Opera adds music player and shopping mall to sidebar

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I alternate between Opera and firefox browsers. One of the main reasons why I think Opera is the best closed-source browser on the market is its Workspaces feature (which is, by far, the best tab management system on the market). But Opera isn’t just a one-trick pony. In fact, the developers have worked hard to add new features to help make Opera more than just a web browser.

Also: How to Use Opera VPN (and Why You Should)

I know exactly what you’re thinking…bloat.

It happened to Firefox a while ago. The developers suddenly decided that their browser would be a kitchen sink affair, throwing everything at it to see what would stick. This led to the browser being horribly bloated and almost useless. Fortunately, Mozilla moved away from that idea and brought Firefox back to its current state.

Opera, on the other hand, continues to add features. Now, to the Opera developer’s credit, even with more features than most browsers have to offer, their product doesn’t feel bloated at all. It opens fast, renders websites as fast as any browser, and doesn’t consume too many system resources.

This is a very good thing because the developers have added even more features to the browser, two of which I want to cover here. The two features in question are the music player and the Shopping Corner.

What are these new features?

The music player and Shopping Corner are pretty self-explanatory. The music player adds a music player to the sidebar, which can be connected to Spotify, Apple, YouTube and other music accounts. Once logged in, you can click to reveal the add-on and start playing music without having to open another tab or install another app.

The new extension of Opera music player.

Playing music from a browser has never been easier.

Image: Jack Wallen

Since this addition arrived in Opera (with version 91.0.4516.20), I found myself interacting with my Spotify account through Opera instead of the installed desktop client. The only thing I miss in the desktop client is the Discover feature (which I only find on my Linux desktop client anyway).

Also: Cool things you can do with the Linux desktop that you can’t do with macOS or Windows

As for the Shopping Corner, this one is a bit confusing as there is no obvious way to get to it. There’s no Shopping Corner icon in the sidebar, no bookmark for it, and no entry in the Opera menu. Which give?

It turns out that the Shopping Corner is a URL, which is https://shopping-corner.opera.com/. However, if you try to view this link in any browser except Opera, it appears as blank. Visit the URL in Opera and you’ll be presented with the actual shopping corner, where you can search for products, view your recent items, and check out the best deals. Product search is powered by Amazon, so you know exactly where the results will come from.

The shopping area of ​​the Opera.

The Opera Shopping Corner is only accessible from the Opera browser.

Image: Jack Wallen

This is where one of the problems lies. At least in my situation, every time I search for a product and click on the results, I end up with an error on the associated Amazon page that says “We’re sorry, an error has occurred. Please reload this page and try again.” I can’t click on an item, add it to a cart, or do anything.

An Amazon error seen via the Opera Shopping Corner.

The Opera Shopping Corner clearly needs some work.

Image: Jack Wallen

Once you’ve started a search for a product, you can narrow down the search results (which doesn’t help with the Amazon error). The other problem is that even after viewing a product on Amazon, it does not update in the Shopping Corner. This makes me think that the feature may have been rolled out a bit too early or that the Linux version of Opera isn’t exactly up to par with other versions. To test this theory, I installed Opera on MacOS only to find the same issue.

While I doubt I’ll use Opera Shopping Corner much (mostly because of the confusing feature access and constant Amazon errors), I’ll continue to use the music player because it keeps my desktop clutter-free and less tabs are required in the browser.

Also: The 5 Best Browsers for Privacy: Safe Web Browsing

Opera will continue to be my backup browser, for those days when Firefox gives me trouble. For any user who loves a more feature-rich web browser, you’d be seriously remiss if you didn’t give Opera a shot. And even if the Shopping Corner is a bit problematic, you can at least see where the developers are going with this feature. If they fix Amazon errors in the mall, that could be a handy addition for many users.