How to use platform invoke to play a WAV file

The following C# code example illustrates how to use platform invoke services to play a WAV sound file on the Windows operating system.


This example code uses DllImportAttribute to import winmm.dll's PlaySound method entry point as Form1 PlaySound(). The example has a simple Windows Form with a button. Clicking the button opens a standard windows OpenFileDialog dialog box so that you can open a file to play. When a wave file is selected, it's played by using the PlaySound() method of the winmm.dll library. For more information about this method, see Using the PlaySound function with Waveform-Audio Files. Browse and select a file that has a .wav extension, and then select Open to play the wave file by using platform invoke. A text box shows the full path of the file selected.

using System.Runtime.InteropServices;

namespace WinSound;

public partial class Form1 : Form
    private TextBox textBox1;
    private Button button1;

    public Form1()  // Constructor.

    [DllImport("winmm.DLL", EntryPoint = "PlaySound", SetLastError = true, CharSet = CharSet.Unicode, ThrowOnUnmappableChar = true)]
    private static extern bool PlaySound(string szSound, System.IntPtr hMod, PlaySoundFlags flags);

    public enum PlaySoundFlags : int
        SND_SYNC = 0x0000,
        SND_ASYNC = 0x0001,
        SND_NODEFAULT = 0x0002,
        SND_LOOP = 0x0008,
        SND_NOSTOP = 0x0010,
        SND_NOWAIT = 0x00002000,
        SND_FILENAME = 0x00020000,
        SND_RESOURCE = 0x00040004

    private void button1_Click(object sender, System.EventArgs e)
        var dialog1 = new OpenFileDialog();

        dialog1.Title = "Browse to find sound file to play";
        dialog1.InitialDirectory = @"c:\";
        dialog1.Filter = "Wav Files (*.wav)|*.wav";
        dialog1.FilterIndex = 2;
        dialog1.RestoreDirectory = true;

        if (dialog1.ShowDialog() == DialogResult.OK)
            textBox1.Text = dialog1.FileName;
            PlaySound(dialog1.FileName, new System.IntPtr(), PlaySoundFlags.SND_SYNC);

    private void Form1_Load(object sender, EventArgs e)
        // Including this empty method in the sample because in the IDE,
        // when users click on the form, generates code that looks for a default method
        // with this name. We add it here to prevent confusion for those using the samples.

The Open Files dialog box is filtered to show only files that have a .wav extension through the filter settings.

Compiling the code

Create a new C# Windows Forms Application project in Visual Studio and name it WinSound. Copy the preceding code, and paste it over the contents of the Form1.cs file. Copy the following code, and paste it in the Form1.Designer.cs file, in the InitializeComponent() method, after any existing code.

this.button1 = new System.Windows.Forms.Button();
this.textBox1 = new System.Windows.Forms.TextBox();
// button1
this.button1.Location = new System.Drawing.Point(192, 40);
this.button1.Name = "button1";
this.button1.Size = new System.Drawing.Size(88, 24);
this.button1.TabIndex = 0;
this.button1.Text = "Browse";
this.button1.Click += new System.EventHandler(this.button1_Click);
// textBox1
this.textBox1.Location = new System.Drawing.Point(8, 40);
this.textBox1.Name = "textBox1";
this.textBox1.Size = new System.Drawing.Size(168, 20);
this.textBox1.TabIndex = 1;
this.textBox1.Text = "File path";
// Form1
this.AutoScaleDimensions = new System.Drawing.SizeF(5, 13);
this.ClientSize = new System.Drawing.Size(292, 266);
this.Name = "Form1";
this.Text = "Platform Invoke WinSound C#";

Compile and run the code.

See also