Meson Player, cross-platform hotkey-driven music player without GUI

Martin Brinkmann
Feb 12, 2015

Media players come in all forms and shapes, from massive programs like Windows Media Player to lightweight programs.

The majority of programs display a graphical user interface that you use to control playback and player functionality.

Meson Player, the successor of Stealth Player, is different as it does not offer a graphical user interface.

The only indication that the player is running is a system tray icon (or the equivalent on Mac and Linux systems since it is cross-platform) and the playing of music of course.

The main idea behind Meson Player is to get the player interface out of the way without sacrificing functionality.

The program supports a variety of music formats including mp3, ogg, wav, mod, flac, midi and dozen others, and can play Internet radio and playlists on top of that.

If you have installed the player on Windows you can send songs to it by right-clicking on folders or individual audio files and selecting the open in Meson Player context menu option.

open meson player

It is alternatively possible to associate the player with certain media formats so that it is loaded whenever you click on these formats on your system.

Music starts to play immediately afterwards until you end it. You can do so from the system tray but also using hotkeys that the player supports.

The player supports multimedia keys if the keyboard that you are using supports them. Basic controls are mapped to the numpad as well.

The most important keys there are Numpad 5 to toggle stop and play, Numpad 8 and 2 to increase or decrease the volume, and Numpad 4 and 6 to load the previous and next track.

meson player

You can control system volume as well using Numpad 1 and 3 (down and up).  Note that there is no modifier key on Windows for Numpad hotkeys.

To play Internet radio, you either need to make Meson Player the default media player on the system, associate with Internet radio playlist files, or download these playlists to the local system first and load them afterwards in the player.

A couple of other features have been packed into the player on top of that. It supports scrobbling, supports the saving of playlists and command line support.

So who is this player for?

If you compare Meson Player's functionality to popular music players such as AIMP or Winamp you will notice that they support a similar functionality. You can run them in the system tray if you want and control them via hotkeys.

That requires a little bit of configuration though especially if you want easy to use hotkeys to control playback and don't have media keys on your keyboard.

One of the advantages of Meson Player is that it is using less RAM than most other players.

software image
Author Rating
no rating based on 0 votes
Software Name
Meson Player
Landing Page

Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. PJ said on February 15, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    Gplay.exe (from the UnxUtils collection by Karl M. Syring) is an even more ultra-minimalist, non-GUI, portable multimedia player operated from the command-line or Windows Run. No system tray icon or right-click to play function.

    File size is a tiny 4.5 KB — the smallest multimedia player I’d come across. Gplay can play a local file, or from a direct URL (eg. or .ogg, etc.) I’ve no idea though if Gplay supports any hotkeys other than system volume. Once the file ends, Gplay instantly exits. Perhaps such players are ideal for playing very long audio files.

    However, it appears that the lack of GUI does not imply ultra-low memory use. For certain scenarios (eg. playing from URL), Gplay may use even more RAM than Winamp, although the audio file actually sounds much better in Gplay.

    Playing local mp3 fiie:
    • Gplay: 7,240 – 7,696 K; excluding Windows console which uses another ~3,000 K
    • Winamp (only main window showing): 9,508 – 9,980 K

    Playing mp3 from URL:
    • Gplay: 10,600 – 12,000 K for 1st run, ~ 6,500 K for subsequent runs; RAM excludes that used by Windows console
    • Winamp (only main window): 8,000 – 9,050 K

  2. Alex said on February 14, 2015 at 10:23 am

    I’m staying with aimp3, it has same memory footprint (as seen in ProcessExplorer) , hotkeys can be assigned to almost everything and has local and two global hotkey sets. Also autoupdates, plugins, and variety of skins.
    On the other side I like the idea of no-gui-hotkey-driven player.

  3. sam said on February 13, 2015 at 1:03 pm

    I really like “1by1” – 150kb – GUI –

  4. Yann Ren said on February 13, 2015 at 6:33 am

    Another advantage could be that you can just buy a numpad-only keyboard and use it for some kind of remote control of a media player running on low-end devices probably collected from scrap heap. A lot of $ saved from buying a full HTPC.

  5. anon said on February 12, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    I think xmplay can do this, and it’s a 300KB player with fully functional GUI.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on February 12, 2015 at 1:47 pm

      I really like XmPlay, it is a great piece of software.

      1. Leandro said on February 12, 2015 at 3:19 pm

        I’ve been using XMPlay for a long time. Superb application.

        This Meson seems to be good.
        I just think it takes too much memory for a non-GUI application. It kinds loads all Qt5 GUI libraries but doesn’t use them except for the tray menu. A true command line player wouldn’t take this much system resources.

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.