Thursday, September 9, 2010

Phoenix Second Life Viewer (Emerald Succesor)

I am trying out the newly released Phoenix viewer for Second Life. This viewer project was hastily formed when the Emerald project self destructed, hopefully leaving behind the individuals whose actions resulted in the project's demise. Read about that all over elsewhere.

Emerald users will be quite pleased with either Imprudence or Phoenix. Both are based on Emerald source code. The Phoenix viewer, however, is nearly identical to the final releases of Emerald and contains all of the features Emerald users are accustomed to. On the other hand, some users may prefer to grant their trust to the Imprudence team which has not been involved in any way in any of the questionable activities that resulted in Linden Lab banning the Emerald viewer. Imprudence is also very "Emeraldy".

Support for ogg vorbis audio streams in Phoenix is the principle reason I am using Phoenix as my primary viewer. Imprudence 1.4.x may provide ogg vorbis support in the final release at which time the choice between 3rd party viewers sanctioned by Linden Labs becomes more of a toss-up.

[UPDATE] Phoenix was released containing fixes, performance improvements, and the ability to display friends' chat in a different color. However, the team also lost a couple of developers including lead developer Dimentox Travanti  over "a difference in opinion on how the project and team should be run". It would appear the Phoenix team continues to suffer from a fractured and possibly unstable team dynamic. Perhaps we will learn more in the next few days but for now the promised "transparency" looks like nothing more than corporate double-speak to me.[/UPDATE]

I configure the Phoenix viewer with the following preferences:

Main Menu at top left of Phoenix window

Edit -> Preferences

General ->
    check "Show Start Location on Login Screen"
    Rating "PG, Mature and Adult"

Network ->
    Maximum Bandwidth to 1050 kbps
    Disk Cache Size to 1000 MB

Web ->
    check "Use external web browser"

Graphics ->
    Quality and Performance to Ultra
    (this setting depends on your system's graphics capabilities)

Audio & Video ->
    Enable Streaming Music When Available
    Enable Streaming Media When Available

Text Chat ->
    Chat Font Size to Large
    Chat Color -> You -> cyan, Chat Color -> IM -> green
    check "Color text in chat from my friends in a different color"
    uncheck "Play typing animation when chatting"
    check "Use machine translation while chatting"

Popups ->
    uncheck "Automatically view after accepting"

Skins ->
    select "Silver" from the drop down menu of skins
    (I tried "Dark" but Silver is a lot more readable)

Phoenix ->
    TP Login ->
        check "Double-click Teleport"
        check "Make name Tags of the same client be the same color"
        check "Disable Teleport Screens"

    IM ->
        leave "Enable Autoresponse" unchecked
        check "Autorespond to non-friends"
        compose an autoresponce message
        check "Send an item along with the response"
        drag an inventory item you wish to send to the bar
        check "Vertical IM tabs"

    Chat ->
        uncheck "Hear typing sound when people type"
        check "When 'Receive group notices' is disabled ..."

    Misc ->
        check "Always rez objects under the land group if possible"
        check "Disables minimum camera zoom distance"
        check "Show a message when someone takes a snapshot"

    Build ->
        check "Embed an item into the newly created object"
        drag and drop a information notecard to the bar

    Page 2 ->
        Effects ->
            check "Enable enhanced physics on avatar breasts"
            Breast mass:      84
            Breast rebound: 11
            Breast max vel:  85
            Breast friction:   11
            Breast min vel:   15

        SpellCheck ->
            check "Show misspelled words in red"

Apply -> OK

File -> Quit
Run Phoenix again, login and check your preferences

Main Menu at top left of Phoenix window

View -> uncheck "Movement Controls" (who uses them?)

Phoenix -> check Show Advanced
    check DoubleClick Teleports
    check Enable Autoresponse

Advanced ->
    check High-res Snapshot
    check Quiet Snapshots to Disk
    uncheck Limit Select Distance
    check Disable Camera Constraints
    Character ->
        Character Tests ->
            make sure "Go Away/AFK When Idle" is unchecked

Toolbar at lower right of Phoenix window

Inventory -> Sort -> uncheck "System Folders To Top"

Finally, I would like to thank all the talented, dedicated, and hard working volunteers that create, distribute, and support these 3rd party viewers. Emerald, Imprudence, and now Phoenix have enriched my Second Life experience. My only question to these teams would be why the ex-Emerald development teams do not collaborate on a single Emerald based viewer. Why does there need to be Emergence, Imprudence, and Phoenix ? Seems like an inefficient and triplicated waste of effort. Anyway, Enjoy!


