i may have inadvertently found a fix!
for some kind of clue, i was looking through the boot log via „journalctl -b“ command
and noticed that there were many error entries for lirc (every second).
so since i do not have a remote control,
i completely uninstalled the lirc.
ever since, through several boots,
there is only one max2play player as expected.
and of course, no more error logs every second.
for now, all’s well on the max2play land…