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How to Play and Record Audio in Python?

  • Difficulty Level : Basic
  • Last Updated : 10 Oct, 2021
Geek Week

As python can mostly do everything one can imagine including playing and recording audio. This article will make you familiar with some python libraries and straight-forwards methods using those libraries for playing and recording sound in python, with some more functionalities in exchange for few extra intended python lines.

Most of the audio files are in MP3 and WAV file formats. WAV audio files are the simplest digital audio format with lossless high recording rates as a result WAV files are large compared to other formats. For the same reason, MP3 formats are used which are small in size and compresses files with very little difference to overall sound quality. Also, it is very easy to convert WAV to MP3 with open-source and free software which are widely available over the internet.

Playing Audio

Below mentioned are some python libraries with which you can play various audio formats in python including MP3 formats, WAV formats, and even NumPy arrays. 

Method 1: Using Playsound

The ready-to-use package for playing audio files with only a single line of code. One can play WAV or MP3 files with it. It’s a single function module with no dependencies for playing sound. 



Documentation of playsound library mentions that it has been tested for WAV and MP3 files, but may also work with other file formats whose testing was left up to the user. The playsound module contains only one thing – the function (also named) playsound.

Following are the code lines to play a file:

Python3




#import the library
from playsound import playsound
 
playsound('full_path/filename.mp3')

 
 

Output:

 

 

Method 2: Using Simpleaudio.



 

Example 1:

 

It is a cross-platform python library for playback of both mono and stereo WAV files with no other dependencies for audio playback. Python 3.7 and up is officially supported on macOS, Windows, and Linux. 

 

Following is the simple code to play a .wav format file although it consumes few more lines of code compared to the above library:

 

Python3




# import library
import simpleaudio as sa
 
# to check all the functions in succession
# to verify the installation
import simpleaudio.functionchecks as fc
fc.run_all()
 
# Path to file
f_name = 'myfile.wav'
 
# create WaveObject instances
# directly from WAV files on disk
wave_obj = sa.WaveObject.from_wave_file(f_name)   
 
# Audio playback
play = wave_obj.play()
           
# To stop after playing the whole audio
play.wait_done() 
play.stop()

Output:

Example 2:



simpleaudio can be utilized to play NumPy and Python arrays & bytes objects using simpleaudio.play_buffer() Numpy arrays can be used to store audio but there are some crucial requirements. If they are to store stereo audio, the array must have two columns that contain one channel of audio data each. They must also have a signed 16-bit integer d-type and the sample amplitude values must consequently fall between -32768 to 32767. Below is the code to generate a NumPy array and play it back using simpleaudio.play_buffer().

Python3




import numpy as np
import simplesound as sa
# Note frequencies
first_freq = 400 
nxt_freq = first_freq * 2 ** (7 / 12)
 
# samples per second
smpl_rate = 44100
# Note duration in seconds
seconds = 3 
 
# Generate array(timesteps) with
# seconds*sample_rate steps,
# ranging between 0 and seconds
arr = np.linspace(0, seconds, seconds * smpl_rate, False)
 
# Generate a 400Hz Sine wave
first_note = np.sin(first_freq * arr * 2 * np.pi)
nxt_note = np.sin(nxt_freq * arr * 2 * np.pi)
 
# merging the notes
tape = np.hstack((first_note,nxt_note))
 
# normalizing to 16-bit range
# after concatenating the note notes
tape *= 32767 / np.max(np.abs(tape))
 
# Converting to 16-bit data
tape = tape.astype(np.int16)
 
# Start audio
play = sa.play_buffer(tape, 1, 2, smpl_rate)
 
# Wait for audio playback to finish before exiting
play.wait_done()
play.stop()

Output:

Method 3: Using winsound.

Example 1:

It’s the built-in module to access a basic sound playing mechanism. It allows you to play WAV files only (it does not support any other file formats) or beep your speaker, but it works only on Windows as the name suggests WINsound. It’s the built-in module so no extra installation is required.

Python3




#Import windound
import winsound
 
winsound.PlaySound(path_to_file, winsound.SND_FILENAME)

Output:

Example 2:

It can also be used to beep your speaker or Playing Windows default sound(s). In the following code beep sound of 5000Hz is played for 1000ms following the windows exit sound. 



Python3




#Import windound
import winsound
 
#Beep at frequency = 5000 Hz for duration of 1000 ms
winsound.Beep(5000, 1000
 
#windows exit sound after completion of above
winsound.PlaySound("SystemExit", winsound.SND_ALIAS)

Output:

The main disadvantage of this library is that it is only for Windows operating system user and also do not support playback any other files rather than WAV formats.

Method 4: Using sounddevice.

This Python module provides bindings for the PortAudio library and a few convenience function(s) to play and record NumPy arrays that contain audio signals. It is available for Linux, macOS, and Windows operating systems.

In the following code, a line containing ‘ sf.read() ‘ extracts out all the raw audio data along with the sampling rate of the file as stored in its RIFF header; and ‘ sounddevice.wait() ‘ ensures that the script terminates after the ‘ sd.play(data,sr) ‘ finishes playing the audio.

Python3




# Import libraries
import sounddevice as sd
import soundfile as sf
 
# Extract data and sampling rate from file
array, smp_rt = sf.read(path_of_file, dtype = 'float32'
 
# start the playback
sd.play(array, smp_rt)
 
# Wait until file is done playing
status = sd.wait() 
 
# stop the sound
sd.stop()

Output:

Method 5: Using pydub.

 Even though pydub can easily open and save WAV files without any other dependencies, must need to have at least one audio playback package from (simpleaudio, pyaudio, ffplay, and avplay ) pre-installed. It gives pure python implementation for audio manipulation.



