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I have a question about my Ask Different post: Can I set custom album artwork that isn't included in one of the songs?

My answer was deleted by a mod. I believe my answer is justified because:

1) While most of what I wrote can be called a comment, I also added my own improvements of one of the answers, and elaborated on what I thought the iTunes library mechanics was. This means that it's more than "just a comment" and has value as an answer.

2) In my post, I commented on and compared both existing answers, which makes it unsuitable as a comment under either answer.

3) I've never posted anything on Apple SE, and therefore, don't have enough reputation to post a comment. I've seen countless "can't comment because reputation not enough, so posting as an answer" posts across the whole SE network, one example of which is even from my own question. Yet somehow my post on Apple SE isn't permitted. This double standard is ridiculous.

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    Firstly, welcome to Ask Different and thanks for asking on Meta. :) Probably best for me to let the Mod in question to respond. But, I did want to comment on your 3rd point: on here (as with most SE sites I've been on), the Mods will usually delete answers or convert them to comments if the user has obviously posted an answer instead of a comment due to their lack of reputation. So, on this point I don't see a double standard. I did look at your example question from SO, but in that case the 'answer' would be difficult to convert to comments and it also wasn't flagged for action by a Mod. – Monomeeth Apr 17 at 3:21
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Thanks for reaching out about this on Meta. I'm the mod who handled the "not an answer" flag on your post, I'm glad to share my thoughts on this.

Generally speaking

  • In general we look for answers which actually answer the question asked, posts comparing the merits of existing answers don't provide that. They may work on classical forum-style sites but not really on Q&A sites like Stack Exchange. The mechanism to approve/disapprove of an answer on SE is voting.
  • Comments are of course welcome but should be focused on improving the post they are pointed at. The comments page in the Help Center explains this in more detail.

Looking at your post

  • The first part critizes another answer for missing the point of the question and offering a wrong solution. The answer critized received several upvotes so even though it may not have fully answered the question it nevertheless was helpful to some people over the years when looking for answers about how to store album art. OTOH your comment doesn't really count as "leaving constructive criticism that guides the author in improving the post" as it doesn't give any indication how the answer could be improved. Considering this, and also considering that the answer in question was posted eleven years ago so its author may or may not even be active on the site any more, I didn't see value in converting that part of your answer into a comment
  • The second part of your answer read like a comment as well, so I applied the same thinking as above and accepted the "not an answer flag". I just reread the second part now though and realized that I indeed missed the answer hiding in there. I've edited your answer to focus on that part and undid the deletion.

So thanks again for bringing this up, it got me to reread your answer more carefully and see what I missed the first time.

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I wanted to expand just a bit more on re: the points you made.

Calling out an author of the post which is very bad form. This isn't a forum like Reddit or Disqus. You can be 180° from another answer and that's perfectly fine, but focus on your answer and why it's the correct one.

Secondly, focus on your answer to the question, not a rebuttal or voicing support to other answers. Again, this isn't a forum. This is what voting is for and why it's important; up/down vote as you see fit.

I've never posted anything on Apple SE, and therefore, don't have enough reputation to post a comment. I've seen countless "can't comment because reputation not enough, so posting as an answer" posts across the whole SE network, one example of which is even from my own question. Yet somehow my post on Apple SE isn't permitted. This double standard is ridiculous.

First, while you see this as a comment, it's actually a better answer than the highest up voted answer. That said...

  • S.O is a different community and what they do/don't do over there has no relation to what we do here. Pointing to behavior on one site to justify the behavior on another is not a justification. For the record S.O has the same guidelines we have; we can't speak to why they allow comments as answers and the frequency in which it happens.

  • Commenting on other peoples post is a privilege that's earned! This is done for a reason - the expectation is that the user become acclimated to the sites norms before engaging with users answers in a very public way. Why? S.E. Meta answers this question: Why do I need 50 reputation to comment? What can I do instead? The idea is for new users to gain experience before commenting so that you're participating in a meaningful way.

But what if your comment is a good one? It probably is. It's just the hurdle you have to jump over to earn that privilege.

Finally, we welcome everyone and want everyone to participate. That said, folks need to keep with the established set of norms and rules otherwise things become chaotic. I'm absolutely positive you have valuable insights to share and we want you to do so.

So, to get the most out of this community and to have the best experience, I always recommend that new users take the Tour because it will help set your expectations as you acclimate to this site..

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