Billy a simple but awesome music player

Daniel Pataki
Apr 5, 2009
Updated • Jun 11, 2017
Music, Music and Video

Billy a very lightweight music player for Microsoft Windows devices that ships with a couple of extra features besides playback functionality.

We had a look at how you use your media player not long ago, and I've taken a look at some of the ones you mentioned in the comments of the article.

I particularly liked Billy (thanks for the tip Xaro), a no-frills (but also uncomplicated) music player, which does exactly what I want it to do. Play my music without downloading a heap of metadata for it, and without taking a chunk out of my RAM.

The download is a tiny 540Kb, and when running with 15 albums added, it takes away less than 5,000K of memory. For the half a megabyte download you do get more than you think, with full global hotkey support for 13 operations, the ability to record internet radio, history submission, this is not as shabby or as simple as you might think.

Billy music player

You can also add your media folders and set up some format rules, the ability to launch multiple instances, etc, but despite all these advanced features the best thing about Billy is that it is small, and extremely usable. You won't be building a fully tagged and organized music database, but if you just want to do some work with set&forget music, tucked away in your system tray, Billy is for you.

As far as features are concerned, there are a quite a few that stand out:

  • Very fast loading of mp3 files.
  • Can play folder content or playlists directly.
  • Can be controlled entirely with the keyboard.
  • Low memory and cpu usage.
  • Sleep timer.

As far as downsides are concerned, the player lacks features that some users may require. This includes, among others support for mp3 tags, equalizer support, or skin support.


Billy is lightweight, fast music player for windows that supports the majority of important formats (flac, mp3, ogg, wav).

Update: Billy has not been updated since 2008, when a last beta version has been released by its author. While it is still capable of playing music on your system, you may notice incompatibilities or features that are not working correctly anymore. It does not support newer audio files for instance such as aac or m4a.

We suggest you take a look at AIMP instead which is not as lightweight, but still lightweight enough to not make a big dent into the computer's available memory when running.

You on the plus side get one of the best free audio players available on the market.

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  1. Justin said on November 30, 2011 at 10:18 am

    The warning message about AAC streams when you load streams is because you don’t have the free Orban AAC/aacPlus Player Plugin installed.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on November 30, 2011 at 10:56 am

      Justin, thanks for the information.

  2. santosh said on December 1, 2011 at 12:43 am

    does this support AAC ? or only mp3 streaming

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on December 1, 2011 at 1:43 am

      I’d say it supports all pls streams but I have not tried that so cannot verify it 100%.

  3. Barnabas said on August 3, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Thank you Martin for a most informative and viable solution (it allowed me to play streams from a Netherland internet radio station in my WMP)! Continued success to you!

    Barnabas (USA)

  4. AppleRome said on October 7, 2012 at 7:31 am

    Your steps’ recommendation is still valid until 7th October 2012.. Thank you very much !!

  5. Laura said on December 1, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    Thank you!

  6. sak2005 said on December 9, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    You must convert file.pls to file.m3u
    because file.pls open with winamp and file.m3u open with wmp.

  7. Lithium said on February 10, 2017 at 11:10 am

    2017 still kicking on Windows 7
    Thx a ton

  8. Dennis said on April 18, 2017 at 4:05 am

    Hey, even i can do it, i stumbled through it and it works great! The only instruction advice i will add as i had to figure this out, when the wmp box opens that says save or open the bar on right says wmp click that drop down and select “open pls in wmp” once you do that it will work . Took me quite some time to discover that as i am no computer expert by any means. Having said that, previously i had downloaded codec packages and something about aac. None did any good. This rocks, i listen to a lot of internet radio and a number of them have dropped flash player and getting wmp to work had been a nightmare. So many thanks for this great solution to another problem that Micro-Hell will not even address. Peace- Out

  9. stephen marshall said on March 19, 2019 at 2:07 am

    openplsinwmp came in a zip file. I unpacked it, and didn’t find anything that looks like an executable, and even the files in the “doc” folder were in a format windows didn’t recognize. I’m not stupid. you said it would open effortlessly. It didn’t. This a rabbit hole I don’t want to go down.

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