I have made a few variations for the menu:
1) Bevel for the menu items toned down, lines for items removed, bevel toned down for the player controls as well.
2) added "1", "2", "3","4" intended as a shortcut to start applications
- some comments please -
3) re-added some bevel effect to the bottom buttons for the player.
I feel there should be some contrast (but not also too much) between the middle part of the screen and the bottom. They are functionally different and you should get a hint of that be just having glanced at the skin.
- don't mind the "1", "2", "3","4" in this example -
A little note: I don't want to change my original concept too much