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Within Second Life (SL) there is the option to use voice to communicate.  The many advantages to this includes the fact that it is quicker to communicate than typing in chat or IM.

My first ‘class’ with the “Is One Life Enough” course was to be voice instruction.  I have used voice earlier – even gave a lecture using voice myself – but this time all I got was garbled sounds.  And all the others heard from me was garbled sounds.  So, the trouble-shooting began.  Many thanks to Sitearm Madonna and Inish Karu for a great deal of their time and ideas.

After the first class, Sitearm and I tried many adjustments. And when we discovered Skype was fine, the mystery grew more interesting. I decided to totally uninstall SL and re-install (both the SL viewer and the Firestorm viewer).  Sitearm told me to try that and we’d test it again later.  Over the weekend I tried the re-install and TP’d to Help Island to find someone to voice with.  All was well! Problem solved (… almost).

Dudley and friends discussion voice problems.

Dudley getting help in SL from Sitearm and Innish

Monday as I was in SL, I IM’d Innish to try voice once more (just in case).  No luck – just garble.  When Sitearm logged on we all got together to brainstorm.  We tried to tackle the problem with queries to the Mac Users group in SL and searches to relevant blogs (for example, see the recent Tweets from @innshy; or help pages such as: http://virtualoutworlding.blogspot.ie/2011/04/voice-troubleshooting-update-4311.html).

After some time, the next step was to wait until I got home.  The next two options: (1) try a PC instead of my MacBook Pro (less than one year old), and (2) try another mic/headphone instead of my Logitech headset.  Once home, I simply logged on again and tried voice at Echo Canyon.

Testing voice at Echo Canyon in SL

Testing my SL voice at Echo Canyon

It worked.

My conclusion? There is some firewall issue at my university.  My earlier weekend test was not at the university.  Next I will have to contact the IT department to see what needs to be changed – or plan to be home for the class meetings.