Troubleshooting “soundfile.LibsndfileError: Error opening Format not recognised” in Python

What will you learn?

In this tutorial, you will delve into troubleshooting and resolving the error message “soundfile.LibsndfileError: Error opening Format not recognised” in Python. By understanding the root cause of this issue and implementing effective solutions, you will enhance your skills in handling audio file formats with confidence.

Introduction to the Problem and Solution

Encountering the error message “soundfile.LibsndfileError: Error opening Format not recognised” in Python signifies a challenge where the library fails to recognize or open a specific audio file format. This commonly occurs while utilizing the SoundFile library for audio file operations.

To tackle this problem, it is crucial to ensure compatibility with SoundFile specifications when dealing with diverse audio formats. Additionally, leveraging alternative libraries or converters can aid in successfully reading or writing desired audio files.


# Import necessary libraries
import soundfile as sf

# Specify the path to your audio file
audio_file = 'path_to_your_audio_file.wav'

    # Attempt to open and read the audio file using SoundFile library
    data, sample_rate =

    # Print success message if no errors occur
    print("Audio file loaded successfully!")
except soundfile.UnsupportedFormat:
    # Handle exception for unsupported format error
    print("Error: Unsupported audio format.")
except soundfile.LibsndfileError as e:
    # Handle Libsndfile error with specific message 
    print(f"Libsndfile Error: {e}")

# Copyright PHD

(Ensure to replace ‘path_to_your_audio_file.wav’ with the actual path of your audio file)


  • Importing SoundFile as sf enables working with various audio formats.
  • Using a try-except block, we try to read an audio file specified by audio_file.
  • A success message is displayed if no errors occur; otherwise, specific exceptions are caught for appropriate handling.
    How do I fix “Format not recognised” errors in Python?

    To resolve such errors, confirm that you provide the correct path and filename of an accessible and supported audio format.

    What causes Libsndfile errors when working with SoundFile?

    Libsndfile errors indicate issues related to reading or writing certain types of audio files recognized by SoundFile.

    Can I convert an unsupported format into a compatible one programmatically?

    Yes, consider using other libraries like pydub for converting between different formats before processing them through SoundFile.

    Is there any online resource for troubleshooting SoundFile-related errors?

    For detailed guides on handling such issues effectively, visit

    Should I always catch specific exceptions like LibsndileError individually?

    It’s advisable to catch specific exceptions individually for better error handling based on distinct error types encountered during runtime.


    In conclusion, addressing “soundfiLe.LibSndfiLeerror: Error Opening Format Not Recognised” requires adept management of diverse audio formats. By understanding underlying causes and applying appropriate resolutions such as conversion methods or precise exception handling, users can elevate their proficiency in working with varied media files through Python programming language.

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