There are several sound players available:
Can play not only sound but also video. A slow starter and quick to stop. You may want to combine madplay and aplay - aplay can read wave data from stdin (e.g. from madplay).
Quick to start but slow to stop. Supported output formats:
cdda CD audio, 16-bit big-endian 44100 Hz stereo PCM (*.cdr, *.cda) aiff Audio IFF, [16-bit] PCM (*.aif, *.aiff) wave Microsoft RIFF/WAVE, [16-bit] PCM (*.wav) snd Sun/NeXT audio, 8-bit ISDN mu-law (*.au, *.snd) raw binary [16-bit] host-endian linear PCM hex ASCII hexadecimal [24-bit] linear PCM esd Enlightened Sound Daemon [16-bit] (give speaker host as PATH) null no output (decode only)
Quick to start and quick to stop. Supported file types:
voc wav raw au
Use this soundplayer if you want minimal latency.
To go clear of underrun error buffer size should be a multiple of period size:
aplay --period-size=2000 --buffer-size=10000 alarm.wav