Using Voice Chat (new VOIP version)
In February, there has been introduced (for testing ) a new VOIP codec, which means that VOIP has been re-written. The VOIP codec has been replaced by Opus-Codec. This is an advanced SILK codec, SILK is also used in the Skype program.
Voice Chat (VOIP) exists already for a long time in Activeworlds, and the use of VOIP became for free in 2013 (before you needed to pay for this function).
You can read how to use VOIP on this webpage: venice3d.net/2013create2
Read can read about it on this page again, but with other features in addition.....
Hardware requirements...
Of course, you need to have speakers and a microphone, or you can use a headset. If you have various pieces of this hardware, you can test out which is the best option for you, Some headseats don't work on newer computers, while others work perfectly etc.. Also some headsets (with bluetooth) of smartphones can be used (but not all of them).
Not all worlds are VOIP enabled at this moment : Public worlds with VOIP are America ,AWWelcome, AWReunion, AWSchool , WildAW, Winter and Yellow. Private worlds with size p20 (or larger) can also use VOIP, but the world owners need to apply the VOIP settings in their world options (see below this page).
Sound settings - Set up Mic and Speakers
First of all need to to check the sound volume : Go in the AW-menu to :
Options - Settings - Audio
Move The slider of "Main App Volume" , this will increase or reduce the volume. You can bring the slider to the maximum .This tabsheet is also used for the audio for multimedia, telegrams and building sounds.
Secondly, select again the AW-menu , and go to :
Options - Settings - Chat .
And here you go below to Voice Chat options ::
Playback Audio Device : Speakers (instead of System Default )
Capture Audio Device : Microphone (instead of System Default )
The option "Stereo Mix" is not possible to choose, because in that case , while speaking in your microphone, you will hear the echoes in you speakers (= audio feedback). So this option has been disabled for the Activeworlds program !!
If you still should have problems, while talking in the microphone, then you can do this:
Right-click upon the start button of your computer, and choose : run , and you type in that field : control , then choose ok, and you will arrive in the Control Panel.
Go to Hardware and Sounds, then select Sounds, and choose tabsheet Recording.
Double-Click upon Microphone , then on tabsheet Levels.
Here you can reduce the sound of your microphone. If you see the option Microphone Gain, then you bring this to zero, and you will notice that the buzzing sound will disappear. It is possible that you still hear a bit of buzzing but in the Voice Chat, people won't hear this buzzing sound anymore when you are speaking. Also the whistling sound will disappear (by bringing your microphone too close to the speakers).
In the tabsheet Improvements, you can also suppress unwanted noise and echo, but for some users this will make no difference.
In any case, keep the speakers at a distance from your microphone. If you use a headset, then you won't have problems with that.
Using the voice chat
Finally, you go the the VOIP menu :
Press the F9 - key and choose tabsheet : Voice Chat
You will see in the upper right corner a symbol with 2 cables that are not connected with eachother (in red colour)
In this example (on the picture) , the VOIP is not active. This can have 2 reasons: either the VOIP is not enabled in this world, or the option "auto logon" has been unchecked (see below). In the last case you need activate the VOIP yourself manually, by clicking upon the symbol in the upper right corner. (*picture 1*)
* picture 1*
But if all of this is ok, then you will see in the upper right corner a symbol with 2 cables that are connected with eachother (in green colour). (*picture 2*)
You will also see a bar : "Talk / Hands Free" in green background color.
And you will also see the voice chat participants.
If you want to talk, then click upon the green bar "Talk / Hands Free":
Then the bar changes into the text : "Stop" with red background (*picture 3*)
Now you can start to talk. On top of the red bar, you see also 2 vertical columns,
While speaking, you will see the volume rising in the left vertical bar (in green color)
If another person is talking, then then volume will be rising in the right vertical bar.
And a yellow arrow will appear besides the Voice Chat Participant that is talking.
A second way to talk is by pressing the F11-key, and you continue pressing the F11-key while talking. The horizontal bar turns also from green to red background while talking.
Stop talking
If you want to stop talking, then you either release the F11-key .
