Record voice chat and sounds – Video Tip of the Week #39

One of the best rules of learning is: if you find something useful, share it. Teaching someone else not only enlightens them, it also improves your memory!*

I keep getting asked by fellow Lindens and Residents about how to record voice chat, which is very useful for capturing public events (meetings, classes, etc.) so they can be posted on a website and broadcast later. It’s also helpful for podcasting and more personal situations. Since you are awesome, I’ve done the following to save you time & trouble!

The basic process is: (1) record, (2) edit & encode, and (3) upload.

[ ?posts_id=1017890&dest=-1]

In this sparkly video tutorial, I show you how #1 is done.

If you’re curious about #2 and have other specific questions that weren’t covered, see this text guide with further details — it’s a wiki page you’re welcome to contribute to (need help?).

#3, uploading, can be done in a number of ways: perhaps the most easiest is via email attachment or a file sharing service, but if you have a webserver, you can FTP it. You could also upload it to MediaMaster and stream it on your land in Second Life.

Take this, apply it to your Second Life, and rock on.

Torley Linden
     Resident Enlightenment Manager
     Watch more video tutorials!

About Torley

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109 Responses to Record voice chat and sounds – Video Tip of the Week #39

  1. Day Oh says:

    inb4 brainstorm

    Also if you’re using Windows and your stereo mix isn’t in the recording, you may be able to change that:
    1. Start > Run sndvol32.exe, or click the sound icon in the taskbar if you have it
    2. Click Options > Properties
    3. Switch to the options for Recording
    4. Make sure all of the controls are ‘checked’ and click OK
    5. You now may be able to unmute/adjust the mix of ‘Mic’ and ‘Stereo Mix’ in the recording

  2. Great tutorial as always, Torley! I’ve used Audacity for years – it’s easy enough for my middle school students to use too.

    However, I do have a question about the strict legality of recording others. Do you need to inform people that the conversation may be recorded? Is it legal if it’s not ever broadcast anywhere or shared? What if it is? If someone is playing live music in-world (streaming it), and you record that “concert”, is that not illegal?

    I don’t mean to be a downer, and I realize there are lots of legitimate reasons for recording meetings, etc, but I do think a “what is legal what is not” bit might help.

  3. Jessica Hultcrantz says:

    regarding the legability, that can (and probably does) change from country to country. Good rule is to inform about making the recording so the participants can agree to it. (That’s rather much common practice for most things anyway, ask any broadcaster or telemarketer).

    As for recording concerts, music and such, the simple answer is no, unless you have an agreement with the copyright holder/record company/etc…

    Hopes that this helps 🙂

    (Chat is much easier, as that can be quoted without copyright infringement to a certan degree, another reason to use chat instead of voice unless you really want to be protected from being recorded.)

  4. Dilbert Dilweg says:

    Susannah Clary I have the same question . How this falls in the Disclosure section of TOS and asking permissions to share voice chat to others.. Is this the same as sharing chat and have to have permission as well ..
    Seems like a very gray line there..

  5. Shaw Coage says:

    It occurred to me, while listening to this tutorial, that music played in SL can also be recorded. And if one is careful only the music will be recorded,

  6. I am hopping on the TOS legality bandwagon here too. Any clarification would be most helpful. Thanks, Torley.


  7. ac14 hutson says:

    i have known about this for a while. very useful. works on almost anything running on your computer.

  8. Ann Otoole says:

    Want to get in trouble? perform surveillance without authorization/permission.



    2511. Interception and disclosure of wire, oral, or electronic communications prohibited:—-000-.html

    There is no gray area at all. This is quite clear. This is the United States of America and USA law applies. Whoever works for Linden Lab that is suggesting remote surveillance be allowed in Secondlife needs some advice from Linden Lab’s Legal Department prior to making any such statement written, oral, or otherwise communicated.

    In fact all communications, written, video, smoke signals, whatever, from Linden Lab need to be routed through their Legal Department priot to publishing. In addition, a lawyer should be present at all office hours to ensure no LL employee makes any statements that can get LL in trouble. Sorry but this is not as free a country as utopians would like to believe. And it is getting less free by the day.

  9. Ann Otoole says:

    Oh and one further note: If you are an employee of the U.S. Government (or a family member uses your system) and you happen to perform surveillance without authorization then your toast is burnt even more. Probably applies to any State, County, or Municipal Government employees as well. Would be pretty easy to get a blanket auth if your a member of a Fusion Center I bet.

  10. Soul Fortas says:

    sheesh what next

  11. Linda Brynner says:

    Pity that the resolution of the vid tut is higher;
    now I can’t play the vid anymore without contant pauzes.
    Please bear in mind that not all internet connections are fast.
    Special wireless connections can’t handle the high res.
    And wireless is more and more used in the EU.

  12. Flaar Nemeth says:

    @11 Linda Brynner —
    No, not all internet connections are fast, but by the same token, there is no real reason for those who DO have a fast connection to be hampered by my slower one. So do what I do: Start playback, mute the sound, scroll down and read the comments, then go back and play it again.

    A couple of extra (easy!) steps maybe, but you dont get the stuttered pauses in playback, and you dont force Torley to downgrade visual clarity for those who do have speed.
    (Which, alas, I can only aspire to… 😀 )

    I don’t think I have ever seen a company or service provider ever give so many helpful tips on violating their own TOS, how to voilate other peoples rights and how to conduct illegal activities.
    This ones even better then the one about How to rip off peoples textures…………

  14. Max Kleiber says:

    I didn’t bother to view the tutorial, since my very first thought at seeing the title was:
    “This is illegal surveillance.”

  15. Lloyd Newman says:

    Yet ANOTHER reason not to use voice…

  16. Reality says:

    Hate to break it to you Ann but the Government does illegal wire tapping all the time.

    They have no room to talk and considering the nature of Second Life – it falls under the same type as America Online and other messengers/ISPs as well – you can log chat and other communications without telling anyone.

    Linden Lab does it all the time – their servers have logs of everything you’ve ever typed in world.

    Only a matter of time before it has everything you’ve ever said on voice as well.

