Manual browser: audioplay(1)

AUDIOPLAY(1) General Commands Manual AUDIOPLAY(1)


audioplayplay audio files


audioplay [-hiqV] [-B buffersize] [-b balance] [-d device] [-p port] [-v volume] [-f [-c channels] [-e encoding] [-P precision] [-s sample-rate]] [files ...]


The audioplay program copies the named audio files, or the standard input if no files are named, to the audio device. The special name “-” is assumed to mean the standard input. The input files must contain a valid audio header, and the encoding must be understood by the underlying driver.


The following options are available:
Set the write block size to buffersize. The default value is the play.buffer_size of the audio device.
Set the balance to balance. This value must be between 0 and 63.
When combined with the -f option, sets the number of channels to its argument.
Set the audio device to be device. The default is /dev/sound.
When combined with the -f option, sets the encoding to its argument. Possible values are mulaw, ulaw, alaw, slinear, linear, ulinear, adpcm, ADPCM, slinear_le, linear_le, ulinear_le, slinear_be, linear_be, ulinear_be, mpeg_l1_stream, mpeg_l1_packets, mpeg_l1_system, mpeg_l2_stream, mpeg_l2_packets, and mpeg_l2_system.
Force playing, even if the format is unknown. The -f flag can be used in addition with the -c, -e, -P, and -s flags to change the number of channels, encoding, precision, and sample rate.
Print a help message.
If the audio device cannot be opened, exit now rather than wait for it.
When combined with the -f option, sets the precision to its argument. This value must be either 4, 8, 16, 24 or 32.
Set the output port to port. The valid values of port are “speaker”, “headphone” and “line”.
Be quiet.
When combined with the -f option, sets the sample rate to its argument. This value must be a valid value for the audio device or an error will be returned.
Be verbose.
Set the volume (gain) to volume. This value must be between 0 and 255.


the audio control device to be used.
the audio device to be used.


Play a raw dump taken from an audio CD ROM:

audioplay -f -c 2 -P 16 -s 44100 -e slinear_le filename

The audioctl(1) program can be used to show the available supported encodings:

audioctl encodings


audioplay can be used to play Sun/NeXT audio files, and also RIFF WAVE audio files. audioplay can be configured in the “Netscape” web browser as the program to use when playing audio files.


If the audio device or the control device can not be opened, and error is returned.

If an invalid parameter is specified, an error is returned. The set of valid values for any audio parameter is specified by the hardware driver.


The audioplay program was first seen in SunOS 5. The NetBSD audioplay was first made available in NetBSD 1.4.


The audioplay program was written by Matthew R. Green <>.
December 30, 2010 NetBSD 7.0