Background Music in Joomla – Not so Simple
Posted on 25.05.2009
Some flash sites have background music that plays while you navigate the “pages” with an option to turn the music off. Although I generally steer clear of background music because it causes serious performance issues and, quite frankly, not everyone wants to hear music from your website (especially if they’ve already got the own music playing on the home stereo or iPod). Still, I do get the occasional client asking me to get the background music from their old flash site running in Joomla. This, as it turns out, is no simple task and we Joomlaphiles are left with two less than satisfactory options.
The first option is to simply put an mp3 player on the page and let the users of the site press play themselves. I’ve used an extension called Simple mp3 Bar to do this as it allows you to use change the layout and colours in the back-end. Again, I like this because it’s fast and convenient. But if you want to have a play-list that users can select song from, then you may want to browse the list of audio extensions on the Joomla site.
Now this may not satisfy the client that has had a flash site with background music playing on autoplay. If you use Simple mp3 Bar or a similar extension, you can set the music to autoplay, but then it restarts every time users navigate to a new page. This is not only incredibly annoying, but it will require the mp3 file(s) to load every time the page changes which have a very negative impact on site performance. The solution then is to use one of the flash player extensions that loads the player in a pop-up window. This way, when the user navigates away, the background music does not stop and restart because the pop-up window remains open. The obvious downside here is that most pop-up windows are blocked by browsers these days (especially those that happen automatically without the user’s consent) so your users may never hear the background music that you so carefully selected.
So, there really isn’t an ideal solution for Joomla sites to play background music…so turn up the volume on those iPods and start navigating.