Proposal: Music Fans

Are questions like "Can you help me identify the song I heard in some-recently-released-movie-towards-the-ending" allowed to be asked on Music Fans ?

5 Answers 5


No no no.

ID is a evil, first every SE thinks it to be be a necessity evil but then it became clumsy evil to handle. Too much review work it brings and no more then a guessing game.


I believe that "identify this" questions make the site look more like a bar room trivia contest than anything even close to a serious "music appreciation" site. Please consider carefully if you want to turn this site into a game show. The site will fill with these questions. Our Movies SE site decided to allow [identify-this-*] questions — it was somewhat controversial at the time, but that content now takes up more than half the front page, I believe much to their detriment.

  • A lot of this kind of information can be found on reference web sites. I would hope that a reasonable amount of research be done before asking "name that tune" questions.
    – user3169
    Jan 20, 2015 at 0:00

Let yet another voice over from Movies.SE assure you that you don't want identification questions. I for one thought them to be a good idea a long time ago as I thought they were well-suited to Q&A format. But I have since desparately regretted this approach and the decision to include those questions. Let me assure you that there will be no shortage of such questions. The Movies & TV site gets flooded and I have no doubts that is likely to happen for the Music site, too.

The problem is, once the influx of those questions becomes too large, they will simply start to dillute the brand of what the site is about and it will become a mere quiz-show. Those questions are not of any interest except for the people directly asking them and maybe giving the people answering them the "funny thrill" of a quiz-show. But they are not of general interest at all. You won't ever want to look into an answered and accepted ID-question to gain some interesting insights.

It is true that they may help to introduce new users to the site and generate traffic, but this does not help when most of those users are unregistered users who won't ever come back to the site to further contribute anything interesting and who generally don't give a damn about the site. So I'd even scratch the "necessary" from "necessary evil". There might be some avid users taking enjoyment from those kinds of questions, but for the majority of avid and productive site users they will simply become a thorn in the eye and a disgrace for the site and might have the effect of deterring more serious user who would otherwise like to contribute valuable stuff.

Please, however you decide, take Robert Cartaino's concerns seriously, he knows what he's talking about and over at Movies.SE we made the error to not listen to him and are now sitting in a situation where the influx of this stuff is alarming and the current ID ratio lies at ~30% rising. It will be a hard task to get rid of those in this state, so if you have the chance to not even start to allow them, please at least seriously consider it.

  • 3
    The 30% "identification question" rate is over the entire history of the site. Check again; using the most recent questions, the "identify this" rate has well-surpassed +50%...! Jan 28, 2015 at 20:49
  • 2
    @RobertCartaino Yeah, you certainly don't need to tell me. I was being optimistic and used the all-time average. Jan 28, 2015 at 23:25

Since questions of this type are off topic in Music Fans, I have created a new proposal to cover them.



What's this song?...

A perfect opportunity to recommend SoundHound or Shazam.
Would have been quicker than typing the question.

A definite 'no' from me.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .