How to Play an Embedded Resource .Wave Sound in VB.NET 2008, Visual Basic 2010, and Newer

I’ve recenty been making an example program with Visual Basic.NET 2008 on snapping forms to the edge of the screen. I wanted the program to play a sound wave file when it performed the snapping process. But I didn’t want to have to make it link to external wave files or anything. So I decided to embed the wave sound bytes in the program itself. So this little article will show you how I went about doing that. Here is a link to the actual example application that this article is based on.

Example Playing Embedded Wave Sounds

More Info

The first thing you want to do of course is determine the wave files you want to play in your application. Remember that the size of each .wav file in bytes, willl be added to your programs file size. So remember that when you decide on what sound files you want to use.

I also want to mention that this article is specific to VB .NET 2005/2008/2010 and higher since I am using the SoundPlayer class. Visual Basic .NET 2002/2003 will have to use the PlaySound api thats part of the WinMM.dll library. The PlaySound api can play and do everything the SoundPlayer class in VB 2005 and higher can do. Just more code is involved. I actually found an article after I started this post that shows how to play wave files embedded in your VB.NET 02/03 application. Just click here to check it out.

Embedding your .Wave Files

After you have determined the wave files you want to embed in your program you need to add them to your project. There are a couple ways to do this. The easiest way is to copy your .wav file and then paste it in your project. To paste it to your project you just need to select your project name in the Solution Explorer, usually the top right panel. Then right click and click on the paste command. Another way is to click on the “Project” and click on “Add Existing Item”. Then just browse to the wave files location and select each file you want to embed. Once the files are added to your project, you will want to click on each wave file and in the properties panel (Its right below the Solution Explorer by Default). In the Properties panel you will see “Build Action”. From the build action combo list select “Embedded Resource”. Do that for each sound file you added to your project.

Playing your Embedded Files

Now that you have embedded your files into your application, its time to setup the code to play them. If your using .NET older than 2005 then check out this article on using the unManaged api call “PlaySound” to do the playback.

You now need to access your newly embedded *.wav file. You can access it as a stream under your programs manifest. Here is the method that will be used…

Public Overridable Function GetManifestResourceStream(ByVal name As String) As System.IO.Stream

You access the resource manifest through the: Reflection.Assembly.GetExecutingAssembly namespace. You have to provide the name of your programs assembly and the name of your wave file. The name of my example project is: ‘playEmbeddedWaveFileEx’ and the name of my .wav file is: ‘waveFile.wav’. Remember that your assembly and wav file IS CASE Sensitive. In other words, each letter has to be the exact upper casing and lower casing that your actual assembly and wave file is. So for my example, you would pass the assembly and wave file as: ‘playEmbeddedWaveFileEx.waveFile.wav’. Notice the . or period seperating the assembly name and the name of the wave file. An easy way of getting your assembly name is using this Property: My.Application.Info.AssemblyName. First is the code for literally specifying the name of your assembly. So you pass it to the GetManifestResourceStream’s parameter like below…

Reflection.Assembly.GetExecutingAssembly.GetManifestResourceStream _

BUT a somewhat better way…

Reflection.Assembly.GetExecutingAssembly.GetManifestResourceStream _
    (My.Application.Info.AssemblyName & ".waveFile.wav")

Now all you have to do is create a new SoundPlayer or access the Soundplayer under the ‘MY’ interface and pass the stream and simply start playing the wave file like below…

        'This creates a new instance of the SoundPlayer class while passing the stream the wave file
        'is embedded in.
        Dim audioPlayer As New Media.SoundPlayer(Reflection.Assembly.GetExecutingAssembly.GetManifestResourceStream( _
            My.Application.Info.AssemblyName & ".waveFile.wav")) ' "playEmbeddedWaveFileEx.waveFile.wav"))


OR you can use the MY Interface…

        'This code uses MY, which basically makes it a touch easier since you want have to create
        'a instance of the SoundPlayer class.
        My.Computer.Audio.Play((Reflection.Assembly.GetExecutingAssembly.GetManifestResourceStream( _
            My.Application.Info.AssemblyName & ".waveFile.wav")), AudioPlayMode.Background)

Remember that I have a example program on how to perform the steps in this article. Click here to download.

OK, so playing embedded wave files isn’t as straight forward perhaps as it should be. I think I found out about using the GetManifestResourceStream at If you know of something better definitely leave a comment. Either way, the code I provided here DOES work. At least for me. 🙂 Have fun!


Revised: 2014

5 thoughts on “How to Play an Embedded Resource .Wave Sound in VB.NET 2008, Visual Basic 2010, and Newer

  1. TallStu

    Hi Jason,

    Thank you!!!

    Hunted high and low today for these exact details. Found lots of articles on using embedded resource files, but none of them explained that you have to change the resource property and it’s build action to ‘Embedded Resource’. Once I had done that everything else was quick and easy!

    Working in VS2010 Ultimate.

  2. Vblearner126

    Thank you so much for these instructions!!!

    I couldn’t find them anywhere, and finally, I found a simple and easy to understand post. 🙂

    I’ve only just started learning VB2010.

  3. Isaak

    Great instructions! Many Thanks!

    I wonder if we can use a similar method to to Play Embedded Resource avi or any other video files.


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