  17. Ann Otoole says:

    @16 – I probably know way more about this than you and it has been this wayfor decades. But the government is different from citizens and the US Code applies to citizens. Government employees are covered by different regulations with more serious penalties. But since 9/11 it is much easier to get a blanket auth for surveillance if you are a member of a Fusion Center. Look that up sometime.

    Me? I live in a glass house. I do nothing I need to hide.

  18. Zagro says:

    oh for god sake.

    yall think this is new come on…. any one can record there side of any conversation…

    PLUS theres the whole resonabule deegry of privicy thing.

    and i hate to tell ya folks but where i live (IN the us) i can record from my side without letting ya know as an individual and yes it can be used our corts.

    want privicy easy

    buy your self a plot and go to privet spacial or hold a privet conferince and say at no time is this to be recorded befor starting.

  19. Baylie Barbosa says:

    I think this is very helpful for those of us who intend to use it in a legal way – IE, musicians recording their own concerts or someone recording it for them, recording meetings that some might not have been able to attend, etc. I think that is more what Torley had in mind when this was put up. 🙂

  20. Ann Otoole says:

    If things get too dumbed up by fanatical troublemakers it is easy to make a green text squawker that says “OK to record/log this session” every 5 minutes anyway. This is a non issue but people concerned can go read all about it in the links i provided. the reason i provided the links was informational so people can go educate themselves and be quietly paranoid. No need for discussion.

  21. Reality says:

    Ann, I could not possibly care any less for what you may or may not ‘know’.

    The simple fact of the matter is that the United states Government engages in illegal wire tapping all the time. There is no reason or excuse for such a thing without due process and a proper warrant – 9/11 or not.

    Another simple fact is that at present any and all methods of communication can and often ARE recorded or logged through an Internet Service or Messenger program under rules and regulations which allow such a thing to occur so long as the information gleaned is not used or posted anywhere within that Service.

    In addition I will not only direct you to examine section 2, part d but I will copy it right here for you to examine and recant your apparently misinformed comment:

    “(d) It shall not be unlawful under this chapter for a person not acting under color of law to intercept a wire, oral, or electronic communication where such person is a party to the communication or where one of the parties to the communication has given prior consent to such interception unless such communication is intercepted for the purpose of committing any criminal or tortious act in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States or of any State.”

    According to this section anyone using Second Life is well within their rights to record a conversation they are a part of or can otherwise hear.

    If this was not the case then each and every public voice user would be in a lot of trouble for even listening to a conversation held in an info hub, between two other users.

    Try again.

  22. Jonathan Snow says:

    LoL, I only say once a place where voice is used. Now I see that exact place in the picture here. So I guess that is the ONLY place in SL where voice is used. So lets not make a too much fuzz about the legal stuff. Voice is a feature that, I think, is used by a dozen people and was simply forced upon the community. I am so glad voice did not grew to a common thing in SL. I am sure the compettitor, we are all waiting for, will leave it out 🙂

  23. Sphire Ziemia says:

    “Camera Position” lets your avatar record from a distance, which is useful for big events…

    Okay so in a non big event someone can camera in on me while I’m voicing with a friend (thinking I’m having a private conversation with just them-an advantage btw we get with normal text chatting) and record my voice and my friends without our consent or knowledge? I guess this is another reason why I will NEVER use second life voice. And if I’m at a big event I’m sorry but I like to look around and with this new feature I’d be stuck having to choose between that and having to stay in range of the speaker.

  24. lupercaleb walcher says:

    thank you torley 😀

  25. Linda Brynner says:

    I’d prefer the previous res vid tut. Higher res as option if you don’t mind.

  26. Linda Brynner says:

    I’d like to do things in one, not in two.
    Many connections in EU are Wireless, ty.

  27. helena whittlesea says:

    Sphire and anyone else worried about being ‘eavesdropped’ on by someone zooming in on your ‘private’ voice conversation with a friend — are you aware that you can voice chat with them *privately*, rather than out in the open, just as you can text private-IM them rather than chatting out in the open? Well… you can. If you want. Or not. : )

  28. Tegg B says:

    Thanks Torley, more great information how SL works, jeez there’s some paranoid people here, if you are discussing your credit card number/alien invasion/corporate takeover plans, perhaps just don’t do it in SL? It seems due to a minority, SL is becoming more RL everyday.
    I guess nobody ever suspected people really wanting to record you could just put a tape recorder next to the speakers or plug it’s mic input into line output of their sound card…………….

  29. Liani LeSabre says:

    Please do do a tutorial on the sound engineering. That would be very helpful to many of us, I’m sure. ^_^

  30. Nulflux Negulesco says:

    First of all, let’s get this clear. Wiretapping and Eavesdropping refer to listening in to others conversations without their knowledge. US Federal law allows for recording of phone calls and in-person interviews as long as ONE party has consented. If this is a conversation between you and another person and you choose to record then YOU have consented to being recorded and it is in no way illegal.

    When you are inside SL you are NOT in the safety of your own home. If you are speaking to someone in SL, your conversation is NOT private unless it’s in private chat or private voice channel. You are in a PUBLIC place and laws regarding public places take precedence. The same goes for any other public online service, you cannot claim privacy when you are in public.

    Regardless of the state, it is almost always illegal to record a conversation to which you are not a party, do not have consent to tape, and could not naturally overhear.

    Federal law and most state laws also make it illegal to disclose the contents of an illegally intercepted call or communication.

    When you speak to someone in SL or initiate voice chat with them you must assume that you have given them permission to record or log the chat. Period.

  31. Kenny Devoix says:

    LMAO a tutorial about recording public events and classes and the conspiracy freaks turn it somehow into a disillusional illegal surveillance topic. Talk about paraniod.

    Why not say you just hate voice and not try to ruin a good tutorial with a lot of legal mumbo jumbo threats and scares.

  32. mcp Moriarty says:

    Kenny, I can’t agree more.

    These same people prolly have sound absorbing walls installed and their windows spray painted black so the neighbors can’t hear or see how late they stay up at night. Hilarious, and the crack about texture stealing. Typical…

    Anywho, thanks Torley. 🙂

  33. Razor says:

    BE CAREFULL with voice cybersex.. you can trust noone 0_o

  34. laurine brown says:

    If you want to have privacy voicing, why don’t you use IM voice chat ?
    Nice tut Torley.

