Hokrain is a lightweight portable audio player

Martin Brinkmann
Feb 25, 2013
Updated • Feb 25, 2013
Music, Music and Video

If your computer has seen better days in terms of performance, you may be interested in running programs on it that are as light as possible on the system resources they use when they are running on the system.

While you can run Apple's iTunes or Windows Media Player to play audio files on your system, you may prefer to use programs that have a lower overall memory footprint.

AIMP3 is definitely a great choice when it comes to audio players, but if you really want to go low-end performance-wise, you may be interested in Hokrain instead.

Hokrain is a free portable audio player for Windows supporting a wide range of features despite its low memory footprint and size.

hokrain portable audio player screenshot

The music player supports a wide variety of music files, including mp3, flac, ogg, wav, mpa, wav and dozens of other formats. There is little room for improvement in terms of audio format support. When you start the program you are presented with a functional interface. The top area displays a file and folder browser that you can make use of to browse to folders containing audio files or playlists to play them right away.

Here you also find playback controls, information about the song that is currently playing, as well as a link to the program's settings. Here you can switch the player's theme, configure hotkeys for all core features it makes available, use plugins or configure the scrobbler if you are a last.fm user.

The author of the application has integrated several interesting features into the application that improve it significantly. The player remembers the listening order and displays tracks that have been played semi-transparent, and instant search that works in any folder or playlists.

While you can use the player on a local system, you can also add it to a music DVD, CD, or Flash drive that you carry around with you to play music on any computer system running the Windows operating system. The player uses roughly 6 Megabytes of RAM when it is playing music.


If you are looking for a low-resource player for Windows that is available as a portable application, then look no further than Hokrain. It's out-of-the-box feature set is sufficient to play nearly any music format you throw at the player. While it can't be compared feature-wise to AIMP3 or iTunes, it is certainly an alternative if you just want to play music.


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  1. Ramesh Khanna said on February 26, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    What’s wrong with good old Winamp which according to task manager takes up 8 Mbyte and do the others play modules of which i have thousands of (most unplayed)?

  2. GK said on February 26, 2013 at 3:24 am

    Foobar FTW for audio, MPC-HC for video. :)

  3. Uhtred said on February 26, 2013 at 1:04 am

    I’m a big fan of foobar2000, not sure how its footprint compares to the Hokrain, but on windows 7 Foobar takes around 18,600 k ram when playing my flacs.
    lots of features too

  4. Zeus said on February 25, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    XMPlay is great, but a lot more demanding on the CPU. It caused my old PC to skip, while Coolplayer worked fine. But to be fair, we’re talking an _old_ PC. 99% of users would prefer AIMP.

    1. Zeus said on February 25, 2013 at 7:02 pm

      AIMP or XMPlay, I mean. :)

  5. Vítor I said on February 25, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    Another lightweight portable: XMPlay http://www.un4seen.com/xmplay.html , dozens of plugins and skins.

    The output sound quality is just amazing.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on February 25, 2013 at 6:15 pm

      I have been using XMPlay for a couple of years but switched to AIMP eventually.

  6. Zeus said on February 25, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    If you’re ever trapped on a 15-20 year old computer and would like to play MP3s, I ran a lot of tests one day and the player that takes the least CPU and RAM is called Coolplayer.

    Coolplayer – http://coolplayer.sourceforge.net/

    Kind of an iffy interface, but it actually outperformed 1by1 and other lightweight audio players.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on February 25, 2013 at 3:16 pm

      20 years, that is a long time, I think I was still using my Amiga as my main computer back then. Thanks for the link nevertheless, looks great.

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