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Can we define music software? In my opinion it seems there have recently been a few questions that seem very off-topic, but the user has claimed that they are "Music Software related".

i.e:

How can I remove all the tracks contained in a folder and its subfolders from my collection with Traktor 2?

How can configure Rekorbox so that it records the computed BPM in the MP3 ID3's BPM field?

What is a good workflow for adding new music to my Traktor collection?

What should be the requirements for something to be a musical software and even if it is a musical software, are all questions about the software itself on topic?

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    It is a bit biased to start with "There have recently been a few questions that seem very off-topic"... – Franck Dernoncourt Mar 20 '14 at 16:13
  • @FranckDernoncourt compare these questions to other ones asked. Most questions involve music in some way shape or form these do not seem to have any foundation in music just how to use the software. – Dom Mar 20 '14 at 16:18
  • Well yes but sometimes in music you also need to ask questions about the tools, like how to maintain a guitar or how to deal with some options in a software. Also, the question regarding live performance software has already been asked and answered: Could a question about live performance software be treated as appropriate? – Franck Dernoncourt Mar 20 '14 at 16:20
  • @FranckDernoncourt I'm asking for a definition of what music software is. Traktor doesn't seem like it can be defined as music software especially based on the questions asked in my opinion, but this is a discussion and I want to see what everyone thinks. – Dom Mar 20 '14 at 16:24
  • OK but according to Could a question about live performance software be treated as appropriate? my questions on Traktor are clearly on-topic so it is very biased to start with "There have recently been a few questions that seem very off-topic ", especially so if you want people's own opinions and not a reflection of yours. – Franck Dernoncourt Mar 20 '14 at 16:27
  • @FranckDernoncourt that question was about synthesizers and sequencers which Tracktor is not and look at the second answer under it which says it is a better fir for AVP. – Dom Mar 20 '14 at 16:31
  • I'll have a look at AVP then. What's their URL? The link in the answer is broken and area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/4/audio-video-production points to video.stackexchange.com, which focuses on video. – Franck Dernoncourt Mar 20 '14 at 21:27
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    AVP has been dissolved, with the video half becoming its own entity, and the audio half merging with a Stack Exchange 1.0 site being brought back into the fold as Sound Design. – NReilingh Mar 21 '14 at 5:08
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This doesn't have to be about "is DJing performance," but could be contingent upon a larger question about what is in scope for this site. I agree that the term "Music Software" is far too broad and should be clarified regardless of this larger outcome, but I don't think this definition should rely on Wikipedia in the slightest; after all, Wikipedia's music software category includes everything from the iPod's firmware to artificial intelligence.

I believe, rather, that our criteria for software questions needs to focus on the content of the question itself rather than the name of the program. Traktor is absolutely music software, but appears to be just as much iTunes as it is Ableton or Logic. If we decide that DJing is within scope, them library management in Tractor would be on-topic, as would some high-level questions about iTunes. Conversely, there are many artists that program with Max/MSP--a program that can be used for musical audio synthesis and processing, but can also control lights and visuals or anything else if you know a little Python.

I believe further discussion is warranted to come up with a 1-2 sentence criteria for question content related to software--not the easiest task, to be sure, but worthwhile to update the FAQ if we succeed and reach a consensus. The broader DJ scope question is being addressed in another thread.

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  • Well, of course it has to fit the category of music software suitable for this site. The Wikipedia check was for notability... – Meaningful Username Mar 21 '14 at 8:24
  • @MeaningfulUsername Someone else mentioned Wikipedia too, so I was just covering all bases. Even so, has notability ever been an issue for software before? I mean, I can see something like "my brother made a synth app, how do I use it?" being too localized, but I'd probably consider any published professional or even open source project to be valid. – NReilingh Mar 21 '14 at 8:48
  • I agree this should not be specially about DJing, but those questions above were the tipping point in my head to ask this question. How about we start a new discussion called "Example Software Questions" and have people ask sample questions and see what we want to avoid and what we prefer? – Dom Mar 21 '14 at 15:52
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My thinking is that sorting files etc is not music practice or performance. As I commented on the question, I am prepared to be corrected, but nothing about it seems on topic.

Just because it is about a piece of music software doesn't make it on topic here.

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    Organizing one's music collection is a key topic in DJing. E.g. DJ TechTools, one of the most visited DJ advice websites, has tens of articles on Traktor, and some of them are about music collection (example). – Franck Dernoncourt Mar 20 '14 at 21:14
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    Organizing one's music collection is all about performance preparation, just like How do I maintain flamenco guitar fingernails: even though musicians don't cut their fingernails while practicing or performing, it is still useful to know. Most DJs would back up this view. Ask them! – Franck Dernoncourt Mar 20 '14 at 21:19
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    I suppose that organizing your DJ files, for the art form of DJ:ing, is comparable to organizing your compositions for the art form of composing, as well as potential questions about organizing sheet music for performance or storage. (@Franck) – Ulf Åkerstedt Mar 24 '14 at 8:06
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Since there is a tag, and "specific music software" is allowed, that would mean that questions about DJ software is on topic. Traktor is apparently a DJ software, so in this case it's hard to claim that it is off topic (even though I personally think it should be off topic).

To answer the question, Wikipedia could be used to check what kind of program something is. If it hasn't got an article there, the program could be judged to be insignificant.

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  • But is all DJing software on topic here then? – Dom Mar 20 '14 at 16:19
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Wikipedia maintains a list of music software: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Music_software

Among other things, it contains audio mixing software‎ like Traktor.

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    I just want to point out that Guitar Hero is also defined as a music software under that list, but I'm pretty sure that is off-topic here also mixing fits better with Sound SE. – Dom Mar 21 '14 at 12:24

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