  35. Alf Lednev says:

    Lindens provides the tools but will not condone any illegal actions. That how I read it ( well I will when I see a yellow sticky from Katt or Torely). #30 post was informative as was Ann’s, as always.

    #33 made me snort my coffee. I see a niche market now in SL, “in house” audio sex books 😉

    Yes US Laws apply, we know that from the gambling days. In this case though, they are mirrored pretty well around the world. Post 21 , if thats your defence, I suspect if it was used in a real court, “I did it cos the Government does it”, you would be reduced to two tin cans and a string to comminicate with others. The actual question is, what if you did it and the other person took offence and sued you? (Lindens would roll out their TOS faster than programmers going for that last slice of pizza). Your defence would fail.

  36. d.spitz says:

    i personally use often the software “Audio Recorder for Free”
    Its simple, free and dump all it hears to my harddisk.

  37. Peoney Feld says:

    In the United States, the law on whether or not you can record the conversation of another person, without that person’s permission, can vary from state to state, and can also depend on individual circumstances. Check with an attorney before recording any conversation, especially where the other person has not given you prior permission.

  38. Chak says:

    that was the best video tutorial to me for a while! Thanks and keep on with that T.!!!
    (still I more like to chat ;))

  39. First, HOORAY for Torley! He seems to have managed to loosen the straight jacket enough to be more like himself yet keep it under the radar of his oppressive overlords. Ha ha! I’m looking out for you, Torley.

    Two, the legal issue: the safest thing is to assume that anything you say or write can be recorded and reproduced by those you said it to. The legality of it is moot. Public disclosure can be damaging to the recordee regardless of legal consequences to the recorder/discloser.

    The Page Boy scandal with former Republican Congressman from Florida, Mark Foley, is a prime example of this. No one would take action until several sources had come forth, each validating the other, that the scand broke and Foley resigned.

    Torley/LL did nothing wrong by releasing this tutorial. Every tool has the possibility of being misused. We shouldn’t ban hammers because you can also hit people on the head with them. And just like hammers, this tool will likely be used for far more good than bad.

  40. FireFox Bancroft says:

    Typical weekend blog post, a Linden posts something useful and the Anti-voicers show up and throw their feces all over it.

    Voice isn’t leaving, so deal.

  41. Pingback: [El Tip De La Semana] Graba Voz, Chat y Sonidos en Second Life Tecnolives

  42. Rana Harrop says:

    Ok, where to begin…
    How about #30:
    When my laptop is sitting on the coffee table where I reside, not my avatar but ME, I am most certainly at home, NOT a public space. And local State Law trumps your “in public” sentiments. For all the glory of moving animated avatars about we are still simply using a means of communication. Sort of like a video phone at times, and more like a party line the rest. Thank you Ann Otoole for the links. They are applicable, and probably some more cites might be found for those of us using wire AND broadcast channels of data comm[iow wireless –>aka 802.1x WLAN] Wonder what esoteric rules cover the radio band that my laptop communicates with my router…
    and as funny as #32 mcp’s comment was 🙂 [the first part was comical] “the crack” about texture stealing IS typical. Time and time again we hear reminders from an agent of LL that the TOS will be enforced only to have another agent give us hints if not outright instruction on how to infringe the TOS with impunity.
    Hats off to Peoney who stated the case well and concisely. And a tip of the hat to all the others who make the case for knowing how this whole thing works so one can do their best to avoid trouble. I’m off to double check that my little parcel is still set to private channel.


  43. Kira says:

    40 said ” Anti-voicers show up and throw their feces all over it.”

    i dont use voice but i keep my feces to myself…cuse thats just ew!

    want to use it then use it if you dont want to use it then dont! just that simple.

    I thoght it was a great tut like all of torelys i been in SL for 3 years now and i alway learn a lil soemthing new from these tuts good job T. Plus torely always makes me smile hes such a goof ball 😛

    i could reall do with out all the crazy talk on the blog but then its liek watching jerry springer , i can’t stand it but i can’t look away either lol!

  44. Anony Mouse says:

    Recording others in an voice conversation can be subject to specific state laws involving wiretapping.

    In some states it is legal to tape the conversation only if all parties are aware of the recording and consent to it. Some states require that only one party know. So it means someone can record you without your knowledge.

    Also, please remember that it is easy to identify someone’s voice with currently available software tools (spectrum analysis tools, etc… it’s crude but it works).

    All of that being said, I’m sure that most people will not record you, but you can never be sure. 😉

    @40 – FireFox Bancroft –
    No one is throwing feces at anything. Only raising caution where caution is warranted. For your information I brought up many of these same points when voice was first presented.

    I have no problem with people wanting to use voice. And no one is saying it should ever leave. The simple truth of the matter is that text allows for more privacy which, believe it or not, many people value.

    Anony Mouse
    “Did ya get that on tape?” 😉

  45. mcp Moriarty says:

    Your example is vague. Sure you might be sitting at home in the privacy of your living room, however if you knowing connect to a service and your avatar is sitting in a sim or welcome area deemed ‘public’, I don’t think you have a case if someone records anything you say. Even without the tutorial, one can go into the prefs and enable text logging. The potential has always been there to log text chat.

    Now if you are on your own private sim or parcel and someone manages to record a conversation. Then yes I’d agree with your comment about being at home. In that situation, one would not expect a conversation to re-surface elsewhere from a log or recording.

    The comment I made about texture stealing is this. Every time I open up the comments (read full story). Inevitably someone posts something about texture/skin stealing when they know it’s totally off topic. lol

  46. Pol McLaglen says:

    @ #33 – Experienced, are we? :p 😉

    Seriously though, even though I can see the potential for abuse I can still see that the legitimate uses far outweigh the illegitimate ones.


  47. KerryJ says:

    I have a Vista system and Stereo Mix was hidden. To display it as an option, you fellow Vista users need to open your Recording devices menu and right click inside the inner box controlled by the scroller to “Show Disabled Devices”. You then need to select Stereo Mix as the default device.

