Zetamex announces bounty for Mumble development

OpenSim hosting company Zetamex has announced an award for anyone who finishes up work on the Mumble-Whisper open source voice system for OpenSim.

Currently, the two main options for OpenSim voice are Freeswitch, an open source platform, and Vivox, a commercial service that also provides voice to Second Life.

Vivox offers its voice platform for free to small and non-commercial grids. However, it has recently been raising its prices.

“They are, in our opinion, overcharging for some of their services,” said Zetamex CEO Timothy Rogers in the announcement.

Just chilling, listening to myself talk, on my private company grid. Will I need a commercial license soon?

Hyperica Grid uses Vivox voice. Will we be needing a commercial license soon?

For example, he said, Vivox recently quoted him a price of $50 per month for a maximum of 10 simultaneous users. The free plans are now limited to no more than five avatars at once.

Jim Toga, Vivox’ Chief Operating Officer, declined to comment about the pricing structure.

“I’m not in a position to provide a price list at this point,” he said. However, he did say that the company will continue to offer a free option.

“We will continue to support individuals, schools and non-profits as we have for years,” he told Hypergrid Business.

Vivox also runs all of its own voice servers. This makes things easier for grid owners, but can be problematic for grids that want to run their own voice servers for reasons of privacy or security.

Freeswitch, the current open source alternative, is plagued by quality problems. Mumble offers a much higher quality of voice, including support for distance and directionality.

However, it’s not yet fully integrated with OpenSim. For example, users currently have to install a different voice plugin for their viewers. By comparison, Freeswitch and Vivox work seamlessly with all existing viewers.

This part of the work has already begun.

“Cinder Roxley from Firestorm has begun work on built in support for Firestorm as well as making it modular for any viewer dev to put it in their viewer with detailed instructions,” Rogers told Hypergrid Business. “It automatically detects if it needs to load Mumble or Vivox when landing on a region.”

According to Rogers, Mumble also needs additionL work so that each region gets its own channel and each parcel gets its own sub-channel. The platform also needs conference call and person-to-person call support, he said.

As of this writing, $72 has been pledged by two backers through Bountysource — Zetamex and Zandramas Grid.

“Anyone can join the backing,” said Rogers.

The code that is produced in response to the bounty will be donated back to the community, he added, for anyone to use.

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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.

11 Responses

  1. Justin Ireman says:

    I think it would be a good for there to be an opensource solution for voice that is integral and under the control of the grid operator.

    I would just like to add, as I mentioned to Maria in this article :-

    …that TeamSpeak3 is also a viable option if you want a ready made, and reliable voice solution. I was a little shocked to learn that Vivox wanted USD$50 a month for just 10 simultaneous users. As grid owner of Avalonia Estate http://www.avalonia-estate.co.uk (Get my little plug in there 🙂 ) I only pay USD$29 per YEAR for 32 simultaneous voice users. For up to 64 its USD$55 per year, and up to 128 USD$100 per year. That blows Vivox prices out of the water.

    I realise that many wont like it as its another commercial product, and also that it is not integrated with the grid or viewer, but the benefits of having the voice server running on your own servers and under your control, and the sheer versatility of it will be attractive to some. We have been using it for 6 months now, and sure, it is a little bit inconvenient having to fire up a separate client for voice, but the sound quality and extra benefits, such as file transfer facilities, text IM facility, greater control over who users voice etc, and almost zero set up effort, means that I for one will be sticking with TS for the foreseeable future, and would recommend it to any grid owner that wants a ready made voice solution with back up support. Anyway, that’s just my opinion…advert over lol. Happy New Year all 🙂

    • me@timothyfrancisrogers.me' hack13 says:

      While I love teamspeak as well, i want to support in viewer experience. Mumble we can do that as the SDK is opensource and to use TeamSpeak’s its a bit expensive. But I am with you on tride and proven, but mumble has been really awesome as well lately.

      • nakitaopensim@aol.com' Guest says:

        Hack we cant wait for your new hosting changes

        Light Cloud – 30,000 Prims* – 50 Residents – 4 Regions – $20usd/month
        Steady Cloud – 60,000 Prims* – 100 Residents – 9 Regions – $40usd/month
        Heavy Cloud – 120,000 Prims* – 100 Residents – 16 Regions – $80usd/month

        ALWAYS ONLINE Cloud Based this is best deal ever that is going to push us towards our own grid with out own rules and our own name !

        I hope you have considered an opensim marketplace online at some point in future we really need a trusted neutral 3rd party that’s for all grids

        Happy “belated” New Years

        • me@timothyfrancisrogers.me' hack13 says:

          We are not going back on our word, they will be available very soon, we still have next to process our major upgrade and migration of all our services to our brand new hybrid system.

          At which time everything goes live, and our new site and panel all goes live as well.

          As far as an opensim marketplace, we don’t have a lot of ideas on this yet, but it has been on our most requested feature list, so it is something we will look into doing very soon.

          • dau45az@gmail.com' Guest says:

            As far as the marketplace goes maybe some decent content creators lined up. Something with a lot more quality then the Marketplaces out already. Those really need to be freebies.

  2. karelboard@aol.com' wolftimber says:

    Pretty cool for Tim to offer!

    I don’t know, I think the voice thing is mostly overrated anyway, you get in a group situation and invariably people have open mics, screaming kids, spouse in the same room watching TV with the sound up, computer fans or air conditioners clearly audible and then you get three people all try to talk at the same time because there’s no visual clues someone is about to speak.

    It’s good for one-on-one chat and being a central speaker to a group like teacher to students, but if you have to run the stuff on your own server from home in addition to the opensim, then people are really going to know the meaning of LAG!

    • me@timothyfrancisrogers.me' hack13 says:

      well we are already in talks with some mumble service providers to arrange some reselling of their services for opensim usage. Meaning you can pay almost 0.12 to 0.36 cents per-person/month and just copy and paste info into you opensim.ini just like you do with vivox.

  3. johnhigley1947@gmail.com' John Higley says:

    The best mumble host I have found is http://voicespawn.com/. Works great and their prices are really low.

  4. susannah.avonside@gmail.com' Susannah Avonside says:

    Has there been any progress on this? I would like to have voice enabled on a OpenSim based project I’m involved with, and Vivox (or any other commercial alternative) is wholly unsuitable.