I listen to music a lot while I’m working. This leads to situations where I need to quickly mute my music or pause it while either focusing on a problem or taking a call. Since I’m lazy I went the mute shortcut route.
Mute Shortcut Creation (Windows XP)
1. Download nircmd
2. Extract it to a folder ex: c:\tools\nircmd
3. Create a new shortcut on your desktop
Target: C:\tools\nircmd.exe mutesysvolume 2
4. Update the icon and set it to %SystemRoot%\system32\sndrec32.exe
For a complete list of commands which nircmd can interpret go here.