Actually, I recommend assigning media keys to your keyboard. To do this, I recommend one of two programs:
SharpKeys is more or less a specialized registry editor, while KeyboardLink needs to stay open in the background.
For example: with SharpKeys, I changed Keypad Plus to Vol Up, Keypad Minus to Vol Down, and Keypad Del to Mute. So that means I can't use those keys to issue the Keypad Plus, Minus, or Del commands because their functions have been changed in the Registry.
However, if I wanted to continue being able to use those keys on my keypad, then I'd use KeyboardLink. KeyboardLink requires the use of modifiers to issue the intended command. So, for example: I could use WinKey+Keypad Plus. Or, WinKey+Shift+Keypad Plus. Or, Ctrl+Alt+Keypad Plus. I mean, KeyboardLink has a General tab where these modifiers get user-specified. The choices are Shift, Ctrl, Alt, Win. Except, it doesn't end there: it also includes the option of adding a 2nd modifier in order to overcome conflicts. The choices for the 2nd modifier are None, Shift, Ctrl, and Alt.
So that's how I would be able to set it up so that Vol Up is issued by pressing something like Shift+Alt+Keypad Plus, or Win+Ctrl+Keypad Plus, etc. The default settings in KeyboardLink end up making Vol Up issued by Win + Page Up. I could reassign Page Up in SharpKeys to be Vol Up, but then I wouldn't have a Page Up key anymore.
Fortunately, I never need Keypad Minus, Plus, or Del, so I don't need something extra running in the background for this.