Sunday, July 15, 2007

Voice

I've been using the First Look Voice Beta's since they became available, and I have a few things to say about voice:

Yes, it surprises people when they hear my voice. I think people understand that SL is different than most online "games" and realize that most of the female avatars are actually female, unlike the old joke applied to IRC, World of Warcraft and the like. So that when I speak, there's a disconnect. There are such things as voice morphing software, like MorphVox but since I am honest in the profile, I don't think I'll use them, though I have played with them a bit.

Voice works best in small groups, in large groups it's just too chaotic, and unlike text chat, you can't scroll back to see what you've missed. Also in large groups there always seems to be some disruptive person, either being a misogynist, homophobe, asshole or just simply cursing every other word.

There is also the problem of language, there are tools that can translate text like the Babbler mentioned in the previous post, but translating speech isn't as polished. Even turning speech to text is not all that easy.

Voice actually works well, it' amazingly clear, as good or better than a landline phone voice quality. However I think the voice clients are more resource intensive. They do not seem to play well with other applications running. That could be an issue for those with low-end "SL is a slideshow" machines like mine. (Integrated graphics, 852GM/855GME chipset)

Now I'm not going to say that I will never use voice, but I don't think I will use it too often. I can imagine it might prove very useful to others, so unlike some, I've not been opposed to implementing it. I am surprised that more people don't use the voice enabled first looks. LL needs as many people testing it as they can get. I've not tested the direct voice conversation parts of it, I don't think I have anyone in my friends list who's voice enabled.

1 comment:

Daisyblue said...

Well, I have voice,CC, and I'm on your friends list. So, anytime you want to talk, just give me a buzz.