It seems quite clear that the community doesn't want useless "Identify This" questions -
"Identify this song / genre / artist" - on topic?

and yet our only close reason is

Questions seeking to identify a song/sample/artist/etc need enough objective detail to be answerable. Please if possible add more detail.

This leaves questions such as
Identify song, sample included
What is the name of this Chinese song?

as "perfectly valid" questions - whist showing almost zero effort, not even so much as an attempt to Shazam or SoundHound the track.
They do technically contain "objective detail" - they contain lots of "detail" up to & including an entire audio track... on some other site which may or may not still contain that track next year.

These questions have absolutely no value to this site whatsoever. They are noise, they bury any decent questions & make it less likely to garner repeat visitors.

So... I guess my question is - can we at least have a VTC that includes 'zero effort, zero value' so we can just bang the hammer on this garbage & hurry its eventual deletion?

  • 2
    Maybe, this could solve a big part of "zero value" questions because most of them are in weird hosting sites.
    – Bebs
    Commented Mar 1, 2017 at 9:06
  • I added an answer on your linked question - but I don't think that policing the source of the material will in any way improve the 'what's this [link]?' questions at all.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Mar 1, 2017 at 9:22
  • In fairness to this question wrt research/effort, the audio clip didn't turn up anything for me on Soundhound or Shazam, for the record. The song was likely easy to search for by someone who understands and can type in Mandarin, but difficult for most other folks. Commented Mar 4, 2017 at 22:00
  • I asked the Chinese song question. I did of course try Soundhound and Shazam first, but I didn't see the point in saying so -- it doesn't tell you much about the song.
    – Owen
    Commented Mar 4, 2017 at 23:09
  • 1
    Mentioning in the question what has already been attempted would show that there was some research & that research had proven fruitless - which means no-one has to cover the same ground again.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Mar 5, 2017 at 8:01
  • 1
    As it stands right now, this site will never get out of beta :/ A few established users are trying really hard, but we're in danger of being buried in truly useless questions from fly-bys.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Mar 25, 2017 at 18:52

2 Answers 2


I agree with you, these questions have no common interest and only serve the asker. But I'm not fan of the instant hammer solution. I would suggest first to ask the right questions on the comment section to explain the asker why his question is wrong, then if no answer, I'm OK to VTC.

In case of "zero effort", I would ask him to explain what did he already do, additionally giving him a link to what is a good ID question. If he doesn't answer, maybe the "too braod" reason is enough.

In case of "zero value", I would suggest the asker to give more details about the {movie, radio, tv-show etc} where the track came from. If we can't have more details, I'm OK to vote to close for "zero value" reason.

zero value



  • 2
    I'm actually good with this plan, but to be considered site policy, it needs to have "consensus" (i.e. upvotes).
    – Donald.McLean Mod
    Commented Feb 27, 2017 at 16:38
  • 1
    tbh, 'bang the hammer' was more of an emotive than objective consideration. If someone were to take the effort to at least provide a Googleable question title & some background to their search, then the question might be worthy of staying alive. 'Zero value' is in itself always going to be an opinion, but if you need to hear their link before you have even the slightest idea of what the OP is asking, then it has no value to SE as a resource.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Feb 27, 2017 at 16:49
  • 1
    @Tetsujin, Zero value questions are not an opinion... they are literally only based on their link (without any other description). Another idea for this kind of zero value question is to classify them as link-only questions.
    – Bebs
    Commented Feb 27, 2017 at 19:14
  • 3
    Sounds fair - as link-only answers are definitely frowned on.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Feb 27, 2017 at 19:27
  • 4
    +1 for the handdrawn circles
    – Penguin9
    Commented Feb 28, 2017 at 8:36
  • 1
    @Donald.McLean, is a score of seven enough to be considered as a consensus?
    – Bebs
    Commented Oct 27, 2017 at 9:51

I understand that most users from this community don't want the "Identify This" questions and I respect that, however, if this site wants to grow, the community can be more nice with new users, advising and encouraging them to take the tour and follow a few steps for improve their questions and answers.

A little of background about my answer

I came from Stack Overflow En Español (in Spanish) and I try to help to any user to improve their questions and answers and also try to give some help in the comments - "even if I don't have the enough expertise in X or Y programming language" I try to tell them about search X or Y related questions and answers from other sites or Google search results.

tl;dr: my idea is colaborate in the way I can without damage the quality of the site.

What I'm doing is basically:

  • Editing Q&A, improving grammar and formatting.
  • Encouraging them to take the tour. Comment example:

Welcome to Music Fans Stack Exchange. Please take the tour and read how improve your question. Please clarify what have you tried.

It would be a nice idea have a meta-question and answer about what guidelines can use users for create a identify-music kind of questions, using similar redaction shown in the Movie Stack Exchange's on-topic section.

Here is a wiki-answer that anyone can contribute and so, create a complete guidelines for help answering those questions.

The meta-question could be a improvement of my question and I would reconsider select an better answer.

If the consensus is definitely say no to questions to identify-this kind of questions, all community can use what I add here for show to all users what questions are more likely to be accepted here (i.e using comments, etc).


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