It seems a number of people have been having trouble running the Phoenix Viewer 908. Some users crash after a few minutes and some after a longer time. The Phoenix team has been looking for the problem. This Beta release is a step in confirming they have found the problem. They need more testers on many different type of hardware to test the viewer. So, it you are one of those that has had problems with Phoenix crashing, get the new 977 and give it try. If you crash, file a report on the Phoenix JIRA.
Download & Install
The release announcement advises us that this install will clear the cache. For most of us that just means you may notice your first login rez taking just a bit longer.
Windows users have a choice between an SSE and an SSE2 viewer. To know which your computer will use the Phoenix Wiki SSE page links you to a handy tool that examines your computer and checks what type of SSE support it has. SSE2 is better than SSE. Newly made computers support SSE4. Two year old computers probably support SSE3. So, don’t sell your computer short, just check it.
There are a number of skins to install as an install option.
The viewer started up with no problems.
The 908 and 977 user interfaces are the same.
The release notes point out that a media filter has been added. I think this beta got the filter to test it out in wide use. They have a Wiki page up explaining how to use the filter.
Setup of the filter is easy. One simply enables it. Edit->Preferences->Audio & Video, about 2/3’s of the way down the panel. Once enabled, you get a request asking if you want to Allow, Deny, Blacklist, or White list. One makes their choice. Of course, the problem is knowing which sites to allow your viewer to connect to.
Once you have made a decision to place sites in the Black or White list, you can edit the list. Phoenix->Media Lists. You can remove or add sites. There is apparently no helper features when adding a site. So, if you allow a site and later change your mind, the viewer will not enter the URL for you. It would have been nice if they would have allowed a button to re-trigger the request.
Having the Media Filter on does provide more safety. But, it gets annoying to click Allow especially when each parcel has a different music channel. Adding another inventory of things to manage is not a plus either. Nor will this feature mean everlasting security. Eventually there will be another exploit. For now, it is a nice feature to eliminate RedZone and similar types of exploitive software.
If you want to block RedZone and some of the similar products that use Media to exploit your viewer, read RedZone Privacy Issues Develop – Review. However, in general the RedZone threat is past.
The feature is incomplete. So… we’ll have to wait and see how it develops.
Update: Some are having a problem with the audio stream turning off even with the Filter disabled. It seems there is some problem between the Filter and the Translator. Turing off translation is supposed to be the work-around.
This release is mostly bug fixes. Other than the Media Filter there are no new toys to play with. Things like an updated set of listings for GPU’s (graphics cards ID’s and features).
Best of all the viewer seems more stable than the 908 release.