So I want to play a MP3 file instantly as the Pi receives power, it doesn't have to be instantly though, it can have a few ms of latency. I'm thinking a Raspberry Pi Zero W or Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+, whatever model would have the least latency for this project.

  • all pi's takes more than a few ms to get to a state where such action is even possible Jan 23, 2023 at 1:10
  • Not in any possible way I can imagine. There is far too much boot time from the SD card
    – Paul
    Jan 24, 2023 at 12:18

4 Answers 4


Is the Pi intended to do more than just play the sound on power-up? One possibility would be to use a Pico with an audio module attached. The boot time to getting a simple python script running is just over 100ms. If you are happy to use C, that delay could be significantly reduced.

Of course, the sound might just be the start of a project that requires a RPi, in which case this won't be much help to you :)


Not with any of the standard operating systems, They will take of the order of 20 seconds to play an MP3 file from power on.

You will have to write your own operating system and see how close you can get.

  • Thanks mate. I'll see what I can do.
    – Migi
    Jan 23, 2023 at 12:42

Consider using a something like a A Mini MP3 Player (DFPlayer for example that turns on with the the rising edge of the ACC feed and the Pi turns it off. They are not to expensive. There are many varieties in a large range of prices. With this solution you will minimize the turn on time and let run as long as you like. Many have a SD card. There are also ICs that can do this as well. Here is another possible option. https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0029/5387/1430/files/mp3-sound-module-user-guide-v1-1.pdf?v=1654071787


Combine two devices. For instance, a raspberry pico which is powered from the raspberry pi GPIO. The pico will be able to play an MP3 as soon as power is connected. It can then enter sleep mode, because it will not be needed anymore.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.