Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Flash and streaming video on a prim in OpenSim

The new Imprudence viewer 1.4.0 beta 1 has this great new feature called Web On A Prim, not new for Second Life users but in OpenSim it gives a lot of new possibilities. The most awesome thing I found is that it also shows pages with Flash (one thing I really miss on my iPad).

So what's the big deal?
Well, all things I have ever made in Flash, I work with Flash since version 4 (1999), can be used in-world. All games and interactive gadgets I made for education can be played inside the virtual worlds that I work on. Flash runs like it should, all controls work. The big advantage is that all gadgets I could not program in OpenSim can now be made in Flash and projected on a prim.

What's the limitation?
In front of the YouTube page
Ah, yes, there is one small limitation. The webpage to be shown has to be set in the PARCEL MEDIA (mostly by the owner of the parcel) so every parcel can show just one webpage, and that page is only shown to the user when his or her avatar is in that particular parcel. Crossing the border to another parcel stops showing the page on that prim. But many parcels can be made on a region. Last year I built a virtual language village where every building and shop is placed on a separate parcel, so the land is divided into more than 20 parcels. So the limitation is not that big.
One other limitation is that webpages on a prim are shown individual, so if I select a link on a page, other users will not see that.

How about streaming video like YouTube and Ustream?
Well that works too. If you place the YouTube url in the parcel media you can browse and play movies like on a normal browser. The only thing that does not work is the full screen button so if you want to show a particular YouTube video full size on a prim it is best to create a webpage with an embedded YouTube player.

Streaming webcam
Another great thing you can do is using Ustream ( for free streaming real-time video from your webcam onto the prim. Ustream uses the Flash player to connect your webcam to the web. And it gets even better with the free Ustream Producer ( which gives many options like mixing your webcam with screen captures and importing video and audio.

Anything else we should know?
Preferences settings
Yes, in the preferences there is one extra setting to be made at the Audio & video tab. It is good to use the Media helper widget, this zooms in at the prim and shows some control features below the prim whenever you click on it.

So this is in the new Imprudence?
Yes, Imprudence 1.4.0 has left the experimental fase most of the bugs are gone and the final 1.4.0 beta 1 is released. You can find the Imprudence viewer at: