Opera adds the Play Music sidebar to Opera Browser for Spotify, Youtube and Apple

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Opera Software released a new Developer version of its Opera web browser. The new version introduces support for music playback from the browser’s sidebar. Opera Developer is the cutting-edge development version of the browser. Features are introduced in the browser first before they land in Beta and Stable versions.

If you do like to play music in your browser, you may have noticed that it usually involves juggling between different windows, e.g. different browser tabs in a single browser, or, in the case of a dedicated desktop music player, between different program windows.

Some browsers introduced global media controls, e.g. Firefox and Chrome, to control playback in that browser without switching windows. While that is useful to some, it still requires accessing the music service’s interface for some operations, e.g. searching for music, playing a different playlist, or adding new songs to the existing playlist.

The Opera browser implementation is controlled via an icon in the browser’s sidebar. A click on it display the supported services — currently Apple Music, Spotify, and YouTube Music — that you may access from the sidebar. You can resize the interface and pin it if you want to make it stick to the screen.

A click on a service opens its startpage. What happens next depends on that service, as you may need to sign-in to an account to start using it. A click on YouTube Music displays the service’s startpage and options to play one of the listed playlists, e.g. top 100 charts, or to search for music

A click on the play button starts playback right away. Some services may display ads to free users, and these are played even if you have enabled Opera’s built-in adblocker.

Music playback continues even if the sidebar interface is hidden; Opera indicates playback by changing the icon of the player. If a site is opened that plays music or audio as well, music playback is paused automatically by the player to avoid that multiple sounds play at the same time in the browser. Playback is resumed once all other audio stops playing in the browser.

Opera users may customize the sidebar; they may hide any service that they don’t use to avoid clicking on these unintentionally. Click on the three dots at the bottom of the sidebar and toggle the options to hide them in the interface. You can also hide the entire sidebar if you don’t use it.

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