  1. Trying Phoenix and thans for the guide. Only thing I cannot do is to check Hide group from profile. Does not work! Tried everything but still shows the group in my profile. Seems no way to check the box and hide it. Any advice appreciated.

    Thank you.

  2. Hi Mieke - Do you mean "Hide my group title" in the General tab of the Phoenix preferences? If so, checking that just means the group tag over your avatar's head will not be displayed. If you wish to hide your groups in your profile then click on the group you want to hide (Communicate -> Contacts -> Groups) then click on the "Info" button then uncheck the "List group in my profile". Unfortunately, you have to do this individually for each of the up to 25 groups. Hope this helps.

  3. I am having problems making the sound work in Phoenix. I just got a new computer so I'm not sure why sound is working everywhere except in sl :(

  4. is there any way to make shadows for pictures in .... I cant seem to find the option for photos... I want shadows for some picture taking

  5. Whisper, you can enable shadows in Phoenix by using the "Ultra" graphics setting (Edit -> Preferences -> Graphics -> slider to Ultra) then check the "Enable Shadows" at Edit -> Preferences -> Phoenix -> Page 2 -> Advanced Graphics. Click "Apply" then experiment with different Windlight settings and times of day.

  6. I have received a few comments to the effect that "sound doesn't work". First, when reporting a problem or asking for help, try to supply enough information so the Support analyst or friend can reproduce your problem. It's hard to tell what's wrong if only given the one line report "such and such doesn't work".

    As for sound configuration in Second Life with Phoenix, make sure streaming media is enabled in Edit -> Preferences -> Audio & Video. You can also verify the voice chat settings are correct by checking the "Device Settings" in Preferences -> Voice Chat.

    Search the Second Life Wiki. For instance, the page at might be of assistance. Maybe you just need to click the play button at the bottom right or the viewer. Maybe your audio speaker is on mute and you just need to unmute it. At any rate, streaming audio, streaming video, and voice chat all work fine in Phoenix.

  7. Sound doesn't work for me either, and I have done all of the above, including checking my settings in preferences. I also tried doing a clean reinstall....still no sound. And by "no sound" I mean no ambient sound, no UI sound, no music,no streaming video or audio, no chat, Glad to know it's not just me. I've also checked the Phoenix web site to see if anyone else has reported this problem, but can't seem to find much there.

  8. I haven't been able to get a voice dot in Phoenix.. I get one in Rainbow and one in SL2.0 and I had one in the old Emerald.. just not in Phoenix nor Imprudence.. are they doing something differently? I have it enabled in my Preferences... but cannot engage in voice chat

  9. I have received several comments and emails describing various audio issues with Phoenix. Even though the vast majority of Phoenix users I have spoken to report no problem with audio, there does appear to be some issue - likely hardware or system specific since it is rarely seen. I will report this to the Phoenix development team. Thanks for all your comments and emails.

  10. There appear to be some audio problem reports in the Phoenix JIRA already closed/fixed. One problem was downloads of the installation not finding the VoiceFmod add-on download.

    Try downloading and extracting to the Phoenix installation area or, probably a better idea, re-download and re-install Phoenix and let it download and extract the VoiceFmod files.

  11. From the Phoenix JIRA at this workaround for a VoiceFmod download problem:

    If you get the message "Files Could Not Be Downloaded VoiceFmod.7z" install the viewer anyway.

    Then download the missing Voice files & Fmod (sound file) here OR here

    Unzip this file into your Phoenix install folder which will be C://Program Files/Phoenix Viewer on 32 bit systems & C://Program Files(x86) /Phoenix Viewer on 64 bit systems.

    Then relog & you will have audio & voice.

    Please must unzip/extract the files, not just place those downloads in your Phoenix folder

    How to unzip a Zip file
    How to unzip a 7z file

  12. I didn't have sound either until I read this thread of comments. Sound is fixed...
    I have a new computer and I remember when I first downloaded Pheonix there was a statement that certain files could not be downloaded. That must have been the sound files that I just read about. So I installed latest version and all is well...Thanks to Missy Restless for your suggestions! :)

  13. Is there any way to enable 'wasd' for movements and 'f' for flying with the phoenix viewer as is possible with the SL viewer?