Following code imports two libraries, the first library to load the file and the second library to play the loaded file. Also, two ways are represented to load the .wav file.

Python3




from pydub import AudioSegment
from pydub.playback import play
 
tape = AudioSegment.from_file('path_to_myfile.wav', format='wav')
tape = AudioSegment.from_wav('path_to_myfile.wav')
 
play(tape)

 
 

Output:

 

 

Method 6: Using pyaudio.

 

PyAudio is another cross-platform audio library for Python. While it has more capability than simpleaudio library, such as recording and continuous audio streaming, it largely depends on having PortAudio which results in more complicated installation. It also provides Python bindings for PortAudio, the cross-platform audio I/O library as provided by python-sounddevice. With PyAudio, you can easily use Python to play and record audio on a variety of platform.

 



Python3




''' Play a WAVE file '''
import pyaudio
import wave
 
filename = 'path-to_file.wav'
 
# Set chunk size of 1024 samples per data frame
chunk = 1024 
 
# Open the soaudio/sound file
af = wave.open(filename, 'rb')
 
# Create an interface to PortAudio
pa = pyaudio.PyAudio()
 
# Open a .Stream object to write the WAV file
# 'output = True' indicates that the
# sound will be played rather than
# recorded and opposite can be used for recording
stream = pa.open(format = pa.get_format_from_width(af.getsampwidth()),
                channels = af.getnchannels(),
                rate = af.getframerate(),
                output = True)
 
# Read data in chunks
rd_data = af.readframes(chunk)
 
# Play the sound by writing the audio
# data to the Stream using while loop
while rd_data != '':
    stream.write(rd_data)
    rd_data = af.readframes(chunk)
 
# Close and terminate the stream
stream.stop_stream()
stream.close()
pa.terminate()

Output:

Recording Audio

Now just switching to the recording mode of the article. Few of the above-mentioned libraries are used for the same, both playing and recording can be explained collectively but for many, it might get a bit confusing. So different dedicated sections are preferred here.

Note- Before using any library for recording, make sure the microphone of your device is actually connected and is ON also not Muted. one can check the same using operating system features and settings.

Method 1. Using python-sounddevice

This library allows you to play (explained above) and record NumPy arrays containing audio signal information. This module requires scipy or wavio to save the recorded audio, this means scipy or wavio library should be pre-installed along with Numpy before using this package for recording.

Python3




# import required libraries
import sounddevice as sd
from scipy.io.wavfile import write
import wavio as wv
 
# Sampling frequency
frequency = 44400
 
# Recording duration in seconds
duration = 3.5
 
# to record audio from
# sound-device into a Numpy
recording = sd.rec(int(duration * frequency),
                   samplerate = freq, channels = 2)
 
# Wait for the audio to complete
sd.wait()
 
# using scipy to save the recording in .wav format
# This will convert the NumPy array
# to an audio file with the given sampling frequency
write("recording0.wav", freq, recording)
 
# using wavio to save the recording in .wav format
# This will convert the NumPy array to an audio
# file with the given sampling frequency
wv.write("recording1.wav", recording, freq, sampwidth=2)

 
 

Output:

 



 

As stated in the Audio section sounddevice had a default option to specify the channel and frequency for the repeated use. After that no need to pass this option as arguments in sd.rec() method. Following code represents the same along with one can also change the data type of recorded array from default type of float32 to others.

 

Python3




import sounddevice as sd
 
sd.default.samplerate = 4400
sd.default.channels = 2
 
myrecording = sd.rec(int(duration * fs))
 
# change the data type: pass a new argument in .rec() of dtype
# myrecording = sd.rec(int(duration * fs), dtype='float64')
 
sd.wait()

 
 

Simultaneous Playback & Recording

 

To Play an array named my_arr and Record at the same time. Here sample rate is smpl_rate

 

Python3




import sounddevice as sd
import numpy as np
 
smpl_rate = 44100
 
my_arr = np.random.uniform(-1,1,smpl_rate)
recordd= sd.playrec(my_arr, smpl_rate, channels=2)
 
sd.wait()

 
 



 

Method 2: Using pyaudio.

 

As above, we played audio using pyaudio by reading the pyaudio.Stream(). To record audio we must write to this same stream. Following is the code to record a few seconds of audio and save the same to a .wav file:

 

Python3




import pyaudio
import wave
 
# Record in chunks of 1024 samples
chunk = 1024 
 
# 16 bits per sample
sample_format = pyaudio.paInt16 
chanels = 2
 
# Record at 44400 samples per second
smpl_rt = 44400 
seconds = 4
filename = "path_of_file.wav"
 
# Create an interface to PortAudio
pa = pyaudio.PyAudio() 
 
stream = pa.open(format=sample_format, channels=chanels,
                 rate=smpl_rt, input=True,
                 frames_per_buffer=chunk)
 
print('Recording...')
 
# Initialize array taht be used for storing frames
frames = [] 
 
# Store data in chunks for 8 seconds
for i in range(0, int(smpl_rt / chunk * seconds)):
    data = stream.read(chunk)
    frames.append(data)
 
# Stop and close the stream
stream.stop_stream()
stream.close()
 
# Terminate - PortAudio interface
pa.terminate()
 
print('Done !!! ')
 
# Save the recorded data in a .wav format
sf = wave.open(filename, 'wb')
sf.setnchannels(chanels)
sf.setsampwidth(pa.get_sample_size(sample_format))
sf.setframerate(smpl_rt)
sf.writeframes(b''.join(frames))
sf.close()

Output:

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