    Then, in Audacity — make sure the Recording Device is set to Stereo Mix and the Playback is set to MS Sound Mapper. If you set to Speakers, you will get a feedback loop that will crash Audacity.

    Cheers All!


  48. KerryJ says:

    PS To hear the playback in Audacity, you’ll need to change the playback to speakers…

  49. Jordan says:

    ok for all you people whom are jumping on the “legal” bandwagon, and on the claim that this tutorial promotes the use of illegal activity, you have to watch and “listen” to the video again, Torley clearly states that you should perhaps gain permission from all participants first!

    I do think this is useful, however like anything useful it can have also be used by unscrupulous people for dubious deeds.

    Recording music/performances etc… is a copyright violation, unless you are granted written permission from the copyright owner.

    Jordan ^_^

    Thanks again Torley for another awesome VidTut

  50. Reality says:

    Rana, the moment you connected to Second Life you entered a Public Space. The moment you connect to Yahoo Messenger, America Online and any other Public Chat capable service and enter a Chat Room – You have entered a Public Space.

    If you think any differently – kindly go into one of the above services where at least ONE person is going to be logging Chat and is a good Samaritan. Proceed to discuss various illegal activities that the FBI would worry about.

    Then come back and talk to us.

  51. KellyM Watkins says:

    @40 Well Said.

    Thank you for the Tutorial Torley 😀

    Your the only one round here who actually makes Secondlife worth playing 😀 Keep it up 😉

  52. Dannie says:

    I thought this was a very informative tutorial, except for one thing. I am a mac user, and I have Audacity and am very familiar with it, but cannot use it for this purpose.

    There seems to be no way for me to record sounds from my computer, any one have any suggestions?

  53. Anony Mouse says:

    @51 regarding #40
    Wow… eloquence was never so easily achieved, either that or you have very low standards. 🙂

    No one is saying that voice should ever go away. The same cautions that apply to using voice here apply to using the telephone. So, it’s no more risk than that, honestly.

    The problem is the venue. Many people still expect privacy on SL, contrary to the people who would have you reveal everything about yourself here. Many people engage in activities in SL that could get them into considerable trouble in RL. That’s the reason for caution.

    Granted, like I said before, most people will not be recording you… but you never do know. This is why you should always watch what you say and remember you are not in the privacy of your own home when you are in SL.

    Anony Mouse
    “You said what? Let me play that back!” 😉

  54. TC the ExPat says:

    Recording a conversation without consent is a felony in most of the USA. i.e. it will get you a permanent criminal record, and probable jail time if your are caught. That’s why whenever you call some big company you get the “This call may be monitored for training purposes” blurb, it lets them off the hook.
    And for the people who think the FBI should be looking elsewhere, with over 10 million registered users and no ID verification whatsoever it’s pretty likely that SL is being used secret meetings and illegal activity.

  55. Ryu Darragh says:

    Hmm.. maybe I can help as I work in a related field.

    Legally, in the US and most nations: “Recording speech and sounds in a public venue is permitted provided the recording does not violate copyright or privacy laws. The intent is to require disclosure to the subjects of the recording if the recording is to be used for rebroadcast or for other public review or legal affairs.

    If you are taking vacation videos or sound recordings in a public venue, there is no law that says this is illegal.

    If the recorded subject is at a private venu, like a concert, recording may violate copyright law. Exceptions exist (which is why the “may”), such as a Greatfull Dead concert. This applies to any private venue and also to personal conversations (see invasion of privacy below).

    If the recording is to be used for public rebroadcast, in an educational video or audio recording, or for a legal matter, you must disclose this to all present and get their agreement to be recorded. This applies to all venues.

    If the venue is private, such as at a private meeting or between individuals, it is subject to both the disclosure requirement and the privacy laws.”

    In other words, if the recording is in a public place or on your own property and is for your private viewing, you are covered.

    if you are recording in public and wish to use the recording to make an advert, educational video, illustrate a problem or ahow off an event, go for it. As long as any individuals that you focus on or are subjects of the recording are notified you are recording, you are covered.

    If you are recording a meeting in private or with another individual, inform them and, if they object, *stop* recording.

    If you are recording at a concert or other event that may be covered by copyright law, ask permission of the performer and the owner of the venu *before* recording.

    Same rules and laws as in RL apply for the most part to SL subject to additional restrictions imposed by the TOS.

  56. mcp Moriarty says:

    So if I spend a minute or two in the script editor and make myself a little float text that reads “This chat may be monitored for training purposes” or such, and I place this over my head at all times (in plain view), I’d be off the hook.

    Might prove interesting to walk around like that and see if everyone scatters or if nearby conversations abruptly end due to paranoia. 😉

  57. My gratefulness for taking the time to share your thoughts + feelings:

    * Like many things I share, this is a tool — use it to benefit others like the examples I’ve noted. No need to get all Scanner Darkly about it. 😉 If you teach classes and want to archive them for posterity or play live music and want to share your concerts, ROCK ON.

    * While not law, it’s *nice* to let everyone know you’re recording them. I do this at Linden meetings so employees from certain time zones unable to attend can catch up later. Within Second Life, our Terms of Service and Community Standards ( ) do apply, specifically “disclosure” as it does for sharing unconsented-to chats on notecard. For legal advice, consult an attorney.

    * Re: additional tips, feel free to edit — the wiki’s being slow to load right now, but hopefully it’ll work again soon. I was pointed to a helpful guide for Vista and will add it:

    * For those of you having problems with the stream, please download the “AWESOMER VERSION”; its higher resolution of 640×480 should be fine. (I’ve considered going higher but then it’s not iTunes podcast-compliant. SL is a tricky creature for codecs.)

    As always, my intentions are not to force the path of your Second Life and declare “THIS IS ALWAYS GOOD/BAD! HULK SMASH!”, but simply to provide you with possibilities and solutions you may not have been aware of, as well as limitations and caveats, and the examples which show why certain things are so useful + fun (usefun!).

