I am trying to ask a question about seeing if anyone knows about a piece of software that does what I am looking for, but I want to make sure that that type of question is allowed on this SE.


2 Answers 2


Most Stack Exchange sites do not allow this, however there is a Software Recommendations Stack Exchange

  • 1
    I picked three sites at random that I see as similar to music in that the topics are not in themselves software related - personal productivity, astronomy, and photography. All three have a software tag. As for recommendations, astronomy doesn't seem to allow them; personal productivity seem mildly approving; photography seems fine with them (meta.photo.stackexchange.com/questions/4332/…). So I'm not yet seeing how you've concluded that 'most Stack Exchange sites do not allow this', when we look at comparable cases. Dec 12, 2015 at 15:32

The current close reason "Questions seeking recommendations for specific equipment are off-topic" recommends that you "describe the required function and setting in which the equipment will be used, and ask what you should look for to achieve that."

I'd like to see questions such questions on-topic even if 'the equipment' may be software, or if there is for some reason a requirement that it is software.

I don't think the existence of the software recommendations SE is a particularly strong reason to disallow questions which may lead to a software recommendation here. After all, We have woodworking.stackexchange.com, but that doesn't mean that all luthiery-related questions would be off-topic here.

  • 1
    The existence of softwarerecs is not the reason such questions are disallowed here - it is because they usually have nothing to do with practice or performance, and any answers are likely to be opinion based. If you ask "what software will do X" there are likely to be various options, none of which are about practicing or performing music.
    – Doktor Mayhem Mod
    Dec 12, 2015 at 10:23
  • @DrMayhem It depends what the 'X' is! if it's nothing to do with practice or performance, the questions can be seen as off-topic for that reason, rather than for anything relating to software. As for having potential to attract opinion-based answers, why would that be any more or less the case for questions relating to software than any other questions in the format "describe the required function and setting in which the equipment will be used, and ask what you should look for to achieve that", which is explicitly allowed? Dec 12, 2015 at 10:48
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    This has been discussed at great length in the metas for many sites - and it is incredibly rare that anyone comes up with questions that work well in the SE format. Softwarerecs itself was created because so many sites would not accept such questions - and if you look at softwarerecs you will see how different a site is has had to be to try and make it work.
    – Doktor Mayhem Mod
    Dec 12, 2015 at 10:52
  • @DrMayhem They're OT at stack exchange, but the focus of that site has a very different relationship with software to ours so I don't think their logic would translate here. On the other hand, personal productivity accept some software-related questions (meta.productivity.stackexchange.com/questions/293/…) and have a software tag. As I asked above, what other similar sites (i.e. with topics that have a relationship with software analogous to ours) have had discussions in meta where they've decided to disallow software questions? Dec 12, 2015 at 11:40
  • let's continue this in Music: Practice & Theory Chat
    – Doktor Mayhem Mod
    Dec 12, 2015 at 12:57
  • chat.stackexchange.com/transcript/message/26113698 is the continuation, for future reference! Jun 8, 2016 at 6:26

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