New Second Life viewer offers easier navigation, in-world media

Second Life released a new version of its viewer today, Second Life Viewer 2 Beta, offering easier navigation and additional functionality. The biggest single improvement is the ability to see media on in-world surfaces — not just a single QuickTime video per region, but Flash and even live Web pages.

The viewer also rearranges the view screen, putting browser-style back and home buttons, a location bar, and a search field at the top of the screen.

The viewer is available on multiple platforms.

Like previous Second Life viewers, SL Viewer 2 can be used to access OpenSim grids by editing a shortcut command (OSGrid access instructions here.)

Reviews have been generally positive. Ron Blechner offered “21 Reasons the New Second Life Viewer 2.0 is a Huge Improvement.”

According to Rita JKing, innovator-in-residence at IBM’s Analytics Virtual Center, the new viewer is “a new dimension in collaborative creativity.”

Virtual worlds blogger Dusan Writer said that the viewer is the beginning of a series of steps that “that promise to radically transform the virtual world, its culture, its ability to integrate with the wider digital landscape, and its ability to attract new users.”

Users have also already posted videos showing off some of the features of the new viewer, including the one below, demonstrating the ability to share media.

Lindan Lab has put up a Wiki page describing the viewer and its features and posted an introductory video on YouTube.

“The whole strategy is to break down the walls to make Second Life much more accessible to users and make it possible for all this incredibly rich content to travel outward—to travel to the web and be shared,” said Linden Lab CEO Mark Kingdom told technology evangelist Robert Scoble.

But nto all reactions were completely positive. Some users reported frequent crashes, or problems getting used to thte new interface. In addition, the new viewer’s functionality is not yet supported by OpenSim.

“SL Viewer 2 is a bit of a disaster in OpenSim, said IBM senior architect Peter Finn. “It is too tightly integrated with [the] Second Life back end.”

However, the ability to pull WebEx, Google Docs, YouTube videos into a virtual world would be “perfect” for government, educational and enterprise users.

“OpenSim needs to take advantage of new features,” he said.

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Maria Korolov

Maria Korolov is editor and publisher of Hypergrid Business. She has been a journalist for more than twenty years and has worked for the Chicago Tribune, Reuters, and Computerworld and has reported from over a dozen countries, including Russia and China. Follow me on Twitter @MariaKorolov.

10 Responses

  1. For a very nice overview of all the features, and links to the tutorials, see Sand Castle Studios' "Everything You Need To Know About Second Life Viewer 2.0 (Beta)" :

    http://changingworldsbuildingdreams.com/everythin

    — Maria

  2. aradtech68@gmail.com' Chris Greenwell says:

    This is amazing and just what was needed to move this to the next level 🙂

  3. admin@virworld.com' Kabalyero says:

    Yup, downloaded it but haven’t tried it. Hope it works with older computers but if not then there is always Emerald to fall back to.

  4. spewaysealat@gmail.com' Kash says:

    Well, I've tried it for about a month.

    The good part to it is the very easy navigation system.

    It's basically like a regular internet browser and searching for places and going to them has become easier than ever!

    Also, the inventory has become MUCH organized and EASIER to use.

    The biggest problem I have with it is the lag and the tp.

    Most of my friends do not experience lag when I do (they are using third party viewers)

    Also, I have stopped being able to tp to any location. I am pretty much stuck walking around.

    For right now, I would not recommend this viewer.

    I am looking for third party viewers now…but the new pressure from Linden Labs has made made viewers a scarce commodity now. (makes me sad)

  1. February 24, 2010

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  2. February 24, 2010

    […] to offer more functionality (as with Second Life’s support of collaborative media in its new viewer release), virtual worlds will become an “always on” environment – similar to the way that employees […]

  3. February 24, 2010

    […] “SL Viewer 2 is a bit of a disaster in OpenSim,“ said IBM senior architect Peter Finn. “It is … […]

  4. February 24, 2010

    […] New Second Life viewer offers easier navigation, in-world media Amazon.com Widgets SHARETHIS.addEntry({ title: “5 Minutes with SL Viewer 2 Beta”, url: “http://www.kabalyero.com/2010/02/25/5-minutes-with-sl-viewer-2-beta/” }); If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!If you’re new here, you may want to subscribe to my RSS feed and don’t forget to leave a comment. Thanks for visiting and please do visit again! […]

  5. February 28, 2010

    […] New Second Life viewer offers easier navigation, in-world media […]

  6. March 14, 2010

    […] think Linden is somewhat aware of the fact that things need to get easier, since their latest beta viewer is supposed to be designed to be more similar to web interfaces that appeal to average users. But, I […]

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