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In my opinion, the difficulty of embedding actual audible music hinders communicating ideas about music on music.stackexchange.com. Off-site services Youtube and SoundCloud can be used (see YouTube and SoundCloud embedding is now enabled), but that's really quite far from being actually usable for many people - I'd say, most people. Some people are uploading clips to vocaroo.com, which sometimes helps, but it's a bit of a handicapped way too. The clips cannot be embedded, and the site even offers Flash based things when you click the link. And I read somewhere that they'll even delete clips after a while.

With images, it's much easier. You can easily embed png pictures in posts, the pictures are hosted on imgur.com, and it works really well.

So, would it be possible to have hosted audio and MIDI clips on music.stackexchange.com? Even 30 second audio clips with low quality would be of great help. Like the old saying goes, talking about music is like dancing about architecture. With audio or MIDI clips, you could add examples of what the things sound like. Rhythms, melodies, harmonies.

We have countless questions and answers with blabber using "correct" terms for highly regarded theoretical things, but what the things actually sound like, is left to imagination for most people.

Thinking about just myself, I don't have a problem. I'm very skilled in geeky computer things, I have a wide array of music-making tools, screen capture facilities and everything, so I can make fancy Youtube videos, with notation, sequences, audio, animation, you name it. I can even code my own music players and visualization generators if I have to. But the thing is, I've been doing computer and audio/video things all my life, and I don't think it's realistic or fair to demand this from people here.

Anyone agree? Thoughts?

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    I'm hard pressed to think of more than one or two examples of questions that are both on-topic and well served by having audio files linked. – Todd Wilcox Sep 23 at 8:50
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    The choice of YouTube and SoundCloud is probably also a legal decision. If you allow embedding, you have to be sure that the service adheres to copyright laws. Both YouTube and SoundCloud are known for automatically detecting whether copyrighted music is being uploaded. – Your Uncle Bob Sep 26 at 22:22
  • @YourUncleBob how's that different for images, which can be embedded with automatic upload via Stackexchange? If you can hear it, different rules apply? I think it's tragicomic that people give "examples" in answers and you can't hear what they sound like. – piiperi Sep 27 at 6:25
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    @piiperi I guess the difference is that if you can hear it, it has a record company and lawyers. – Your Uncle Bob Sep 27 at 12:58
  • @YourUncleBob YM "copyright trolls and con men" ... but if that's really the excuse why it has to be difficult to embed audible examples in answers, it's just pathetic. I don't buy the explanation. – piiperi Sep 27 at 17:18
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I'd like this. As Todd alludes to though, a lot of the kinds of questions where this would be most directly useful might often be those that aren't exactly on-topic.

For example, "How do I make this kind of sound" questions would benefit from this, but they aren't allowed here - we're supposed to throw them over to Sound Design.SE.

Personally I'd love to see (high quality examples of) those kind of questions here, but of course it would only work if there was a general enthusiasm in the community for asking and answering them here.

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