    After all, it’s *your* Second Life to live. Make the best of it. =^_^=

  58. Sierra Inman says:

    Hi Torley,
    You & your vidtuts, remain my hero!!! Thanks for the information, I could have used this while interviewing for an SL Illustrated article… but you can bet, I’ll definitely keep this in mind for next time… watermelons are the best!!! best of summer time to u & the wife!…


  59. robertltux mccallen says:

    There is any easy way to get around the wiretapping laws

    AS A STAFF MEMBER (of event/location) have on your avatar an obvious Camera with a red glowing sign that has “Recording In Progress”
    (maybe with a second sign “Sponsored by BigBuck$”) since you would be
    1 obvious
    2 one of a few doing the recording

    Challenge for the Scripters/Sculptors out there make a good looking Camera that can be used as a “standard camera”

  60. Rana Harrop says:

    @57 Torley

    Thanx for weighing in on this *hot* topic (-:
    with a few facts to counter-balance some of the presumptive feelings posted so far.

    I think we shall all find that much of the conflicting thought expressed so far will not be settled soon nor definitively til it is hashed out in a/the Legal system. Not looking forward or welcoming those circumstances but we all should know that other aspects of the TOS have already been settled by legal action and not necessarily to the benefit or liking of Linden Lab, nor I bet in other circumstances by the agent behind the avatar. As much as many of us would like to think of SL as autonomous to RL, well, you can run, but you can’t hide. :-p

    ’nuff said


  61. Ryu Darragh says:

    Thanks, Torley. I can only comment about laws in RL. How the TOS affects them is up to LL. And, yeah, “disclosure” is not a legal requirement, but if the recording gets used in a legal issue or copyright case, it can make things really unpleasant if not followed 😛

  62. Anony Mouse says:

    @57 Torley

    “* While not law, it’s *nice* to let everyone know you’re recording them. I do this at Linden meetings so employees from certain time zones unable to attend can catch up later. Within Second Life, our Terms of Service and Community Standards ( ) do apply, specifically “disclosure” as it does for sharing unconsented-to chats on notecard. For legal advice, consult an attorney.”

    Yes… it is “nice” to be told. I’ve learned, however, never to rely on the niceness of people in SL. I realize that’s a bitter view, but it’s one, unfortunately, born from experience.

    This is one of the reasons I’ve always refused to use voice except with people who I trust beyond a shadow of a doubt.

    You’re a great asset to LL and to the SL community, Torley. Please keep the tutorials coming. They’re wonderful.

    Anony Mouse

  63. CaptJosh Au says:

    Torley, another good audio program for Mac is Ambrosia Software’s Snapz Pro. It’s not free, but it is an excellent piece of software from an excellent company.

  64. Oh Oh says:

    I con’t login 😦

  65. Cocoanut Koala says:

    Not to go all Scanner Darkly or anything, but there IS such a thing as law, and the smart individual will do his best to make sure he is not violating it, regardless of the beliefs of those who are not lawyers.

    The posters who have brought up the possible legal consequences that can accompany surreptitious recording, depending on your state/country, venue, etc., and what can be done with such recordings, are right to bring these very real issues up, and are doing the rest of us a favor in doing so.


  66. Kulayle Antine says:

    anything brought out by a third party provider is subject to recording
    or alterations even content LL is providing us ip rights not the laws of any government actually LL’s owns all the content in SL as stated in the TOS they and only they defend our content or voice, sounds, text and if i were to go to court in RL i would need a affidavit stating my clam for content violations from LL’s and would be subject to viability for content created in SL you have no rights in the metaverse but what they give you period –End of Line—

  67. Spankmy boucher says:

    Laws Laws Laws , leave it out peeps , its there for us to enjoy , if it breaks LLs TOS then thats in their department to sort out and if it breaks laws well Im sure LL have a good legal team to worry about that so we dont have to ! If your worried about being recorded simply dont use voice.
    oh and thanks for the awesome tutorial Torley , will probably come in handy outside of SL too .

  68. bobbyb30 zohari says:

    @8 I’m not sure if you are aware, but if you are legitametly attending a conference and/or part take in the discussion, you may legally make a recording.

  69. bobbyb30 zohari says:

    @8 I’d also like to point out that it would be rather hard for someone to claim “interception” when there are numerous secure communication methods available in SL.

    This “interception” would be the equivalent of going to New York and “eavesdropping” on a rally that is occuring on a different street.

    While I see where you are trying to come from, it is a fairly difficult case to prove.

  70. mcp Moriarty says:

    I also think if you look at the feature set in SL, even in the voice setup is an option that should make it very apparent that “eavesdropping” can be done quite easily by moving the camera. Add to this, disabling the camera constraints, which is a bit more obscure to find. You have to ask yourself if this is a secure form of communication? Obviously it is not by design.

    Personally I think any case brought up about such matters would be hard to fight, since it seems extremely insecure to begin with. And claiming you don’t know about these features would probably fall under ignorance.

  71. Ravanne Sullivan says:

    In most jurisdictions in the US recording a persons voice without their express permission is a felony. You might want to reconsider this.

  72. Thanx for the continued flow and I am ultra-happy to hear from you who found this helpful!

    Re: legal issues, appreciation to Crystal Falcon for adding a section to the wiki page — I’ve expanded it onto its own sub-page which those of you deeply interested can certainly add to:


    I’d imagine it will grow quite extensive with contributions and further conversation (you can keep posting blog comments, but the wiki also has a “Discussion” tab for each page).

    I’ve added a couple of links of interest myself, but it is FAR from comprehensive.

    Please link to reference sources!

  73. Happy Camper says:

    Thank you for the informative video as always Torey.
    As for privacy concerns, A person with a clean conscious sleeps well at night.

  74. SustainableLove Westland says:

    Hi Torely,

    Just wanted to say thanks for the video and YES please make the other videos re advanced recording tips. Thanks. 🙂


  75. Rascal Ratelle says:

    Torley, since when the heck has it ever been ok to record a convo with out others permission? when has it ever been ok to broadcast a convo with out the permissions or written permissions of the people involved.?

    as of this moment I have desided that because of this I will no longer be using Voice feature in SL. , until you or some one at LL clearifies what is and isn’t allowed and how violations can be reported.

