Evil Auto Loading Flash Videos

Music, videos, script, and anything that has to do something after page load is a burden on users. When is enough enough? When people started figuring out how to add music to websites it took off like crazy. Then people figured out that users might already be listening to music, heard lots of complaints about it, and they stopped. At least most of them.

Well now there is a new technology, and it’s called video. Want proof that history often repeats itself? Just look around for websites that automatically load video now. The numbers are insane, and apparently these people have no clue, or have completely forgotten the lesson learned from adding auto loading music. Users don’t want auto playing extras!

Hello, I Am Already Listening to Something

So here is the main reason I personally hate auto loading video and audio. It’s because I am often already listening to something. Believe it or not, I like to listen to podcast and video interviews. There is nothing I hate more than having someone else’s video or music that starts playing over what I am already listening to. Yes, I know I loaded the page, but I didn’t hit play, did I? Please vote on this poll about music.

The Evil Auto Loading Flash Video is a CPU Hog

Talk about stopping a guy in his tracks, those auto loading flash videos are total CPU hogs. An example, when I load BestWebImage.com CPU usage on my PC is at about 2%. Viewing a auto loading flash video site? CPU usage is at 100%. I can’t even open up another application until that dang video is either turned off, or website closed.

cpu usage of a website with auto loading flash video

Here is a screenshot of my CPU spiking when visiting a site with auto loading video. The drops in the graph are me hitting the back button returning to BestWebImage.com. A return to the auto loader site? I get another spike. I could not even close my screenshot software until I had closed this websites page with video. Pausing the video does not help either.

Extras Don’t Just Bug, They Suck

When I say suck, I do not mean I dislike. I mean they actually suck resources. Let’s just assume the PC I ran this test on is an old piece of junk. You may be right, but regardless if it’s mine or the worlds fastest, more processing power will be required. Big deal? Yes it is, especially to those that are stuck using their PC unplugged.

CPU usage requires power, and a user on YouTube vs. a user on BestWebImage.com could mean the difference of 30 minutes of battery life compared to an hour and a half of battery life. There are even Firefox add-ons to prevent flash from loading for this purpose alone. Battery life is a big deal to those on the road, and to even to those of us that like to sit down on the couch with a PC for a while.

Don’t let your website be a CPU/battery hog, and stop bugging your visitors with your auto playing stuff.

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