Add Background Sound to Emails in Outlook.com

How to add music and other sounds to the emails you send

Microsoft officially deprecated this utility as of the 2010 update of Outlook. This article remains for archival purposes only.

In Outlook Express, Windows Mail, and Windows Live Mail 2009, you can add sound to your emails. As soon as the recipient opens your email, the music or sound effect plays.

Read to the Tune

Everything is better with some music in the background. Reading emails to a Tchaikowskian tune is certainly nice. So, how can you add background sounds that automatically play when the recipient opens the message?

Add Background Sound to Emails

To add background music or sound effects to an email message in Windows Live Mail 2009, Windows Mail, or Outlook Express:

  1. Start with a new message in HTML format.

  2. Select Format > Background > Sound from the menu.

  3. Click Browse to select the sound file you want to play in the background. The file must be in a supported sound format:

    • Wave files: .wav., .au, .aiff, and other
    • MIDI files: .mid, .mi, and .midi
    • Windows Media Audio files (Windows Live Mail only): .wma
    • Audio files (Windows Live Mail only): .mp3
    • Real Media files (Outlook Express and Windows Mail only): .ra, .rm, .ram, and .rmm
  4. Specify whether you want the sound file to play continuously or a certain number of times.

  5. Select OK.

    To change the sound later, select Format > Background > Sound from the Windows Mail or Outlook Express menu.

What About Background Sound in Windows Live Mail 2012?

Windows Live Mail 2012 does not offer adding background sound in email messages.

Use a Remote Background Sound File From the Web

You can also insert a sound file that resides on a publicly accessible web server instead of attaching it to your message in Windows Mail or Outlook Express (but not Windows Live Mail):

  1. Set any sound file on your computer as the background sound using the steps above.

  2. Go to the Source tab. Highlight the content between the quotation marks, as this is the path to the sound file you chose. For example, if the source code reads <BGSOUND src="C:\Windows\Media\ac3.wav">, highlight C:\Windows\Media\ac3.wav.

  3. Paste the sound file's web address (URL) to replace the local sound file.
    For example, the code could read <BGSOUND src="http://example.com/bwv1043.mid"> to play Bach's double concerto.

  4. Go to the Edit tab and continue composing your message.

The music plays only if the recipient uses an email client that understands the code and is set to play music automatically. Also, make sure Outlook Express is set to send copies of images and sounds you include instead of only referencing them.