    @ Reality:

    read the blog,
    Broadcasting recorded convo’s is illegal unless every one in that party gives consent.

    I agree tootaly with Ann Otool:


    2511. Interception and disclosure of wire, oral, or electronic communications prohibited:—-000-.html

    There is no gray area at all. This is quite clear. This is the United States of America and USA law applies. Whoever works for Linden Lab that is suggesting remote surveillance be allowed in Secondlife needs some advice from Linden Lab’s Legal Department prior to making any such statement written, oral, or otherwise communicated.

    In fact all communications, written, video, smoke signals, whatever, from Linden Lab need to be routed through their Legal Department priot to publishing. In addition, a lawyer should be present at all office hours to ensure no LL employee makes any statements that can get LL in trouble. Sorry but this is not as free a country as utopians would like to believe. And it is getting less free by the day.

  76. Rascal Ratelle says:

    Thanks Torley.

    sorry my post was submitted shortly after yours, I didn’t see until after that you had adressed this.

  77. Kira says:

    whoope , looks like remote survielance is the only way im going to see the inside of SL tonight log in failed log in failed log in failed ..*yawn*

  78. Reality says:

    Rascal, read the information in the link again – for that matter try telling the people who log Instant Messages and general Chat within Second Life, America Online, Yahoo Messenger and any other IM/Chat capable program that such activities are illegal. They will laugh at you – just as I am laughing at you now.

    Quoted below is the section you missed and should read over and over until it sinks into your head – Same for you Coco:

    “(d) It shall not be unlawful under this chapter for a person not acting under color of law to intercept a wire, oral, or electronic communication where such person is a party to the communication or where one of the parties to the communication has given prior consent to such interception unless such communication is intercepted for the purpose of committing any criminal or tortuous act in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States or of any State.”

    Mull that over. It will be quoted to you every time you bring this up.

  79. Sundbuns Camel says:

    I can’t hear other chatters on my Mac so this is a moot (mute?) point. If I COULD hear them I would use Ambrosia’s WireTap Studio or WireTap Pro.

  80. mcp Moriarty says:

    It seems to me there are really 2 distinct issues here:

    #1) You can record anything you want, when you want, and who you want. You can re-listen to it in the privacy of your own home 100 times a day if you so desire. No one can stop you, not even LL if you use something like WireTap Pro. No one will even know, who cares…

    #2) If you take the content of #1 and do something with it outside the privacy of your home there in lies the problem, that _might_ get you into trouble. I say might, because far as know no such issue with voice has ever hit the courts, so it all remains quite unproven.

    A lot of postings here appear to be trying to scary people away from recording anything, when in fact it’s perfectly legal. Just don’t re-broadcast it. Simple as that. It’s more or less like a VCR and a TV. You are allowed to record anything you like, so long as you keep it to yourself. No public displays or reselling etc. Plain common sense in my opinion.

    I think they should add a slick looking lawyer avatar to the noob sign up page, since it seems everyone wants to be a lawyer these days, but no one is actually a lawyer. I’m not a real lawyer I just role play one on the blog… 😉

  81. Tegg B says:

    LOL, yep, I wonder how many of the anti-recording brigade have never recorded a TV show on their VCR 🙂

  82. isadorafiddlesticks says:

    GREAT TUTORIAL TORLEY! I miss RC viewer all the more.

    The conspiracy theorists are what makes this blog really fun. As long as they moderate it and not be rude, I am amused. 🙂

    Voice is useful in some cases but I don’t use it often myself, only in times for business, when I am in a meeting. With so many kinds of people in SL nowadays, you have to respect that voice is an option they prefer on. We have to respect that, and learn how to make do in an SL with voice. Like for example, read on how to disable it, look for places and patronize them if they dont have voice activated, and when exploring, perhaps turn off your speakers.

    Is anyone able to run RC viewer in vista? I can’t even install it. Tried looking in jira if someone posted it, but nothing. If anyone has a similar problem and has posted a jira, please lead me to it.

  83. Pepper Haas says:

    Voice is the biggest mistake SL ever made and I wish they’d take it out. Nobody I know uses it; the place where I work has it turned off because it interferes with the music. Those who needed voice could use Skype or something like that, there was no reason to completely screw up group IM and lag the crap out of everything by loading the system down with voice. Really, performance of SL was greatly superiour BEFORE you broke everything to put voice in, and forced it down our throats eventhough 80 percent of those asked said they did not want it.
    Take voice out. Give us back working group IM and chat without lag.

  84. Zi Ree says:

    @83 Pepper Haas: Spreading FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt) is not good.

    Fact: Lots of places use voice, you just choose not to go there. I go to several of them.

    Fact: Voice does not interfere with music. The residents can choose themselves if they want voice, music or both.

    Fact: Skype can’t replace voice chat in SL, because it doesn’t take into account, where the people are standing, it doesn’t allow the same number of people joining a conversation and it doesn’t allow people just walking by and taking part.

    Fact: Group IM problems and other types of “Lag” are not related or due to voice chat. Voice chat does not “load” the system down, because it is *not* running on Linden Lab servers. A third party company called Vivox provides the voice chat servers. Second Life only provides the positional information of the people participating in voice chat.

    Fact: Voice doesn’t hurt SL performance. It takes up very little bandwidth and computing power (if enabled on your viewer at all).

    Needed Fact: Please provide a source for the 80% of people. Thinking back to the pre-voice chat time I recall people demanding voice chat very loudly.

  85. isadorafiddlesticks says:

    Thank you, Zi Ree for being the “voice” of reason, so to speak…:D

    It’s been everyone hates Windlight and everyone hates Voice. As far as I know, no one I KNOW hates Windlight. I do know that some people I know don’t like voice, and there are those who like voice.

    Different strokes for different folks. SL is a big metaverse. Some people like it, some people don’t.

    You have your option to take out Voice, Pepper. Your experience in SL is completely (in some cases) customizeable. That certainly beats RL. So deal.

  86. While i suppose it’s interesting to discuss the legal issues of recording as it pertains to residents recording other residents, one should have no allusions that they have any privacy whatsoever in Second Life as it pertains to the all seeing eye of Linden Labs. From their corporate TOS that you agreed to:

    6.2 Linden Lab may observe and record your interaction within the Service, and may share aggregated and other general information (not including your personal information) with third parties.

