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Playing MP3 Files in Python with Pydub and Pyaudio

mathewthe2 profile image Mathew Chan Updated on ・1 min read


Pyaudio allows us to play and record sounds with Python. To play MP3, however, we first need to convert the MP3 file to WAV format with ffmpeg. To use ffmpeg in Python, we use an interface tool called Pydub, which directly calls our ffmpeg executable and integrates with Pyaudio.


pip install pyaudio
pip install pydub
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Playing sound

from pydub import AudioSegment

song = AudioSegment.from_mp3('test.mp3')
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If ffmpeg isn't installed on the machine, AudioSegment will fail to locate the mp3 file. There are a few solutions:

  1. Install ffmpeg and add to environment path
  2. Copy ffmpeg to the same folder as the python file
  3. Static link ffmpeg to pydub

Let's talk about the third option.

Static linking ffmpeg

By static linking ffmpeg, our program would be portable: users would not need to manually install ffmpeg to their OS.

Download ffmpeg and copy it to your script directory.

import os
import platform
from pathlib import Path
from pydub import AudioSegment

AudioSegment.ffmpeg = path_to_ffmpeg()
platform_name = platform.system()
if platform_name == 'Windows':
    os.environ["PATH"] += os.pathsep + str(Path(path_to_ffmpeg()).parent)
    os.environ["LD_LIBRARY_PATH"] += ":" + str(Path(path_to_ffmpeg()).parent)

def path_to_ffmpeg():
    SCRIPT_DIR = Path(__file__).parent 
    if platform_name == 'Windows':
        return str(Path(SCRIPT_DIR, "win", "ffmpeg", "ffmpeg.exe"))
    elif platform_name == 'Darwin':
        return str(Path(SCRIPT_DIR, "mac", "ffmpeg", "ffmpeg"))
        return str(Path(SCRIPT_DIR, "linux", "ffmpeg", "ffmpeg"))

song = AudioSegment.from_mp3('test')
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The program should now be able to run and play the mp3 file. The path added to os environment is temporary and would be gone when the python program is completed.

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