Voice in Opensim is a vexed question, and whilst most of us don't use it for a whole host of reasons it is a very useful thing to have. But, so long as there has been a 'free' alternative, most have been happy to use Vivox. For most people Vivox is probably fine, but for some there is one very big downside to using this service: it eavesdrops.
Some years ago I was working on an Opensim based solution for remote meetings, a place where we could virtually meet. Probably the most important criteria was security and privacy, so obviously Vivox, with its policy of eavesdropping was a non-starter. I had become aware of the Whisper project, but that only worked with Opensim up to 0.7.6, and whilst the module was then still available, it isn't now. Also, the Whisper project itself was abandonware. In 2014, Zetamex announced a bounty for anyone finishing the work on the Mumble-Whisper voice module, and started a crowdfunder, which predictably, this being Opensim, raised the derisory sum of $62 from four backers... https://www.hypergridbusiness.com/2014/01/zetamex-announce...
Even at the time, it didn't look as if the bounty would be claimed, as Vivox was still a viable option, so of course that's what people went for rather than for an independent voice solution for Opensim. I did try to contact the person behind the project at the time, as I would have liked to have supported the project, but they did not get back to me. The project I was working on didn't progress, but more because of the high entry threshold of Opensim/Second Life. I still have the OARs I made for the project however.
The EchoVoice project announced in late 2021 offered some promise even though the project was looking for $60k in initial funding. A cynic might think that raising a sum like that in Opensim is just pie in the sky, and so it proved. Thus far the project has raised $775 of the needed $60,000. Hypergrid Business described the project as suffering from 'delayed funding'. https://www.hypergridbusiness.com/2022/12/vivox-voice-repl...
And now that Vivox seem to be about to follow through on their decision to close off access to Vivox for most users of Opensim there is now a clamouring. The writing has been on the wall for a very long time, and there have been alternative voice projects launched from within the Opensim community that have been ignored.
At the end of the day we need to take responsibility for our own project. The Opensim project needs lots of things. Opensim needs its own viewer project with all the SL only gunk removing, and arguably a more formally organised Opensim fork project is needed to properly progress the project. But I doubt that any of this will happen because no one will cough up any cash. I know there are some users of Opensim who are extremely cash-strapped, but I reckon that most could afford the odd pound/dollar every once in a while to support projects in Opensim. Even in my most financially straightened times I could always find the odd couple of quid for causes that are important to me. Now that I'm somewhat more financially secure, I can afford to indulge more, but like most, I understandably want to be sure that any project I contribute cash to has a better than evens chance of reaching its goal.
There is only one way we will get the things we want in Opensim, such as a voice module, and that is through paying for them!
Some people commenting have adopted an intemperate and abusive tone when making comments. I've deleted a few, (and blocked one persistent offender). Some people have also posted irrelevant comments, which have also been deleted. Please keep comments civil, respectful and on topic.