Audio Player Without Graphical User Interface: Meson Player

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Meson Player is a free cross platform music player without a graphical music interface. Confusing thing about this free audio player is that it also technically speaking isn’t a command line application, despite the fact that there’s no GUI. The only thing that you get is system tray icon, songs are open by right clicking on music folders and selecting Open in Meson Player from the context menu. Music starts playing right away, with the player minimized to system tray.

Each song change causes a small pop-up to appear from the system tray. Some options are available by right clicking on the system tray icon, but for the most part you’ll be using keyboard shortcuts. Online radio streaming is supported, stations can be added with the help of playlists.

Meson Player default window

Similar software:  AudaciousExaileAmarok

They are opened the same ways that songs are, by right clicking on directories where they’re located and selecting Open in Meson Player.

Meson Player instructions

Right after installation, window with a list of hotkeys will pop-up. They can be looked up later inside the readme file, from the install directory, in case that you close it down. Most important thing to remember is that keys from the numerical keypad or numpad are used for controlling tracks, volume, folder skipping. Key features of Meson Player – free music player are:

  • Lightweightness – only around 5MB of memory is used – small footprint
  • Good format support – works with MP3, WMA, FLAC, WAV, OGG, etc.
  • Opens and plays all the common music playlists – M3U, ASX, PLS, XSPF
  • No graphical interface – you only get a system tray status icon
  • Open and navigate through music files individually or skip entire folders
  • Supports online radio streaming – stations have to be in playlists
  • Shuffling – shuffle mode is available – for mixing up audio tracks
  • Cross platform – works on all the major platforms Linux, Windows, Mac

How to listen to music with Meson Player: free lightweight audio player without graphical interface

Meson Player starting player

How to start enjoying music with this free music player we already mentioned. Locate the folder where your music collection resides, right click on it and select Open in Meson Player. Same thing goes for radio stations, the only difference is that instead of songs, playlists have to be inside the folder.

Meson Player right click menu

Right click on the system tray icon will open up options for turning off/on the hotkeys, shuffle, for accessing playlists, and opening up the current directory, the one where music is playing. Music starts playing right away after opening up Meson Player. System tray icon pops-up, but you won’t see anything else, that’s the beauty of this free audio player.


Main advantages of Meson Player are that it’s extremely lightweight, doesn’t spend a lot of system resources, and there’s no complicated interfaces. Settings are changed by changing the settings.ini file from the installation directory. Everybody who likes feature rich interfaces with lyrics, file browsers and album art should probably avoid this audio player. However for all those who like simplicity, this is just the thing for you.

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Works With: Linux, Windows, Mac
Free/Paid: Free

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