    You acknowledge and agree that Linden Lab, in its sole discretion, may track, record, observe or follow any and all of your interactions within the Service. Linden Lab may share general, demographic, or aggregated information with third parties about our user base and Service usage, but that information will not include or be linked to any personal information without your consent.

  87. Pingback: Chat Logs in Second Life: for Voice? « Common.Sensible

  88. uh-oh says:

    thanks for the tip Torley, I downloaded the software and it works great.
    Good grief, unless you are talking about something illegal or engaged in some TOS breaking activities, who cares if someone is recording you.
    I guess a lot of people have a lot of things to hide after reading these posts.

  89. Gracie Foden says:

    For learning needs: great idea

    For private needs: Maybe there will be an option choice for people to check re not allowing others to record—-like they can check the option for others to not midify their objects or see them online.

    Providing choices is always a great idea 🙂 🙂

  90. wow, Thanx for telling us all how to record sounds from gestures! just 1 more way to have our content stolen. I am looking foward to you Tutorial for using GL INTERCEPTER

  91. Zi Ree says:

    Copying sounds from gestures is much much easier than what Torley showed us, and to get to the textures you don’t even need GLIntercept or any other hack.

  92. Rascal Ratelle says:

    Z: Fact: Voice doesn’t hurt SL performance. It takes up very little bandwidth and computing power (if enabled on your viewer at all).

    As long as your using a high end blazing fast computer with high end graphics cards.

  93. Solar Legion says:

    Wrong rascal. My computer is about two years old now and is hardly ‘blazing fast’ … Christ it’s using a prototype dual core CPU!

    Voice does not affect computing power as much as you’d like to think. I have it on right now and care to guess which part of SL is using more CPU cycles?

    The viewer itself, not SL Voice.

    It is in fact using 1% of the CPU cycles available while the client program uses as much as 40%.

    The client program is using up 176,628K in system RAM at the moment.

    SL Voice? 9,884K.

    Now you tell me which is the greater hog …. and that is with Windlight DISABLED.

  94. Anony Mouse says:

    @84 Needed facts…

    Show me proof for all of the supposed “Facts” you mentioned. 🙂

    If you want some proof for Z’s comments then please check the surveys that new world notes ran regarding voice here:

    and, even more significantly… here:

    Also there were others on a few other websites which reflected the same thing, but most significantly of all… if you go back and look at any of the posts on the blog regarding voice there is a lot of strife regarding it on *EVERY SINGLE POST ABOUT IT*.

    Also, LL ran a voice survey of it’s own about 6 months ago and said that they would publish the results…. I haven’t seen them yet, have you? What does the fact that they never published the results tell you about what the results were? 🙂

    The main reason voice was put in was to attract businesses into thinking SL was “serious.” They also did it to “keep up with the joneses” since and WoW have it. Anyone who actually believes that it was put in due to overwhelming demand for it in SL is either a fool or hopelessly naive.

    Anony Mouse
    “I rest my case.” 🙂

  95. Anony Mouse says:

    Sorry… not proof of Z’s comments, proof of Peppers. 🙂 My mistake. 🙂

  96. Zi Ree says:

    @94 Anony Mouse: The first link is just a vote on prediction. No proof. The second is a poll amongst 317 people … hardly any proof. But even if we take this survey seriously, it shows that Pepper was wrong. It isn’t 80% against voice.

    I’m running out of time right now. More later when I get back. But so much: My facts can be proven and I will do so.

  97. A REMINDER: as I mentioned in the video, please *do* get consent from all parties you’re recording. That’s the simplest, surest way to make sure it’s OK with everyone involved.

    If you’re curious about legal intricacies and wish to explore the issues further, please check your local laws or get the help of a legal professional.

  98. Zi Ree says:

    Fact: Lots of places use voice.

    Proof: Try Waterhead welcome area, Ahern welcome area, several places in the Furnation sims … There are plenty of others, but I these are the places I go when I’m in the mood for voice.

    Fact: Voice does not interfere with music.

    Proof: Voice, parcel streaming music and in-world sounds are all completely different sources and each can be controlled in volume by their respective volume slider in the viewer.

    Fact: Skype can’t replace voice chat in SL.

    Proof: No-brainer here. This fact proves itself.

    Fact: Group IM problems and other types of “Lag” are not related or due to voice chat.

    Proof: Read the blog entry about bringing voice to Second Life:
    especially this Question: “How does this affect Second Life Grid/server performance? Won?t this make the experience even slower?”

    Fact: Voice doesn’t hurt SL performance. It takes up very little bandwidth and computing power.

    Proof: The same blog entry, but the next (last) question: “How does this affect the PC specifications for using Second Life Viewer?”

  99. Rascal Ratelle says:

    (Z Fact: Voice doesn’t hurt SL performance. It takes up very little bandwidth and computing power.)

    the above applies to high end, high performance blazing fast computers.

    Fact: having voice on normal desktop computers and older computers on will, can and does affect VIEWER performance.

    Proof: monitor CPU resources, Band Width, and VIEWER FPS and Viewer performance with voice on and off,

    Fack: having SL viewer as the only application running on your computer helps improve VIEWER performance.

    Fact: LL is catering to high end, high performance, blazing fast computers and users with higher incomes.

    Proof: blogs, posted responces, linden responces to blog posts.

  100. Rascal Ratelle says:

    @Soler: older computers with high end hard ware upgrades counts as high end, prototype duel cores is still fast.

    high end graphics card upgrades makes the computer a high end computer.

    Tell why most people on SL tell me SL viewer are CPU band width hogs? tell me why when monitoring CPU (and I have a very good CPU that meets SL requirments for running SL) resources the SL viewer uses 80% to 95% of cpu resources.

    100% CPU resources with windlight on.

    Tell me why most these people still do NOT bother to say anything to any one about these issue they are having?

    tell me why a lot of people had to quit SL after windlight was release and server upgrades?

    most these people do not bother to report to jira or to what ever support is available.

