I agree totally with your last comment. Disable it by default, but for the sites I mentioned, definitely provide it and let the user initiate it at their command.
You see, it enhances the experiences greatly if you have the resources. I do. Bandwidth is cheap like dirt and I have cable broadband and really appreciate Salva Campillo's nice music, it makes his photos come to life even more.
I do, however, think sites like those should have small html-only splash pages ("skip intro" is not enough) that tell the visitor the site requirements beforehand if there are going to be high resource demands - out of fairness to the visitor. Also, they should provide a smaller html version of the content where possible (or make it so by another means if at all doable). Some do it better than others. I don't use Flash myself but I can see it's benefit as a tool in a hybrid site.
One would think that under normal circumstances, though, that visiting a Flash designer's site, or a photoladen site, that the demands would be high. I would expect it.
The world is moving right along. It is not slowing down but getting faster, and smaller. I really think I gave Layla good advice, as did you... If you add music to a web site, do it right, do it smart, and don't forget about the people with slower connections. And while the she's at it she shouldn't forget those people with smaller monitors, handheld devices, text browsers and whatnot either.
What can I say? I really enjoy some of the multimedia available on the web nowadays. As long as it's all done the right way it's not necessarily a bad thing in my opinion.
Let me give you one more site. It's pretty much my first web page. It ain't much but my company's distributors like it.
Sell Green Methods (we sell good bugs that eat bad bugs so growers don't have to spray chemicals). On the left side, the links menu, there is a link call Workman AV. It's a little popup. A jukebox so to speak. it like 9 songs or something and a corrosponding slideshow for each. All in the little popup, complete with controls. A lot of them like it and use it. They close their browser (all have fast always on connections) and let this thing sit on their desktop while they work. It's distracting and they love it. perfect for on-the-job (hence the name Workman AV for audio-visual) So the site is **** probably... I think it sucks but that was then and it works for them so it's all cool. But I do think that I went about adding the music correctly. I even emailed my distributors ahead of time to tell them all about it so they'd be prepared.