34.4. winsound — Sound-playing interface for Windows

Platforms: Windows

New in version 1.5.2.

The winsound module provides access to the basic sound-playing machinery provided by Windows platforms. It includes functions and several constants.

winsound.Beep(frequency, duration)

Beep the PC’s speaker. The frequency parameter specifies frequency, in hertz, of the sound, and must be in the range 37 through 32,767. The duration parameter specifies the number of milliseconds the sound should last. If the system is not able to beep the speaker, RuntimeError is raised.

New in version 1.6.

winsound.PlaySound(sound, flags)

Call the underlying PlaySound() function from the Platform API. The sound parameter may be a filename, audio data as a string, or None. Its interpretation depends on the value of flags, which can be a bitwise ORed combination of the constants described below. If the sound parameter is None, any currently playing waveform sound is stopped. If the system indicates an error, RuntimeError is raised.


Call the underlying MessageBeep() function from the Platform API. This plays a sound as specified in the registry. The type argument specifies which sound to play; possible values are -1, MB_ICONASTERISK, MB_ICONEXCLAMATION, MB_ICONHAND, MB_ICONQUESTION, and MB_OK, all described below. The value -1 produces a “simple beep”; this is the final fallback if a sound cannot be played otherwise.

New in version 2.3.


The sound parameter is the name of a WAV file. Do not use with SND_ALIAS.


The sound parameter is a sound association name from the registry. If the registry contains no such name, play the system default sound unless SND_NODEFAULT is also specified. If no default sound is registered, raise RuntimeError. Do not use with SND_FILENAME.

All Win32 systems support at least the following; most systems support many more:

PlaySound() name Corresponding Control Panel Sound name
'SystemAsterisk' Asterisk
'SystemExclamation' Exclamation
'SystemExit' Exit Windows
'SystemHand' Critical Stop
'SystemQuestion' Question

For example:

import winsound
# Play Windows exit sound.
winsound.PlaySound("SystemExit", winsound.SND_ALIAS)

# Probably play Windows default sound, if any is registered (because
# "*" probably isn't the registered name of any sound).
winsound.PlaySound("*", winsound.SND_ALIAS)

Play the sound repeatedly. The SND_ASYNC flag must also be used to avoid blocking. Cannot be used with SND_MEMORY.


The sound parameter to PlaySound() is a memory image of a WAV file, as a string.


This module does not support playing from a memory image asynchronously, so a combination of this flag and SND_ASYNC will raise RuntimeError.


Stop playing all instances of the specified sound.


This flag is not supported on modern Windows platforms.


Return immediately, allowing sounds to play asynchronously.


If the specified sound cannot be found, do not play the system default sound.


Do not interrupt sounds currently playing.


Return immediately if the sound driver is busy.


This flag is not supported on modern Windows platforms.


Play the SystemDefault sound.


Play the SystemExclamation sound.


Play the SystemHand sound.


Play the SystemQuestion sound.


Play the SystemDefault sound.

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