  101. Zi Ree says:

    @99 Rascal Ratelle: I dopn’t know how often I said this on this blog, but since nobody even bothers to actually read, here I go again:

    I use SL with voice on a variety of machines, and none of them are “state of the art” or “high end” machines. Still, voice only makes up a very very small part of the whole. If you really bothered to check your CPU usage (from your response I assume you are using windows) you would see that the SLVoice.exe process uses maybe 1% or 2% of one CPU core’s time, while the viewer itself, windlight or not, uses 98% to 99%. To save you the hassle of calculating yourself, on a dual core machine this will be about 1% SLVoice and 40% to 48% SecondLife.exe

    As I said ion another blog posting, which obviously you didn’t read as well, I measured the network bandwidth usage of voice chat. The result was, Voice uses very little bandwidth compared to normal viewer usage. Again, this was not on a high end machine but a machine that is now 7 years old and has been equipped with a medium quality graphics card 2 years ago.

    Please, do me the favor and prove it yourself. Check your viewer FPS while standing still (so nothing else gets in the way) in one place for 10 minutes. Swithc on voice, swithc off voice. I highly doubt you will see any change in FPS. Everyone here can check this for themselves.

    Of course, having the viewer as the only application will help viewer performance. This applies to every single application you run on your machine. This is a no brainer.

    But of course, if you *want* things to be bad, you usually will find something that looks bad enough for you to complain about.

  102. Anony Mouse says:

    @98 Zee Ree

    Who really cares? As long as you don’t rail against those who don’t use it. There’s no problem.

    Fact: Voice is not as popular as the Lindens would have had us believe.

    Like I said…. anyone who thinks it was brought to SL out of overwhelming demand really needs to think about how naive they are.

    Fact: It’s not used everywhere, and there are many places where it’s turned off.

    For every “fact” you give me, I can throw one back. 🙂

    Anony Mouse

  103. Zi Ree says:

    @102 Anony Mouse: You get your facts mixed up, there 😉 I am not going against anyone who doesn’t use voice. All I do is dispelling FUD. I use voice occasionally (at the mentioned places), but my primary means of communication is text chat. People who know me in-world probably also know why *smiles*.

    I also never said voice was used “*everywhere*, I totally agree that most of the places in SL don’t actively use voice (most of the time it’s not disabled, but people are simply not using it there). However, my statement remains valid. There are a lot of places that do use voice. I never said it was the majority of places.

    So I don’t know why you are trying to prove me wrong or twisting my words. You don’t have to “give me facts back”, this is not a competition. My intent was to dispel Pepper’s FUD with facts.

  104. Tegg B says:

    TheBimboCheerleaders Says: “wow, Thanx for telling us all how to record sounds from gestures! just 1 more way to have our content stolen.”
    These would be the same sounds people have just swipped off other sites on the internet anyway or ones that the gesture seller is paying the legal required royalties on?

  105. Solar Legion says:

    Rascal, apparently you misread part of my response and willfully ignored the rest.

    At the time this computer was built and delivered to me I had three choices for the central processor from Dell: Pentium IV, Pentium-D, Pentium Core/Core2Duo.

    I have very little trust in one to two year old parts, just as I have no trust for new operating systems. I may not be a tech wiz but I do know enough to make a choice.

    I chose to use the Pentium-D.

    What I did not know at that time was that the Pentium-D chip was a stepping stone prototype for the current generation (Core/Core2 Duo). I would have been better off going with the IV series Pentium chip or the current generation as I found out much later that the Pentium-D chips are/were little more than a Dual Core adapted Pentium IV … Hence why EVERY Second Life Client program has always reported my CPU as an unknown model of Pentium IV.

    The rest of my response to you earlier follows, with one correction as I forgot that I do use Windlight on occasion and the data taken right from the task manager was while it was active.

    “Voice does not affect computing power as much as you’d like to think. I have it on right now and care to guess which part of SL is using more CPU cycles?

    The viewer itself, not SL Voice.

    It is in fact using 1% of the CPU cycles available while the client program uses as much as 40%.

    The client program is using up 176,628K in system RAM at the moment.

    SL Voice? 9,884K.

    Now you tell me which is the greater hog …..”

  106. GC Continental says:

    Voice and streaming with shoutcast is another story. It’s almost funny – with voice turned on, the stream still plays just right for everyone else, but on my end it sssllloooowwwssss ddooowwwnnn thenspeedsupreallyfastthen ssslllooowwwssss again. Disable voice: normalcy. Try it sometime – the two items when done together with the SL client gets nuts. I suspect it’s a memory issue, and I should up to 4G for it. BTW, on that same note: everyone who can, should update / upgrade their machines at regular intervals. Upgrades get cheaper as time goes on, and it won’t be too long before the ultra-slick (well, medium slick) laptop I’m on will be a relative paperweight. I don’t play in SL on an amiga, and neither should you. If SL is that important to your life then you should take care of the machine it runs on. It’s like everything else in life. Your car will eventually fall apart and so will your computer, so when software keeps pace with medium-grade hardware you should also keep the same pace.

    HOWEVER: that said, people, Zi is right. You are all just starting fights. Remember that blog comments do NOT represent anything but YOUR cross-section of the resident population. Far more people read this than post here, and those that do are generally only the most argumentative type. Don’t believe it? Go back and read old blog posts. Lots of fights there.

    And ty, Torley, I now have a way to relive some of my favorite voice moments ;P (i need a bigger hard drive RIGHT NOW)

  107. Anony Mouse says:

    ‘So I don’t know why you are trying to prove me wrong or twisting my words. You don’t have to “give me facts back”, this is not a competition. My intent was to dispel Pepper’s FUD with facts.’

    I realize it’s not a competition, all I was trying to counter was the idea that voice was *ZOMG ubiquitous*. I suppose I did misinterpret what you said to imply that it was used “most” places.

    Anony Mouse

  108. Waxakla says:

    Torley, I really liked your video tutorial but was wondering if you could work on one for Mac OS X without the use of Garage Band. Is it possible to record on a Mac with Soundflower, Audio Hijack and / or Audacity. If so, how. Help please!!! I’ve tried everything.

    Happy Greetings to you.


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