It’s 2024 and it looks like Vivox finally discontinued it’s free opensimulator voice services, as they have been warning us about for over 2 years. Vivox put out an end of service announcement in 2021, they retired signing up in 2023, and for it seems, now finally in 2024 they took the depreciated service offline. Despite this being inconvenient, we are grateful for the excellent free services they provided for many years. This also means that there currently is no longer any voice solution working in-world via the viewer. At least, none other than ones involving a 3rd party client. Unfortunately this applies to all grids in the Metaverse.
Rectification: There is a chance that the service is not discontinued fully as yet, but caused by an outage at Vivox. We assumed the above due to reports from all grids reporting the service being down, Vivox having been open and clear about what their plans were, and seeing connections being actively refused. We will keep you posted whilst we try to get more information, and add to this article if appropriate.
OSgrid will for the moment continue it’s Discord channel for voice communications. There are a lot of available 3rd party voice clients, from Skype to teamspeak, from mumble to freeswitch, however, none have viewer integrations. This means that for the time being you will need to have a 3rd party client open if you want to talk. Please be careful with people claiming to be able to ‘sell’ you a working voice solutions. They might work, but likely not as you expect. To the best of our knowledge there is no current feasible inworld replacement for Vivox.
If you’re determined to run your own local voice services on your own server, Mumble is probably the easiest to implement. It’s small and relatively simple to configure, (adjust an INI and open some ports) but it lacks spacial audio and viewer support. Your users will have to install a tiny software client to be able to talk. Same applies to teamspeak. If you’re not interested in hosting it yourself, grab any existing service like skype or discord or even steam, and have your users connect there / to that channel. For now it’s a lot easier since you don’t have to manage anything other than the voice-channel.
The ‘mandatory silence’ will no doubt spark some interesting discussions from a decade ago back to life. Some developers have already been peeking at workarounds or solutions to get voice back into Opensimulator.