  14. In my Phoenix viewer 'wasd' movement keys are enabled with 'w' walk forward, 's' walk backward, 'a' turn left, 'd' turn right. Is this not the case for you ? Also, the 'f' key acts as a shortcut for flying. So, I do not think it is necessary to edit any preferences, it should just work. For further info on movement keys, see

  15. Thanks for the great guide. It really really helped. Keep up the great work

  16. Trying to become a second lifer. Downloaded the Phoenix program but its telling me that my video driver isnt accepted. First time Ive had this problem. Ive tried looking up answers to help me fix this with no luck. Any advice??

  17. See and for info on graphics hardware requirements for Second Life. The "correct" thing to do is spend $50-$100 and buy a supported graphics card. It is possible to ignore the warning in most cases and proceed with the viewer installation. If you choose to ignore the warning you risk damage to your system but folks seem to do it anyway. I bought a $95 graphics card and I'm very happy with it.

  18. Just to correct your original post - Imprudence is not, and never had been, based on the Emerald code. It is not associated with Emerald in any way.

  19. Thanks for correcting that beccapet. I should have said both Emerald and Imprudence share the same original Second Life Viewer 1.23.x code base. Their evolution from this common starting point has been separate and surprisingly non-collaborative although the open source nature of the development process may have exposed code or concepts that migrated between the two. In any case, yes, Imprudence is not based on Emerald.

  20. Hey I'm curious about whether this is a bug or something I just have to deal with. I've got "Enable Shadows" checked and everything looks awesome... but for some reason when I take a snapshot the picture itself doesn't look like my screen does. Should there be something checked or unchecked? I also have "High-res Snapshot" checked too.

  21. Well, that sounds like a bug but the question is who's bug is it. When I have played with Phoenix's shadow enabling I have got all kinds of weird stuff happening. Is it the viewer ? The graphics card ? Memory or some other hardware thing ? SL ? Who the fracking frick knows ? Not me.

  22. Like Second Life? This viewer will blow away any other viewer created so far, ultra slick and easy to use. Try this!

  23. Note: the above comment is for a commercial viewer as yet unreleased. I published the comment out of respect for free speech but have no knowledge of the quality or trustworthiness of the development team.

  24. Hello, I have been playing Second Life for over a year now and in the last few months my sound is cutting out when I go in one particular room which is Demonics which has high lagg. it used to work ok in there before and I can't seem to get to the bottom of it.
    The sound works fine in all other parts of the game.
    My operating system is windows 7 and I have tried different viewers. It's nothing to do with the mute buttons on anything like that.
    I've tried going onto a Lan conncection instead of using a wireless connection, but still no joy.
    Can anybody suggest what could be wrong please.

  25. Hi Binnie,

    Perhaps Demonics disabled voice on their parcel ? Unfortunately, other than this guess, I have no real suggestion for a fix for you. If the problem persists you may want to file a bug report. See

  26. one problem im having is the effects for breasts. I see no movement if thats what its for. Never have and have always had it checked. even just changed it and relogged after applying it to the settings you have here and still nothing. not sure what may be happening or if its something else I need. thank you for any input.

  27. Several people have complained on the JIRA about breast physics not working. The feature seems to be quite sensitive and incompletely implemented. If you have enabled breast physics but do not see any jiggle when the avatar is moving up and down, try the following:

    1. Make sure breast physics is enabled in your viewer preferences

    2. Go to Advanced -> Debug Settings -> PhoenixBreastPhysicsToggle -> Toggle to FALSE then back to TRUE.

    If you still do not see any breast movement, try setting min vel to 1 & max vel to 100.

  28. I've found the best viewer by far to be the Reborn viewer. It's easy to use and NEVER crashes on me. It's awesome! If you want to find out more about this fantastic Viewer go to

  29. Yea! The Reborn viewer NEVER crashes! It is also a free source of perpetual motion and can enable you to live forever while never paying ANY taxes! Yea Reborn!

  30. There is no "Effect" tab in the 2nd page of Phoenix Settings.

    I also do not have "Phoenixbreastphysicstoggle" in Debug Settings.

    Does the latest update of the Viewer (I have not have the ability to change the breast physics settings?

  31. Phoenix has adopted the new "Physics Layer" as the way to configure breast, stomach, and butt movement. The older Phoenix breast physics is no longer supported.

  32. Hi, I just recently created a new Avatar for Second life. I gave her one full name: PrissMiho. Now when I try to log into Phoenix viewer, I must provide both a first and a second name. As I have only one full name, I am unable to do so. I really want to use Phoenix viewer as I find it to be the best viewer I have used so far. Any suggestions? thx!!

  33. Use "Resident" as the last name - PrissMiho Resident