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 Whisper by VComm – A voice solution for OpenSim

I have to admit, no matter how many people enjoy the benefits of OpenSim, its a pain to maintain and improve OpenSim. Coupled with the idea that I work on a Windows setup, the problems complicate especially that most Windows setups rely on binaries rather than source code.

I have worked a lot trying to implement voice on an OpenSim server with FreeSwitch but I just can’t get it running. I have already exhausted all resources and possibilities but I have to say FreeSwitch really failed for me. There came a point that I should just declare it as non-functional, and will not revisit the issue again.

Then there’s VCOMM Solution’s Whisper, which has been first announced last August 2010, and now has been released. The wait may have been really long but it was worth it.

Whisper is a Mumble based voice system for Opensim. For those who aren’t aware what Mumble is, think of Ventrilo or TeamSpeak. Mumble is a widely used VOIP solution especially for other games or MMOs. What makes Mumble stand out of Ventrilo or TeamSpeak is that it works way better, simplified and is opensource. Because Mumble is opensource, the guys at VCOMM managed to reengineer it to integrate it to OS which is a really big deal considering not everyone can get FreeSwitch running.

With VCOMMs integration of Mumble to OpenSim, the results are fascinating if you’re an OpenSim centric community member. By changing your SLVoice.exe in your viewer with the provided executable from VCOMM, you can enjoy voice functionality on a whisper configured OpenSim server. While some of you may find this a roadblock, its not causing that much inconvenience. The quality of audio with Whisper is really great, something that not comparable to TS, Ventrilo and not even SL’s Vivox.

Configuring whisper into your OpenSim server (in my case, on a windows box) requires the installation of Murmur. This is the server application that handles the voice functionality. After parameter changes to OpenSim.ini and configuration, you have voice enabled on your server!

It’s worth noting that even though this is a working voice solution, its not totally similar to the ones we find in SL. The audio you will hear inworld is not 3D, which means no matter how far you are from the avatars that are using voice, you will hear each other in full volume. Other than that, calls don’t work, conferences don’t work and voice can only be enabled on 1 region for now.

It’s not perfect. But it has a lot of room for changes and the great part about it is that, voice works and you can now communicate to people inworld.

You can try out Whisper by visiting their forum at: http://whisper.vcomm.ch/forum/index.php

UPDATE: I managed to get voice for multiple regions but it’s a pretty complicated task and requires a bit of a Mumble crash course. It’s still really buggy though so use at discretion.

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2 Responses to “Whisper by VComm – A voice solution for OpenSim”

  1. Jane Baker Says:

    Why note use the free “iED Audio Whiteboard” provided by the Immersive Education Initiative? Here’s some info about it and a video taken from the forums page at http://members.http://members.immersiveeducation.org (under the Audio Whiteboard forum)…

    The iED Audio Whiteboard provides shared (collaborative) whiteboard functionality; private audio lecture rooms within shared virtual worlds; a reliable alternate audio channel that is helpful in ensuring that all individuals in a virtual world are capable of hearing and talking by voice even in cases where the virtual world’s own audio system is problematic; and “Web-to-World” (w2w) content authoring capabilities that greatly simplify the process of placing content and reference materials into virtual worlds. Using the iED Audio Whiteboard anyone with a standard Web browser (Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, etc.) can populate a virtual world with hyperlinked whiteboard imagery and 2D images, and soon 3D objects as well, using only their Web browser: no virtual world building or authoring skills required. Rocket World’s Web-to-World features enable educators and learners to utilize both “collaborative spaces” and customizable “personal spaces” in the virtual world.

    Video of the Web-to-World (w2w) features are at http://www.youtube.com/immersiveed#p/u/4/9HYH1yB2D2g

    Seems like a better than in-world audio replacement for some things?!


  2. Neil Canham Says:

    Glad you got it up and running :-) The spatial thing is on the roadmap I believe. Also, for some applications, being able to walk or cam around without worrying about a fall off in voice level is an advantage. But having the option would certainly be nice.

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