arecord, aplay - command-line sound recorder and player for ALSA soundcard
] [filename [filename]] ...
is a command-line soundfile recorder for the ALSA soundcard
driver. It supports several file formats and multiple soundcards with multiple
devices. If recording with interleaved mode samples the file is automatically
split before the 2GB filesize.
is much the same, only it plays instead of recording. For supported
soundfile formats, the sampling rate, bit depth, and so forth can be
automatically determined from the soundfile header.
If filename is not specified, the standard output or input is used. The
utility accepts multiple filenames.
- -h, --help
- Help: show syntax.
- Print current version.
- -l, --list-devices
- List all soundcards and digital audio devices
- -L, --list-pcms
- List all PCMs defined
- -D, --device=NAME
- Select PCM by name
- -q --quiet
- Quiet mode. Suppress messages (not sound :))
- -t, --file-type TYPE
- File type (voc, wav, raw or au). If this parameter is
omitted the WAVE format is used.
- -c, --channels=#
- The number of channels. The default is one channel. Valid
values are 1 through 32.
- -f --format=FORMAT
- Sample format
Recognized sample formats are: S8 U8 S16_LE S16_BE U16_LE U16_BE S24_LE
S24_BE U24_LE U24_BE S32_LE S32_BE U32_LE U32_BE FLOAT_LE FLOAT_BE
FLOAT64_LE FLOAT64_BE IEC958_SUBFRAME_LE IEC958_SUBFRAME_BE MU_LAW A_LAW
IMA_ADPCM MPEG GSM SPECIAL S24_3LE S24_3BE U24_3LE U24_3BE S20_3LE S20_3BE
U20_3LE U20_3BE S18_3LE S18_3BE U18_3LE
Some of these may not be available on selected hardware
The available format shortcuts are:
-f cd (16 bit little endian, 44100, stereo) [-f S16_LE -c2 -r44100]
-f cdr (16 bit big endian, 44100, stereo) [-f S16_BE -c2 -f44100]
-f dat (16 bit little endian, 48000, stereo) [-f S16_LE -c2 -r48000]
If no format is given U8 is used.
- -r, --rate=#<Hz>
- Sampling rate in Hertz. The default rate is 8000 Hertz. If
the value specified is less than 300, it is taken as the rate in
kilohertz. Valid values are 2000 through 192000 Hertz.
- -d, --duration=#
- Interrupt after # seconds. A value of zero means infinity.
The default is zero, so if this option is omitted then the arecord process
will run until it is killed.
- -s, --sleep-min=#
- Min ticks to sleep. The default is not to sleep.
- -M, --mmap
- Use memory-mapped (mmap) I/O mode for the audio stream. If
this option is not set, the read/write I/O mode will be used.
- -N, --nonblock
- Open the audio device in non-blocking mode. If the device
is busy the program will exit immediately. If this option is not set the
program will block until the audio device is available again.
- -F, --period-time=#
- Distance between interrupts is # microseconds. If no period
time and no period size is given then a quarter of the buffer time is
- -B, --buffer-time=#
- Buffer duration is # microseconds If no buffer time and no
buffer size is given then the maximal allowed buffer time but not more
than 500ms is set.
- Distance between interrupts is # frames If no period size
and no period time is given then a quarter of the buffer size is set.
- Buffer duration is # frames If no buffer time and no buffer
size is given then the maximal allowed buffer time but not more than 500ms
- -A, --avail-min=#
- Min available space for wakeup is # microseconds
- -R, --start-delay=#
- Delay for automatic PCM start is # microseconds (relative
to buffer size if <= 0)
- -T, --stop-delay=#
- Delay for automatic PCM stop is # microseconds from
- -v, --verbose
- Show PCM structure and setup. This option is accumulative.
The VU meter is displayed when this is given twice or three times.
- -V, --vumeter=TYPE
- Specifies the VU-meter type, either stereo or
mono. The stereo VU-meter is available only for 2-channel stereo
samples with interleaved format.
- -I, --separate-channels
- One file for each channel. This option disables
max-file-time and use-strftime, and ignores SIGUSR1. The stereo VU meter
is not available with separate channels.
- Playback. This is the default if the program is invoked by
- Record. This is the default if the program is invoked by
- -i, --interactive
- Allow interactive operation via stdin. Currently only
pause/resume via space or enter key is implemented.
- -m, --chmap=ch1,ch2,...
- Give the channel map to override or follow. Pass channel
position strings like FL, FR, etc.
If a device supports the override of the channel map, aplay tries to
pass the given channel map. If it doesn't support the channel map override
but still it provides the channel map information, aplay tries to
rearrange the channel order in the buffer to match with the returned
channel map from the device.
- Disable automatic rate resample.
- Disable automatic channel conversions.
- Disable automatic format conversions.
- Disable software volume control (softvol).
- Test ring buffer position.
- Test coefficient for ring buffer position; default is 8.
Expression for validation is: coef * (buffer_size / 2). Minimum value is
- Do not wait for the ring buffer ‐ eats the whole
- While recording, when the output file has been accumulating
sound for this long, close it and open a new output file. Default is the
maximum size supported by the file format: 2 GiB for WAV files. This
option has no effect if --separate-channels is specified.
- --process-id-file <file name>
- aplay writes its process ID here, so other programs can
send signals to it.
- When recording, interpret %-codes in the file name
parameter using the strftime facility whenever the output file is opened.
The important strftime codes are: %Y is the year, %m month, %d day of the
month, %H hour, %M minute and %S second. In addition, %v is the file
number, starting at 1. When this option is specified, intermediate
directories for the output file are created automatically. This option has
no effect if --separate-channels is specified.
- Dump hw_params of the device preconfigured status to
stderr. The dump lists capabilities of the selected device such as
supported formats, sampling rates, numbers of channels, period and buffer
bytes/sizes/times. For raw device hw:X this option basically lists
hardware capabilities of the soundcard.
- Disables recovery attempts when errors (e.g. xrun) are
encountered; the aplay process instead aborts immediately.
When recording, SIGINT, SIGTERM and SIGABRT will close the output file and exit.
SIGUSR1 will close the output file, open a new one, and continue recording.
However, SIGUSR1 does not work with --separate-channels.
- aplay -c 1 -t raw -r 22050 -f mu_law foobar
- will play the raw file "foobar" as a 22050-Hz,
mono, 8-bit, Mu-Law .au file.
- arecord -d 10 -f cd -t wav -D copy foobar.wav
- will record foobar.wav as a 10-second, CD-quality wave
file, using the PCM "copy" (which might be defined in the user's
.asoundrc file as:
- arecord -t wav --max-file-time 30 mon.wav
- Record from the default audio source in monaural, 8,000
samples per second, 8 bits per sample. Start a new file every 30 seconds.
File names are mon-nn.wav, where nn increases from 01. The file after
mon-99.wav is mon-100.wav.
- arecord -f cd -t wav --max-file-time 3600 --use-strftime
- Record in stereo from the default audio source. Create a
new file every hour. The files are placed in directories based on their
start dates and have names which include their start times and file
Note that .aiff files are not currently supported.
are by Jaroslav Kysela <email@example.com>
This document is by Paul Winkler <firstname.lastname@example.org>. Updated for Alsa
0.9 by James Tappin <email@example.com>