete and undivided attention of the viewer, or that the viewer has nothing better to do than listening to tasteless jingles or bungled talks.
You throw noise at me without asking, you get adblocked, it's that simple.
I know it's a plot device here, but the bird book in question sounds interesting. The problem is that most are the wrong way around.
If I am sitting out on the patio with Mrs YAC at YAC Towers we often hear birdsong, and want to know what the bird is. Some we know (wood pigeon, tawny owl, barn (screech) owl, cuckoo etc), others we have no clue about. So we bought a CD of birdsong, and the problem is you have to listen to all 150 or so to get to the one you are after, and by then you've forgotten it.
If the book under review was more like a reverse sound lookup for birdsong, a sort of tineye for birds, then I'm in for one.
As with the others, Automatic noise generation from somewhere in the browser gives me, normally a perfectly rational individual, an apoplectic fit. I start foaming at the mouth and turn extremely violent, and feel like defenestrating any device, non-screwed down object or co-worker, whether directly related to the noise or not.
I term this as the sort of rudeness as some guy ringing you up at 3am to sell you double glazing, or a waiter telling you to directly fuck off after they've just served you a starter because they double booked your table, or perhaps a customer service agent slamming the phone down after telling you to turn it off and on again without hearing the problem. Hell yes I'll vote with my wallet, and tell everyone I meet of my diabolical experience.
So Dabbsy, unless you are redesigning the website of the RNIB, or have a poor-taste Stephen Hawking style text to speech website which you want to go viral, if you're going to put audio in it, for gawds-sake make sure it doesn't fire automatically. Or if it does, it better be telling me how I can sue you no win no fee for the damage I caused by putting my fist through my monitor.
Talking about unwanted audio... back a while ago, I had a single computer that I used both for my home theater and my gaming / music / whatever rig. I'd switch video outputs, and had keyboards in two different rooms, and multiple audio outputs.
My audio setup for the home theater is a real hack job, which means multiple power amplifiers and such that aren't automated in any way. So the volume on the amps is set to whatever its normal maximum is, and I set the output volume when I watch a movie in software.
So late one night I go to use my computer, and blast it all, the thing had to get restarted, so off it goes - well, turns out I'd left the amps on but had forgotten. And the USB connection was a bit messed up, so in the process of trying to see if my mouse and keyboard were working at the login screen, Windows decided that I wanted to turn on accessibility.
In the form of the screen reader.
So it's two in the freakin' morning, and 1000 watts of speakers in my home theater bellow, "ACCESSIBILITY OPTIONS! WINDOWS CAN READ TEXT THAT APPEARS ON THE SCREEN!" ...I'm freaking out trying to turn this crap off, but everything I do just makes it start reading things again.
"WINDOWS! WINDOWS! WINDOWS CAN READ TEXT..."
"STICKY KEYS!@!!" *BEEEEP*
I finally managed to shut it up before it woke up the whole damn neighborhood, but jeez... after that I was much more careful to make sure all the amps were off before I went in to do some late night gaming...
Isn't there a standard for websites to have a sub site for accessibility, if the main one isn't suitable. Like www.joebloggs.com/blind
As for disturbing audio, it's always the volume level that annoys me. I know advertisers are all like "crank to 11 for greater impact" but that just deafens poor buggers. So much so that some of the sites that I used to sit through their ads, now I just torrent the shows instead.
Had a computer clean up a few years back where someone had put custom sounds for all windows actions. 3Mb wav files for some of them. Wondered why it was slow at times :)
"We are not part of some sinister British heavy metal coven.
We are from Cradley."
BTW Having shot his friend the
inbred dumbass troubled youth then turned the shotgun on himself.
It takes a very special kind of character to achieve that kind of result.
Ahhh I work in the [Adult] biz side of the internet and Auto-play has to be the most hated thing to anybody in my field. It was five years ago I think I heard "hehehehe my name is cheyenne.... hehehe my name is.... hehehe my name is... heheh...hehehe...hehehe" because you have to reload a page to see something on the page change that utilizes rand. my mute button has been on since.
