Decode audio files using whichever backend is available. The library currently supports:

Use the library like so:

with audioread.audio_open(filename) as f: print(f.channels, f.samplerate, f.duration) for buf in f: do_something(buf)

Buffers in the file can be accessed by iterating over the object returned from audio_open. Each buffer is a bytes-like object (buffer, bytes, or bytearray) containing raw 16-bit little-endian signed integer PCM data. (Currently, these PCM format parameters are not configurable, but this could be added to most of the backends.)

Additional values are available as fields on the audio file object:

  • channels is the number of audio channels (an integer).
  • samplerate is given in Hz (an integer).
  • duration is the length of the audio in seconds (a float).

The audio_open function transparently selects a backend that can read the file. (Each backend is implemented in a module inside the audioread package.) If no backends succeed in opening the file, a DecodeError exception is raised. This exception is only used when the file type is unsupported by the backends; if the file doesn’t exist, a standard IOError will be raised.

A second optional parameter to audio_open specifies which backends to try (instead of trying them all, which is the default). You can use the available_backends function to get a list backends that are usable on the current system.

Audioread is “universal” and supports both Python 2 (2.6+) and Python 3 (3.2+).


The included script demonstrates using this package to convert compressed audio files to WAV files.