The NAudio Documentation Wiki
What is NAudio?
NAudio is an open source audio API for .NET written in C# by Mark Heath, with contributions from many other developers. It is intended to provide a comprehensive set of useful utility classes from which you can construct your own audio application.
NAudio was created because the Framework Class Library that shipped with .NET 1.0 had no support for playing audio. The System.Media namespace introduced in .NET 2.0 provided a small amount of support, and the MediaElement in WPF and Silverlight took that
a bit further. The vision behind NAudio is to provide a comprehensive set of audio related classes allowing easy development of utilities that play or record audio, or manipulate audio files in some way.
Can I Use NAudio in my Project?
NAudio is licensed under the Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL) which means that you can use it in whatever project you like including commercial projects. Of course we would love it if you share any bug-fixes or enhancements you made to the original NAudio
Is .NET Performance Good Enough for Audio?
While .NET cannot compete with unmanaged languages for very low latency audio work, it still performs better than many people would expect. On a fairly modest PC, you can quite easily mix multiple WAV files together, including pass them through various effects
and codecs, play back glitch free with a latency of around 50ms.
How can I get help?
There are three main ways to get help. First, you can ask a question on the NAudio discussion forums here on CodePlex. This is the best option when you've written some code and want to ask why
it's not working as you expect. I attempt to answer all questions, but since this is a spare time project, occasionally I get behind.
You can also ask on StackOverflow and
tag your question with naudio, if your question is a "how do I..." sort of question. This gives you a better chance of getting a quick answer. Please try to search first to see if your question
has already been answered elsewhere.
Finally, I am occasionally able to offer paid support for situations where you need quick advice, bugfixes or new features. Use the contact feature of the Codeplex website to get in touch with
Mark Heath if you wish to pursue this option.
How do I submit a patch?
I welcome contributions to NAudio and have accepted many patches, but if you want your code to be included, please familiarise yourself with the following guidelines:
- Your submission must be your own work, and able to be released under the MS-PL license.
- You will need to make sure your code conforms to the layout and naming conventions used elsewhere in NAudio.
- Remember that there are many existing users of NAudio. A patch that changes the public interface is not likely to be accepted.
- Try to write "clean code" - avoid long functions and long classes. Try to add a new feature by creating a new class rather than putting loads of extra code inside an existing one.
- I don't usually accept contributions I can't test, so please write unit tests (using NUnit) if at all possible. If not, give a clear explanation of how your feature can be unit tested and provide test data if appropriate. Tell me what you did to test it
yourself, including what operating systems and soundcards you used.
- If you are adding a new feature, please consider writing a short tutorial on how to use it.
- Unless your patch is a small bugfix, I will code review it and give you feedback. You will need to be willing to make the recommended changes before it can be integrated into the main code.
- The easiest way to provide a patch is to create your own fork on Mercurial and issue a pull request. See
this video if you are new to Mercurial.
- Please also bear in mind that when you add a feature to NAudio, that feature will generate future support requests and bug reports. Are you willing to stick around on the forums and help out people using it?
How do I...?
The best way to learn how to use NAudio is to download the source code and look at the two demo applications - NAudioDemo and NAudioWpfDemo. These demonstrate several of the key capabilities of the NAudio framework. They also have the advantage of being
kept up to date, whilst some of the tutorials you will find on the internet refer to old versions of NAudio.
Getting Started with NAudio
The easiest way to install NAudio into your project is to install the latest
NuGet NAudio package. Prerelease versions of NAudio are also often made available on NuGet.
Alternatively, you can download the latest release in binary format from the
downloads tab here at CodePlex.
NAudio comes with several demo applications which are the quickest way to see how to use the various features of NAudio. You can download compiled demo applications from the
downloads tab, and explore the
source code here.
NAudio Training Courses
To be successful developing applications that process digital audio, there are some key concepts that you need to understand. To help developers quickly get up to speed with what they need to know before trying to use NAudio, I have created the
Digital Audio Fundamentals course, which covers sample rates, bit depths, file formats, codecs, decibels, clipping, aliasing, synthesis, visualisations, effects and much more. In particular, the fourth module on signal chains is vital background information
if you are to be effective with NAudio. The course is available through Pluralsight, which isn't free, but you can take out a free trial, or for a very reasonable price take a 1 month subscription, allowing you to watch not only that course, but anything else
in their library.
There is now a follow-on course available,
Audio Programming with NAudio which contains seven hours of training material covering all the major features of NAudio. It is highly recommended that you take this course if you intend to create an application with NAudio.