Headset – YouTube / Reddit desktop music player

Last Updated on September 1, 2020

In operation


Let’s start with an image of the user interface in action. As you can see, it’s aesthetically beautiful. Clicking the Search button lets you search YouTube, while the Radio button searches reddit. The Collections functionality lets you build a collection of your favorite tracks. There’s also the ability to like a track. Above the buttons, is a volume slider and standard playback options.

While the user interface is slick, there’s important limitations which detract enormously from the user experience.

Due to YouTube’s API Terms of Service, Headset has to use an embedded YouTube video player which cannot be hidden. The software keeps the player minimized, but it’s definitely not elegant. More like a kludge. The video window is set at a small resolution (200×200 pixels), but it still consumes unnecessary bandwidth (compared to any standard music client) which may be an important consideration.

Memory usage

Let’s talk a bit about memory consumption. As the software uses the Electron framework, I wasn’t expecting it to be that frugal with system memory.

On startup, headset consumes a little under 300MB of RAM. But it seems the software has some nasty memory leaks. Use the software for a few hours, and you’ll find memory usage creeping up and up, eventually nearing 1GB of RAM. That’s insane for a music player. I tried the software under Ubuntu and Manjaro (using the official package under Ubuntu and the AUR package under Manjaro). Both exhibited the same memory issues.

You receive annoying 10 second messages plugging Headset’s ‘Pro’ service unless you subscribe. Currently they don’t appear very often, but this may change in the future. The Pro service costs $24 annually. While that’s a modest outlay, I find the notion of a paid service to be somewhat distasteful bearing in mind Headset leaches from YouTube. The Pro service offers a few extras like party schedule and album mode. If you want to use a paid music service, you’ll be better served using Spotify.

As the search functionality mirrors YouTube, you’ll sometimes get non-music results included in the ‘tracks’.

Next page: Page 3 – Other Features

Pages in this article:
Page 1 – Introduction / Installation
Page 2 – In Operation
Page 3 – Other Features
Page 4 – Summary

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5 years ago

Seems that Headset isn’t worth trying!