I am trying to play a .ogg audio file to alert me when a rsync operation is done. However when aplay is playing the file it just creates white static noise. The manual entry only says .aiff are not supported.

The specific command is aplay -f dat /usr/share/sounds/KDE-Im-Irc-Event.ogg

  • Can any other programs play that ogg file? What does the ogg file have to do with aiff?
    – Xen2050
    May 5, 2017 at 6:02
  • Yes, VLC can play the files. The .aiff part was just to clarify that the manual entry says the only filetype not playable is aiff, not necessarily .ogg
    – E. l4d3
    May 5, 2017 at 6:12

1 Answer 1


You cannot decode ogg files with aplay. According to the man page, the only formats aplay understands are voc, wav, raw and au. My guess is that aplay interprets the ogg file as raw data, hence the white noise.

Use some other program that can actually decode ogg files, e.g. mplayer, ogg123 etc.

  • Thanks, that was a quick one. Must have overseen it when reading the manual.
    – E. l4d3
    May 5, 2017 at 6:28
  • 7
    Or try paplay (It understands all audio file formats supported by libsndfile) or vlc can play only in a terminal too. Or sox (Debian + others?) has play
    – Xen2050
    May 6, 2017 at 23:46

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