Or you click upon the red bar "Stop" , and the bar will change again into green : "Talk / Hands Free"
* picture 2*
* picture 3*
There must be at least 2 citizens in the world. If you are alone in the world , then the voice chat will not work.This is logical, because you have nobody to talk to. But in the world AWWelcom there has been added an Echo-Self-Test , so that you can check yourself if the voice chat works or not.
In this case you see Echo-Self-Test as a Voice Chat Participant. (*picture 4*)
Right-click upon Echo-Self-Test and choose : Request Private Chat (*picture 5*)
And you get the message : Request Accepted - You are now in private chat with Echo-Self-Test.
Now you can start to speak : the left vertical bar will light up green while you are talking. The echo of your voice will appear in the right vertical bar (*picture 6*)
*Picture 4*
*Picture 5*
*Picture 6*
Voice Chat Controls
Above the Voice Chat Participants, you have also : Voice Chat Controls.
If you click upon this, a menu will appear, where you have several options.
You have 2 horizonal sliders : Capture Volume and Playback Volume.
Bring the slider of Capture Volume halfway ( this volume is normally sufficient for other citizens to hear you clearly, otherwise it may be too loud for them)
The Playback Volume is the volume that you will have in your speakers, so you can put that at the maximum.
You have also these additional options:
* Mute other sounds (building sounds, multimedia, building sounds)
* Virtual 3d Effect : if you check this, then the volume will decrease if you are at a larger distance from the avatar that is speaking.
* Auto Logon : if this is checked, then the VOIP starts immediately when entering the world. If unchecked, then you need to click first on the cable connection in the upper right corner, so that the cable icon turns into green.
* The reset button : resets the options, now you retry talking
But sometimes, if sound doesn't work, it is better to re-enter the world.
* The configure button : brings you to the settings window (see above)
If you click again upon "Voice Chat Controls", then the window will close again.
* New VOIP settings for World owners
World owners with worlds of size p20 or larger need to change the world features. Go in the menu to : Options - World - Features
Scroll down until you see "Voice Chat".
In the field VOIPCast Host , you type : voice.activeworlds.com
In the field VOIPCast Port, you type : 9000
VOIP Global in Conference Mode : if you check this,then the voice chat will be in the entire world. If you uncheck this, then you only have voice chat with the users nearby.
Moderated Mode is not applied at this moment for private worlds.
Finally you choose "apply", and in the Voice Chat tabsheet, the Echo-Self-Test will be added automatically.
VOIP settings for world owners
Chat Modes
The voice chat server has different modes to run in :
1. One voice channel for all worlds and zones in a universe (This is not the favourite option, as it is very disturbing for a large group of citizens, so it is not applied).
2. Auto-config channels, one channel per world and per zone.
So also in a zone you can use voice chat, with the condition that the voice chat is enabled in the world where that zone is located.
If you want to know how you can use zones with voice chat, then you can teleport to the world Yellow, on position 1900N 1387W 180
3. Dedicated channels, pre-configured channels for a world, using world rights.
See below (Moderated Mode).
Moderated Mode
The option "Moderated Mode" has been disabled. Formerly the world owner had the choice between Conference Mode and Moderated Mode. But now there is only Conference Mode.
Moderated Mode reqyed a dedicated voice server for each world, and this is not included in the packages within the public universe of AW. If a world owner wants moderated chat for a private world, then contact Activeworlds to purchase the additional services. If you should use Moderated Mode, then this is how it works :
If the World owner chooses for Moderated Mode, then the world owner must choose first the citizens which are allowed to talk in the menu :
Options - World - Rights

At the bottom , you have Voice Chat , if everyone is allowed to speak, then you type an asterisk (*) , but if you want moderated Voice Chat, then you enter here the citizen numbers which are allowed to speak.

When the world owner goes now again to the F9 window, with the Voice Chat, and now he world owner will be able to switch between the options Conference and Moderated. If the world owner chooses : Moderated, then there will appear :" You are a moderator".
In the list of Voice Chat Participants, you will see a symbol (a man with a tool) that indicates that you are a moderator.
The participants that are allowed to talk can also right-click in that window ,and choose: request to talk. Then a hand will rise up besides the participant's name.
The moderator can right-click as well, and can choose between :
"Deny Request To Talk" and "Clear Response"
And in the Voice Chat Controls window, the moderator can also choose the options:
"Reset Requests" and "Clear All Responses"