It seems, at least to me, that every question tagged soundcard would properly also be marked sound, and vice versa. Therefore, soundcard should be a synonym of sound.
Well there is no doubt that both have a considerable overlap, both in meaning, and in usage. However taking them literally they are not really synonyms:
is a general purpose term which may include all, speakers, headphones, Bluetooth, sound system, pulseaudio, jacks, ... (long list).
should be restricted to the hardware, the chips that produce sound (and eventually their drivers or settings).
So "soundcard" is a subset of "sound" (similar to "monitor" - "screen" - "graphics" - "ati" - "nvidia"), really. Having a separate tag "soundcard" may be of some value for people seeking advice for a driver to their card, or for making settings on a specific card. These questions could easily be covered by the tag "sound" too, but when searching it may help to narrow the search for questions tagged with "soundcard".
Not that I can offer a specific question where this matters here, and the differences may be minimal, but I vote to let them coexist. If needed we may consider pointing to the appropriate sister-tag in the tag wiki to avoid wrong use of a tag.
1Maybe disambiguation of the
soundtag in favor of
pulseaudioetc.?– BraiamNov 8, 2013 at 12:35
Nope. Out ~140 questions, 107 also have the sound. Is safe to say that they are one and the same (if you are asking about sound cards you are asking about sound, no?) through, soundcard can refer about hardware which also is the main use of the sound tag anyways.
sound tag seems also pretty vague, if Takkat can shine his (her?) wisdom and tell what the tag needs (if it needs something, maybe better tag wiki.... IDK) so it gets better used... we would be glad, right guys?
/sound/ questions are always going to be related to the hardware in some way, I think - otherwise they are off-topic. I mean, you wouldn't ask a question here about "sound", but rather about issues with your device's sound, which always means issues with your device's sound card.– RichardNov 7, 2013 at 22:03
(Also, I think /audio/ is far less vague than /sound/, and it is unfortunate that it is a synonym of /sound/ rather than vice versa. But that's for another day, perhaps.)– RichardNov 7, 2013 at 22:04
I agree with Takkat, but stats don't lie (on AU). Nov 8, 2013 at 3:56
As Takkat said, "but when searching it may help to narrow the search for questions tagged with "soundcard". I think, for this reason the tags can co-exist, even both of them are used– AnwarNov 13, 2013 at 6:08
The soundcard tag is useful for people who have a special interest in that area, such as people who are running Ubuntu Studio. If having a soundcard tag could contribute in any way towards helping people to use Ubuntu to produce creative content, then I am all for it.