Always loved the salesman coming in and going "haha you looking at porn at work" (a joke which never gets old) and having a shell up with code or html on it and say "ya there naked lady... there naked lady... a pair of breasts..".
Bottom line auto-play is EVIL for every case that can be thought of. There has never been a time I thought "gee I wish that played as soon as I clicked on it"... instead of me you know hitting the PLAY button when I had time to watch or hear what I wanted.
Ah the sound of a door opening quietly in the distance, and then a piglike snuffling and grunting getting slowly closer...
Happy memories of playing Doom in the dark, with my first experience of 4.1 sound. You had to learn to look over your shoulder on the screen, not in real life. Happy days.
Even from my earliest days of working in Web design, it was already established that auto-playing media of any kind is a big, fat no-no. Back in the day, this mean cheesy MIDI files, or embedded .wavs auto-playing useless "introductions" (the Web spammers' tool of choice back then).
I can certainly agree that auto-playing sound sucks on toast, but what's annoyed me even more in recent years is Web site "splash pages" which delay your entry to the real home page while they play huge-assed Flash intros which take forever to load and which, in most cases, are also blasting some flavor of skull-crushing dance grooves -- the main reason why "Skip Intro" is my favorite part of a Flash-based Web site.
After auto-playing sound, auto-playing video streams suck worse, if only for bandwidth reasons. These days, after noisy auto-playing Flash, nothing makes me click away from a page faster than auto-playing YouTube clips.
In fact you almost forgot it yourself, you only slipped it in at the end.
Apparently you don't know anything about web accessibility good practice, or you wouldn't have to ask that question.
A user with visual handicap or dyslexia who would benefit from using a screen reader has probably already got one.
Do some research on the topic, or hire someone with special knowledge in the area.
You can use separate style sheets for a screen reader version of the web site. And don't litter the page with irrelevant junk that wastes time when someone has to listen to it.
considering it has been listed as one of the Top Ten NoNos in every "Dos and Don'ts of Web Design" article for the past 20 years?
NO autoplaying video. (I use Click-To-Plugin myself. Nothing plays, or even loads so much as a preview frame, unless I want it to.)
No autoplaying music. (I listen to music often, with headphones, while I work. Aside from some moronic site interrupting one of my favorite songs, and my concentration to boot, the commenters who noted the volume of "surprise" audio is usually painfully high are absolutely right.)
No autoplaying voices. I know how to read. (And the product the speaker is so excited about is usually a scam anyway.)
Any site that manages to slip ANY autoplay item past AdBlock and Click-to-Plugin gets specifically blocked. Permanently.
Extreme? Look, the world has become a constantly noisy place. It's one of the reasons so many of us are irritable all the time. We're bombarded everywhere we go.
Silence really has become worth its weight in gold, and 1000 times rarer.
1/. Every single TV in the UK is now on digital.
2/. Every single programme of any note has selectable subtitles.
3/. If you can't read subtitles you probably can't watch TV, and you certainly cant watch an apparently spastic person in the corner of the screen doing 'deaf semaphore'.
4/ so WTF is it still doing being broadcast?
I remember being involved in a website design for and active hobby that is not only completely unsuitable for but would be downright dangerous for people with impaired eyesight to actually engage in.
The number of people who were insistent that the site must follow 'disability rules' astounded me. "You may lose 5% of your clients customers'" "If they are blind, he doesn't want them as customers. His liability insurance is bad enough already".
A button to click on for 'visually impaired' people to output a loud audio file saying 'If you are visually impaired, this site is not suitable for you' would have been ideal. I never thought of it tho.
And another one saying 'if all you have is Lynx, then you are probably to retrograde to be interested in anything this site has to offer' as well..
As the famous spoof voicemail message says 'If you want to hear this message in another language, move to a country that speaks it'.
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