Drive away your bidders by putting background music and sound effects in your auctions.
The number-one rule to remember when including sound or music in web pages is to provide a means of turning it off. Otherwise, your bidders will eventually discover the workaround by themselves . . . and they probably won’t come back.
You can insert background music (in either .wav
.midi format) into your auction with this
line of code:
<bgsound src="http://www.ebayhacks.com/files/aah.wav" loop=1>
loop parameter specifies the number of
times to play the sound. The problem is that the
<bgsound> element has no controls: no way
for your customers to turn off the sound or adjust the volume. In
other words, a poor choice.
The more general-purpose
<embed> tag can do
<bgsound> does, but it also
includes a controller box:
<embed src="http://www.ebayhacks.com/files/aah.wav" hidden=false autostart=true loop=true></embed>
loop=true parameter can be replaced with
playcount=3 to play the sound a specified number
of times and then stop. Go to http://www.htmlcodetutorial.com for further
documentation on embedded objects.
Sound can be useful when text and photos just won’t do. For example, if you’re selling a music box, you may want to include a clip of the music it plays, especially if you don’t know the name of the song. Or, if you’re selling a product that modifies sound (such as a car exhaust silencer), your customers will appreciate being able to hear, first-hand, what it sounds like with — and without — your product. And obviously, if you’re selling music on CD, tape, record, or DVD, you may want to include a short clip to entice your bidders.
Even given these perfectly legitimate uses for sound in your auctions, it still makes sense to give your bidders control over the sound, rather than simply having it play automatically in the background.
The actual audio controller that appears on the page depends entirely on the browser plug-in currently configured to handle sound objects. (Note that users without an appropriate plug-in installed will just see an empty box and won’t hear any sounds at all.) Instead of using the default controller, which is usually large and rather clumsy, you can integrate the controls into your auction description quite nicely.
First, we need to modify the
<embed> tag to
hide the default controller, turn off the
autostart feature, and give it a name,
<embed src="http://www.ebayhacks.com/files/aah.wav" hidden=true autostart=false loop=false name="mySound" mastersound></embed>
Since it’s now hidden, it doesn’t
strictly matter where you put the
tag. In most cases, it’s probably best to place it
at the end of the auction description so browsers will load the rest
of your auction before the sound file. Next, include these links in
your text to control the audio:
The “controller,” in this case, will simply appear as ordinary text links in your auction description. The text links can also be replaced with images to make a fancier controller.
If you find that a controller in your description is overkill, you can simply link to your audio files directly, like this:
<a href="http://www.ebayhacks.com/files/aah.wav">Listen</a> to the music made by this music box.
The problem is that about a third of your bidders will get a download prompt and nothing else, and will probably not know where to go from there. If you choose this solution, you’ll want to include a bit of instruction, telling them to save the files on their desktops and then double-click the icons that appear.