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1.2.0 • Public • Published


ALSA aplay wrapper for Node.js

It provides basic audio capabilities.

Node-aplay works on:

  1. any Debian/Ubuntu system providing ALSA support has been installed.
  2. MAC OSX (comes with afplay by default)

ALSA stands for Advanced Linux Sound Architecture. It is a suite of hardware drivers, libraries and utilities which provide audio and MIDI functionality for the Linux operating system.

aplay is a simple native ALSA wav player (to reproduce .mp3 see mpg321).

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Get ready. Before we start the real work, please update the system.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

If you are running on Raspberry Pi, please update Raspbian

sudo rpi-update

Install ALSA for audio playback

sudo apt-get install alsa-base alsa-utils

USB Audio on Raspberry Pi

If you are planning on using a USB audio on Raspberry Pi you will need to set your USB audio device as the default device.

Edit /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf and replaced the line:

options snd-usb-audio index=-2

With the following lines:

options snd-usb-audio index=0 nrpacks=1
options snd-bcm2835 index=-2

After a reboot of your Raspberry Pi

aplay -l

Should output the following:

**** List of PLAYBACK Hardware Devices ****
card 0: XXXX [XXXX], device 0: USB Audio [USB Audio]
Subdevices: 1/1
Subdevice #0: subdevice #0

Your device volume will be set to 0 by default. Use the ALSA mixer to adjust the volume using your arrow keys:


Example Usage

Get it through npm:

$ npm install aplay --save

and then:

var Sound = require('aplay');
// fire and forget:
new Sound().play('/path/to/the/file/filename.wav');
// with ability to pause/resume:
var music = new Sound();
setTimeout(function () {
    music.pause(); // pause the music after five seconds
}, 5000);
setTimeout(function () {
  music.resume(); // and resume it two seconds after pausing
}, 7000);
// you can also listen for various callbacks:
music.on('complete', function () {
  console.log('Done with playback!');


The constructor accepts a config object where you can provide:

  • channel: specify a channel.

CLI Usage

$ node node_modules/aplay my-song.wav

It's simple as that.


npm i aplay

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