I posted a question about audio processing libraries and as of this writing it has 4 of the 5 votes needed to close it, but (as of this writing) no one has left a comment indicating any deficiencies:


It's programming related; it's a question that can be answered (names of libraries, links to open-source projects, etc); it's specific - I describe the application I want to use it in, the file formats that it needs to work with, the fact that it's Android, etc. I describe what I need the libraries or classes to do (i.e., not just do something vague with audio, but specifically to capture amplitude values for specific time-samples).

Why is this question getting "close" votes and how can this question be improved?

  • 1
    When people vote to close for duplicates, a comment is automatically added to the question. This doesn't happen for other types of closures, but people have suggested that it happen. It would help avoid this type of confusion. That said, your clarification here: "names of libraries, links to open-source projects, etc", makes it pretty clear that the close votes are correct. It is unfortunate that no explained why they were voting though. – Joshua Taylor Oct 22 '13 at 15:46
  • So if I had just said "how is this done in Android?" without implying that there might be a class library for it, then that would have been OK? – user316117 Oct 22 '13 at 15:54
  • Well, not quite. It'd no longer be explicitly asking for recommendations, but it's still pretty much a "tell me what library/class/etc to use", and answers to a question like that are subject to matters of taste, preference, exposure, and may very well change over time. If you get two answers positing different solutions, you can tell us which worked best for you, but neither will clearly be right in preference to the other (though there could certainly be wrong answers (e.g., "use regex!")). It's not a bad question, it's just not a question for Stack Overflow. – Joshua Taylor Oct 22 '13 at 16:13
  • It's not a question for Stack Overflow, but you might still find an answer on Stack Overflow. E.g., search for questions about audio processing on android. Take a look at what other people are using. Stack Overflow isn't the place to ask what most people use, but usage patterns will at least point you toward the libraries that people are using. (Or, perhaps, unhelpfully, the libraries that people have the most questions about using. The perfect library that does everything right out of the box won't be mentioned at all on Stack Overflow, because no one will have any questions about it. – Joshua Taylor Oct 22 '13 at 16:15
  • So are you saying that there is no way to ask how to programmatically sample an audio file in Android on Stack Overflow? I.e., even if I left out references to classes and libraries, it would still be an unacceptbale type of question because someone might try to answer it with classes and libraries? – user316117 Oct 22 '13 at 16:21
  • Like most aspects of life, there's some flexibility. You might take a look What topics can I ask about here? A more on-topic question would be, after you've found some library through Google, etc., and tried to write to write some code against it, "I've written this code to sample this audio file. I'm calling this with the arguments that I think it needs, but I'm getting X as a result, but I expected something like Y. Why?" – Joshua Taylor Oct 22 '13 at 16:28

I cast the last vote; the off-topic notice now tells you why it was closed; requests for external resources are specifically off-topic:

Questions asking us to recommend or find a tool, library or favorite off-site resource are off-topic for Stack Overflow as they tend to attract opinionated answers and spam. Instead, describe the problem and what has been done so far to solve it.

Your question is asking for a library:

What libraries or classes (either native Android or open source third-party) are available to read time-sample/amplitude values from audio files in Android?

Instead, show us what problem you are trying to solve, and what didn't work so far. If there is a library that can help solve that problem, then that can be posted as an answer together with an explanation of how it can be used to solve your problem.

  • An external resource is only one possible way to do it. Maybe there's an Android class to do what I want. Also, what's "external" - is a Java class library "external" to Android? – user316117 Oct 22 '13 at 15:42
  • @user316117: The resource is external to Stack Overflow. – Martijn Pieters Oct 22 '13 at 15:42
  • "The resource is external to Stack Overflow". What does that mean? Are you saying a question about Android or Java classes is not allowed on Stack Overflow because they are external to S.O? What's internal to S.O.? – user316117 Oct 22 '13 at 15:48
  • 2
    We can give you help here; pointing to some library elsewhere is of no help to anyone else. How do you use that library? What is there to stop another user from bringing up a counter-recommendation somewhere else? We want answers to stand on their own, without having to click on a link. Links are fine, provided they are not the only content of an answer. "Recommend me a library or class" questions tend to attract just that; link only answers, opinions (no, mine is better, coz I sez so!) and spam (try our new improved FooBar widget that we just published for your very problem instead!). – Martijn Pieters Oct 22 '13 at 15:55

Your question was closed because it was off topic

"Questions asking us to recommend or find a tool, library or favorite off-site resource are off-topic for Stack Overflow as they tend to attract opinionated answers and spam. Instead, describe the problem and what has been done so far to solve it." – Luksprog, laalto, Michael, Mystic Magic, Martijn Pieters

*the close message on Your Question

  • I did describe the problem and no one posted a request for more details or information. What else should I have added? I haven't coded anything because I have not found suitable classes or libraries to do what I'm trying to do. Finding those classes or libraries was the point of the question. – user316117 Oct 22 '13 at 15:45
  • Use Google to find classes or libraries. SO doesn't do library recommendations. – Wooble Oct 22 '13 at 15:45
  • I did use Google and all the references to audio libraries that I found had to do with playback. If I had mentioned that would that have made the question better? – user316117 Oct 22 '13 at 15:50
  • Or alternatively, if I had simply asked "how" do I do this without mentioning classes or libraries would that have made the question better? – user316117 Oct 22 '13 at 15:51
  • Probably not better enough but it would at least prompt people to answer with specific steps to help you instead of link-only answers. The question would still be missing some kind of "That's what I tried so far..." part. – Jonathan Drapeau Oct 22 '13 at 16:00
  • @Jonathan Drapeau "The question would still be missing some kind of "That's what I tried so far..." part." SO gets lots of beginner questions where nothing has been tried so far because the poster doesn't know how to get started. This question is such a question. Remember, my original question is this thread is "how can I improve this question?" So what do you suggest? – user316117 Oct 22 '13 at 16:11
  • It's not because there's questions that doesn't follow the How to ask guidelines that you should also do it. I suggest you try to find a recording library, or searching google for recording audio and try acheive your goal and if after trying you still need help, ask on SO. – Jonathan Drapeau Oct 22 '13 at 16:41

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