There are various ways people want to play sounds in ERC.

Make a sound when text matches

(See also ErcLibNotify.)


Using the ErcMatch module, any text matches that are made can trigger a beep. Just add ‘erc-beep-on-match’ to ‘erc-text-matched-hook’ and set ‘erc-beep-match-types’ accordingly. The default is to beep when your current nickname appears in messages. The following example makes Emacs beep when your nickname and any of your keywords is found in messages.

    (add-hook 'erc-text-matched-hook 'erc-beep-on-match)
    (setq erc-beep-match-types '(current-nick keyword))

And here’s how to have it beep when someone calls or mentions you if you’re not using the ErcMatch module for some reason.

    (add-hook 'erc-insert-post-hook 
              (lambda () (goto-char (point-min)) 
                (when (re-search-forward
                       (regexp-quote  (erc-current-nick)) nil t) (ding))))

.. as seen from MarioLang helping camel in EmacsChannel

Playing sound files

Here’s a way to play a sound whenever someone uses your name, or uses certain keywords (this also assumes you’re using ErcMatch):

    (add-hook 'erc-text-matched-hook
              (lambda (match-type nickuserhost message)
                  ((eq match-type 'current-nick)
                    (play-sound-file "~/pub/TR2070/TR-Mail.wav"))
                  ((eq match-type 'keyword)
                    (play-sound-file "~/pub/TR2070/TR-Command.wav")))))

Asynchronous sound

Note that play-sound-file plays sound synchronously, i.e. Emacs will lock up until the sound has finished playing. If you want to play the sound asynchronously, use this instead of play-sound-file:

    (start-process-shell-command "whatever" nil "mplayer ~/sound.wav")

Only on meaningful matches

This is what I use for only playing a sound (asynchronously) whenever a match occurs and it’s not in e.g. a NAMES listing:

    (add-hook 'erc-text-matched-hook 'erc-sound-if-not-server)
    (defun erc-sound-if-not-server (match-type nickuserhost msg)
      (unless (string-match "Server:[0-9]+" nickuserhost)
        (start-process-shell-command "lolsound" nil "mplayer ~/.emacs.d/sound/spring.wav")))

Module to support the IRC command /CTCP SOUND

Support for CTCP Sound is not enabled by default. To enable it use M-x customize-variable RET erc-modules.

In ERC sound mode, when someone sends you a CTCP SOUND request, ERC will play the corresponding sound file.

You need to tell ERC where sound files can be found:

    (setq erc-sound-path '("~/.erc/sounds" "~/sounds"))

You can set a default file to be played when no sounds are found that match the requested sound:

    (setq erc-default-sound "~/sounds/hello.wav")

The default play command is play. To change that, you can do the following:

    (setq erc-play-command "aplay")

Integrating with EmacSpeak

See the ErcSpeak module.

Playing with sound

Here is how to add a simple sound effect to your ERC experience. First, get a sound file. In the following example, I got the famous “Ni!” file:

Save it somewhere, and then add the following code, modifying the file path accordingly:

    (defun erc-say-ni (str)
      "Play the Ni! sound file if STR contains Ni!"
      (when (string-match "\\bni!" str)
        (play-sound-file "/home/alex/elisp/erc/sounds/ni.wav")))
    (add-hook 'erc-insert-pre-hook 'erc-say-ni)
    (add-hook 'erc-send-pre-hook 'erc-say-ni)

Whenever somebody – or you yourself – says “Ni!” the sound file is played.

You have to replace the above mentioned sound files by ones that exist on your system.

Playing a sound when receiving a private message

  (defun erc-my-privmsg-sound (proc parsed)
    (let* ((tgt (car (erc-response.command-args parsed)))
           (privp (erc-current-nick-p tgt)))
       nil))) ;We must return nil. See help for `erc-server-PRIVMSG-functions'
  (add-hook 'erc-server-PRIVMSG-functions

Then, an example for the above ‘sound’ function could just be:

  (setq sound-default "/usr/share/sounds/purple/alert.wav")
  (defun sound (&optional path)
     (concat "aplay -fcd " (or path sound-default))))

Playing with sound on Mac OS X

play-sound and friends don’t appear to be implemented in various Emacsen on Mac OS X (e.g. Carbon Emacs Package, Aquamacs, etc.). Using the Emacs Lisp function ‘do-applescript’ and the Mac OS X application ‘Play Sound’:

sample config for OS X

   (setq apscript (format "
    set cusrPath to (path to \"cusr\" as string)
    set soundAlias to (cusrPath & \"notebook:sounds:DJ Scratch.aiff\") as alias ;; path to your sound file from your home directory
    tell application \"Play Sound\"
	play (soundAlias as alias)
    end tell
   (add-hook 'erc-text-matched-hook
	     (lambda (match-type nickuserhost message)
	        ((eq match-type 'keyword)
	         (do-applescript apscript)))))

(via ThomasKnoll)

it’s possible to achieve nicer sound emissions than just beeping. Also of interest is applying the ‘say’ command line program to do such things as ‘saying’ a nick in an appropriate sentence when a user signs on or off.

Thanks to Howard Melman for various suggestions and ideas.