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Posted 30 Mar 2011

PlaySound: A Better Way to Play Wav Files in C#

, 30 Mar 2011
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Using PlaySound with PInvoke.

The other day, I was whipping up a fun utility which played some Wav files. I was giving this to people whose desktop was Windows Server 2008 so using the Windows Media Player COM object wasn’t an option and SoundPlayer didn’t seem to work with any of the Wav files I had for some reason.

Back in my C++ days, I used to do this all the time with winmm.dll’s PlaySound (and have a piece of freeware which uses this to a great extent).

Well, once again, as a C# programmer, I am saved by PInvoke!

public static class Wav
    [DllImport("winmm.dll", SetLastError = true)]
    static extern bool PlaySound(string pszSound, UIntPtr hmod, uint fdwSound);

    public enum SoundFlags
        /// <summary>play synchronously (default)</summary>
        SND_SYNC = 0×0000,
        /// <summary>play asynchronously</summary>
        SND_ASYNC = 0×0001,
        /// <summary>silence (!default) if sound not found</summary>
        SND_NODEFAULT = 0×0002,
        /// <summary>pszSound points to a memory file</summary>
        SND_MEMORY = 0×0004,
        /// <summary>loop the sound until next sndPlaySound</summary>
        SND_LOOP = 0×0008,
        /// <summary>don’t stop any currently playing sound</summary>
        SND_NOSTOP = 0×0010,
        /// <summary>Stop Playing Wave</summary>
        SND_PURGE = 0×40,
        /// <summary>don’t wait if the driver is busy</summary>
        SND_NOWAIT = 0×00002000,
        /// <summary>name is a registry alias</summary>
        SND_ALIAS = 0×00010000,
        /// <summary>alias is a predefined id</summary>
        SND_ALIAS_ID = 0×00110000,
        /// <summary>name is file name</summary>
        SND_FILENAME = 0×00020000,
        /// <summary>name is resource name or atom</summary>
        SND_RESOURCE = 0×00040004

    public static void Play(string strFileName)
        PlaySound(strFileName, UIntPtr.Zero, 
           (uint)(SoundFlags.SND_FILENAME | SoundFlags.SND_ASYNC));


FileInfo fi = new FileInfo(sFile);


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

Architect Avaya Inc.
Ireland Ireland
Formerly a C++ client developer, nowadays I'm all about C# and ASP.NET. Over the years I have mastered some and played with many aspects of .NET.

Follow my blog as I catalogue the more arcane problems I encounter and their solutions at

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Comments and Discussions

QuestionMSDN article with same info Pin
TheProgrammer23116-Apr-16 7:33
memberTheProgrammer23116-Apr-16 7:33 
QuestionCompile errors in implementing this solution Pin
Aaditya200611-Jul-12 18:52
memberAaditya200611-Jul-12 18:52 
AnswerRe: Compile errors in implementing this solution Pin
newkie12-Jul-12 0:00
membernewkie12-Jul-12 0:00 
GeneralRe: Compile errors in implementing this solution Pin
Member 904013713-Sep-12 6:06
memberMember 904013713-Sep-12 6:06 
GeneralRe: Compile errors in implementing this solution Pin
Member 904013713-Sep-12 6:37
memberMember 904013713-Sep-12 6:37 
GeneralRe: Compile errors in implementing this solution Pin
Frank T. Clark8-May-13 4:03
professionalFrank T. Clark8-May-13 4:03 
GeneralNice info Pin
lukilooks30-Mar-11 19:04
memberlukilooks30-Mar-11 19:04 

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