How do I play audio files in xamarin forms?

Xamarin Forms is a cross-platform UI framework that allows developers to build native mobile apps for iOS, Android, and Windows using C# and the .NET framework. It provides a single codebase from which you can deploy to multiple platforms.

Playing audio is a common requirement for many mobile apps. For example, you may want to play background music, sound effects, or include audio playback functionality like a media player. There are a few different ways to play audio files in Xamarin Forms:

  • Use the native playback APIs on each platform
  • Add a cross-platform media plugin
  • Stream audio files

In this guide, we will cover the main approaches for implementing audio playback in Xamarin Forms and discuss some best practices.


Before you can start developing Xamarin apps to play audio files, there are a few prerequisites you need to have in place:

First, you’ll need to have Visual Studio installed with the Xamarin platform. This provides all the tools you need to build cross-platform mobile apps with C# and .NET. Make sure to select the Mobile App Development workload when installing Visual Studio.

Next, you’ll want to have a basic understanding of C# and XAML. You don’t need to be an expert, but having some familiarity with C# syntax, classes, methods, and XAML for declarative UI development will help you pick up Xamarin development faster. There are many online courses that can teach you the basics if needed.

With Visual Studio installed and some C#/XAML knowledge, you’ll have the key prerequisites in place to start building Xamarin apps using audio playback capabilities.

Add Media Plugin

Xamarin Forms does not include built-in support for audio playback. To enable audio functionality, we need to install a third-party plugin.

One popular plugin is the MediaPlugin. This plugin provides a simple, lightweight audio player that works across all major platforms including iOS, Android, and Windows.

Some key benefits of the MediaPlugin include:

  • Uniform API across platforms
  • Background audio support
  • Adjustable volume control
  • Stream audio files from remote URLs

To install MediaPlugin, we can use the NuGet package manager:

  1. Right click on solution and select Manage NuGet Packages
  2. Search for Xam.Plugin.SimpleAudioPlayer
  3. Install the latest version into all projects

This will automatically add the required references to use MediaPlugin in our Xamarin Forms solution.

Initialize in Platform Code

To initialize and use the Media Plugin in your Xamarin.Forms app, you need to call CrossMedia.Current in your platform specific projects:

  • For iOS, call it in AppDelegate.cs in the FinishedLaunching method:
  • CrossMedia.Current.Initialize();

  • For Android, call it in MainActivity.cs in the OnCreate method:
  • CrossMedia.Current.Initialize();

This initializes the Media Plugin in each platform project. See CrossMedia.cs for more details on implementation.

Play Audio Files

The easiest way to play audio files in Xamarin Forms is by using the Xamarin.Essentials: AudioPlayer API. This allows you to play, pause, and stop audio files in a cross-platform way.

To play an audio file, first create a new AudioPlayer instance, then call the Play method to start playback. For example:

var player = AudioPlayer.Current;


The Play method accepts the audio file as a Stream or file path string. It will begin playing the audio immediately.

You can pause playback by calling the Pause method on AudioPlayer. Then resume again with Play. To stop completely, use the Stop method.

The AudioPlayer has events you can subscribe to like Finished to detect when an audio file has completed playback. For example:

player.Finished += (sender, args) => {
  //Do something when finished

So in summary, AudioPlayer provides a straightforward API to Play, Pause, Stop, and handle Completion of audio files in Xamarin Forms.


[How to play sounds on Xamarin.forms?](

Adjust Volume

You can adjust the volume of audio playback in your Xamarin Forms app. The MediaPlugin for Xamarin Forms allows you to set the volume to a value between 0 and 1, where 0 is muted and 1 is maximum volume.

To set the volume, use the Volume property on the MediaPlayer instance. For example:

var player = Plugin.MediaManager.CrossMediaManager.Current;
player.Volume = 0.5f;

This will set the volume to 50%. To increase or decrease the volume, you can simply set Volume to a higher or lower value respectively.

For example, to increase the volume by 10%:

var player = Plugin.MediaManager.CrossMediaManager.Current;

float currentVolume = player.Volume;
player.Volume = currentVolume + 0.1f;

Decreasing the volume would be similar, just subtracting a value from the current volume instead.

This allows you to programmatically adjust the playback volume as needed in your app.

Stream Audio

You can stream audio files in a Xamarin Forms app by loading them from a URL. This allows you to play audio files without needing to download the entire file first. Here are some tips for streaming audio from a URL:

To stream an audio file from a URL, use the MediaManager API. You can initialize it with the URL and start playing the stream:

var mediaFile = new MediaFile {
Url = ""


Streaming audio files requires handling buffers and caching to ensure smooth playback. When first starting, the app will need to buffer a portion of the audio stream before it can begin playing. You may want to display a loading indicator during this initial buffering.

During playback, continue downloading portions of the stream in the background to keep the buffer filled. If the buffer empties completely, playback will stall. Handle events like BufferingStarted and BufferingEnded to update your UI accordingly.

Consider caching portions of an audio stream after they’ve been downloaded. This allows repeating or seeking within a stream to be smooth without requiring a re-download. Just be aware of storage limitations on mobile devices.

Background Audio

Playing audio in the background enables your app to continue playing media even when the app is no longer in the foreground. This provides a more seamless user experience.

To enable background audio in Xamarin Forms, you need to configure the native platform projects. On iOS, you need to enable the “Audio and Airplay” background mode in the Info.plist. On Android, you need to request the FOREGROUND_SERVICE permission.

You also need to handle app suspension properly. On iOS, override the OnSuspending() method to pause playback. On Android, stop the MediaPlayer in OnStop(). When the app resumes, you can restart audio playback.

Properly handling background audio requires writing some platform-specific code. But overall, Xamarin Forms provides a straightforward way to keep audio playing even when the user switches to another app.

Common Issues

There are some common issues that can arise when playing audio in Xamarin Forms apps:


Make sure your app has the required permissions to play audio. On Android you need to request the RECORD_AUDIO permission. On iOS you need to include usage descriptions for NSMicrophoneUsageDescription and NSSpeechRecognitionUsageDescription in Info.plist.

Disposing and Releasing

It’s important to properly dispose and release audio resources when done playing audio. Call Dispose() on MediaPlayer instances and MediaElement controls in the platform renderers. Also stop and release players in lifecycle event handlers like OnDisappearing().

Platform Differences

There can be subtle differences in how Xamarin Forms renders audio on each platform. Test audio playback thoroughly on both iOS and Android. Handle preparation, buffering, completion, and errors differently in each platform renderer.

See this StackOverflow thread and this GitHub issue for more troubleshooting tips.


In summary, playing audio files in Xamarin forms applications can be accomplished by leveraging the MediaManager plugin. After installing the plugin, you need to initialize it in platform-specific code. Then you can use the MediaManager API to play audio files, adjust volume, and enable background audio streaming. Some common issues that may arise include platform-specific quirks, audio focus, and background mode.

For more information on working with audio in Xamarin Forms, check out the Xamarin documentation on the MediaManager plugin ( You can also refer to the Xamarin community forums and GitHub repositories like jamesmontemagno/MediaPlugin to see code examples and troubleshoot any issues.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *