The Alpha version of this viewer was released Thursday June 10. See: Announcing Viewer 2.1 Alpha and Voice Morphing. …O.O… voice morphing? There is a big demand for that? Aaah… ok.
A big item for me is they plan to make weekly releases of the new viewer, alpha version I expect. This seems to be the trend with all the viewers, faster releases. Emerald, Kirsten, and Imprudence are all releasing versions of their viewers faster than I can evaluate them, especially with RL paying work returning to keep me busy.
This is an alpha version viewer. That means it is not as stable as the current 2.0.1 standard viewer that new sign ups get. However, if you want to help with the development of the viewer, use it. The more error reports they get the faster and easier it is to make fixes. Of course if you are working in SL you won’t want to deal with the crashes characteristic of alpha versions. Understandable.
Linden Lab is saying they have been guided by user feedback, which group of users… they don’t say. So, whether it was new sign ups’ feedback or existing residents… how knows? I suspect some mix of both. The fact that many of the fixes and changes are tied to JIRA numbers has me thinking existing residents may have had more input than is generally thought.
First, the logon has changed. First and last name now go in the same field. This is supposed to be some unified login for all the SL related properties, i.e., market, web, blog, and etc. There is no grid manager. Even the ability to select various SL grids is gone, but that may be intentional for testing reasons.
I have a load of gestures for my combat games. Those did not load well. I spent like 5 minutes clicking through notes about which gestures could not load.
I had a load of IM’s to go through. I quickly realized most of those I had already seen and cleared from the previous days login with Emerald. What a drag. Then they were capped. When I looged in with Emerald no new IM’s came up. I suspect I lost a several because of a 2.1 mess up of some kind.
Several of the clothing items I was wearing would not load. Trying to change clothes I was getting a message that an attachment was pending for that location… for pants? I was staying a gas ball. I can’t drop the draw distance to zero to force a recovery. The minimum is 64m. This is an annoying dumbing down of the viewer. Setting graphics to low, I turn into an egg… no really… my AV goes to a white oval shape. (See image) I tried relogging. I also checked with Imprudence to see if there was a database problem, no. After 30 minutes and several attapts to get my AV to load in the viewer I gave up. After 30 minutes it still had not downloaded.
The Alpha viewer is set to use the SL cache… probably not the best choice. I have Alpha, Beta, and standard version viewers using their own separate caches, seems to reduce problems. If my alpha viewer is going to be crashing I may need to be clearing the cache often. I would rather not have to reload the cache if I switch over to the main viewer. The setting is in Preferences (Ctrl-P) on the SETTINGS tab. There is no clear cache setting. The RESET resets your cache location to the default location for SL viewers. Another annoying control removal.
I am impressed with the joystick setting dialog.
And where is that voice morphing… In Preferences on the Sound & Media settings one can turn voice chat on and off and set where one listens from, camera or avatar. I dug through all the Preferences looking for it. Old style SL thinking. The setting is in the bottom button bar. Look for SPEAK (arf arf).
There is a voice preview in the Speak dialog. In that dialog is a link to the voice morphing section of SL’s web site; Voice Morphing Which is where one learns that voices will be for sale as a monthly service. …O.O…
The Morph Voice packs are only L$750 (US$3) per month per 5 voices. …>.<… Sheeese! That is 30% of the cost of a Pro account. May be those layoffs are cash crunch driven. Whatever, there are a set of 25 voices that come with the alpha viewer you can test. You record a short voice sample and then click voices to hear how they sound with your voice. There is a wiki entry showing a step by step and images.
I was unclear whether these voices are included are just previews. After reading Taka’s blog post I realize this is going to be a service. No free voice morphing.
There is Voice Island, a place where you can hear voices and test them. There is a built-in preview of the currently existing voices.
You must be using the new alpha viewer to use a morphed voice. However, anyone using any viewer will hear your morphed voice.
I suspect they have built in a voice synthesizer that alters the voice sound. Voice packs are likely just synthesizer settings. The monthly service charge is odd. There may be some royalty that has to be paid. However, I think it is rip. But if you want a synthesizer it’s not a bad price. I just looked to see what they cost. There are free ones and $25 to $250 versions.
I suspect one of the TPV’s will add one of their own voice synthesizers and offer it for free. So, it make no sense to me that LL would charge for the service. Time will tell.
The bottom menu/button bar has been modified and the right-side panel has some changes. Nothing Earth shattering there.
Performance is the same as with the 2.0.1 viewer. I was seeing 40 to 75 FPS with my system.
There is Twitter about the viewer using the hash #slviewer2.