Friday, 20 July 2007

Voice in Second Life

Over the last couple of weeks I've been trying out the new voice client for Second Life and despite a few remaining bugs with voice groupings it seems to work pretty well. It is sensitive to distance and location! If you turn around while someone is speaking to you, it really does sound like they are behind you etc.

It is possible to put groups / pairs of students (avatars) into different groups so that they can only hear the 'person' within their pair or group and for the 'teacher' to switch between groups to listen in on how each group is doing. (though this is still buggy at present)

This is really going to open up the potential for language teaching.

How to try it out

  • If you want to try the voice client out. You will need to download a separate 'First look Viewer'. You can get this from: http://secondlife.com/community/firstlook.php
  • It seems to run fine on both MAC and PC.
  • If you can't get it to work, it could be that either your firewall or anti-virus is blocking it, so you may need to check your settings.
  • You'll also need a reasonably good quality microphone and headset, preferably with USB connection.
  • NOTE: Not all areas within SL are voice enabled
  • To find voice enabled areas check out this map
I hope you enjoy this and by all means leave a comment to say how you got on.

7 comments:

Dennis said...

Thanks for the information, Nic. Actually, in the movie, I found the board was too far away to be able to see what was going on. Nonetheless, I downloaded and configured. BUT.... The instructions say I need to toggle with the middle mouse button - and I don't have a middle mouse button. I have a wheel, but not a button. Does that mean I won't be able to speak?

Nik Peachey said...

Hi Dennis,

If you use the 'zoom' feature of the Flash player (right click on the movie to get the menu) You should be able to enlarge it.

As part of the movie, it shows you how to set up any key as the push to talk key (shift or alt keys are best) as even though I have a middle mouse it still doesn't seem to work as the push to talk button. If your mic has a mute button then you don't even need to use the push to talk feature and can disable it.

Dennis said...

Nik (I know a Nic as well, so forgive my mis-spelling your name),

I followed you advice and went to Edunation which seems to be "voiced". I got the transmitting signals, but since I was on the island alone I could not actually hear anything. Thanks once again.

Michael said...

Hi Nik - any info on vista-compatibility before I mess up my delicate vista config again?

Dennis said...

Nik, I just managed to use voice with a Japanese student in English Village. Thanks again for your help in configuring properly.



Dennis

Anonymous said...

Hi Nik,

Do you happen to know which educational area in SL has voice? is there a list somewhere to check for general places who have it?

thanks
wonderalica

Anonymous said...

Hi Nik,

Last week, we did some experiments on voice. The quality in IM was great but we're disappointed by the chat. It seems to take a few minutes before the sound gets stable and the conversation is all broken up. Did you really get something smooth and audible with the chat ?

Marie-Catherine
Second Life Project Manager at ENST Bretagne