There's a pair of utilities that can make your desktop experience more enjoyable. Here they are: Volumouse and 3RVX.
I wondered why to change the volume of the music on Windows in a smart way, finally i found it combining this two little, easy and powerful utilities. Although Volumouse is a little bit crude in its interface on associating volume events to your mouse "keys" is perfect. Personally i use the mouse wheel to raise or lower the volume. Please don't let me list all the features of this program, i can ensure that there are a lot. Volumouse sits quiet in background and there's the ability to disable the tray icon.
I'm very critic about interfaces and icons and so on, sorry, maybe some day we could discuss about usability and graphics wellness. For example Volumouse interface it's on usability, and is not on its purpose to have a good looking interface, so don't spend your time making unnecessary user interface customizing if not required, Volumouse rules. On icons, well this is an individual point, but the ability to disable and enable almost all features of the interface integration within the desktop is a must versus the user. I mean toggling tray icon , enable disable icon in menus, favicons on feeds and browsers, icons on buttons, all the fonts and maybe some other things i don't remember, maybe colors. If you want to use skins do it, be careful and customized.
3RVX speaks for itself. Do almost the same things Volumouse do, but on the desktop side, showing the volume progress within a beautiful skinnable widget.
freewaregenius.com - 3RVX: stylish, hotkey-enabled volume control