After updating the Second Life® Viewer to version 3.4.3 this really annoying Metal Rock song would start playing whenever I was at my Second Life home. I was unable to mute the sound or turn down the volume using the Second Life Viewer’s sound controls. The noise continued unless I left the region. It turns out the problem is that the Second Life Media Player projects sounds over parcel lines, and has it’s own volume controls. The noise might also be something like a commercial, TV/video program, soundtrack, or a griefer’s prank dialog. I thought it was someone griefing me for a long time. But it was just a “noisy neighbor.” Here’s the solution to silencing them…
During the upgrade to version 3.4.3 the Second Life Default Viewer resets to the default settings. By default, if anyone is playing a media file in your region, everyone else in the region can hear it. So one of your neighbors has a media player installed on his/her (its?) parcel. Each time you arrive in the region the media player begins playing through your viewer and that is what you are hearing. I’ll skip the debate over whether this is a feature or an annoyance. Fortunately, there are several things you can do that will stop the sound.
The Fix for the Unwanted Sounds Problem:
1. Turn off all Media. Near the top right corner of your viewer is a button labeled “Start/Stop All Media (Music, Video, Web Pages)”. Note that the appearance of this button changes, it may appear as a “pause” symbol. Click on this button and it will shut off all media players. This shuts off ALL of them, including ones you may want on. It is a fast way to get rid of the noise, but it’s like pounding a tack into cork with a sledge hammer!
2. Turn off the Media Auto-Play feature. This is not the best way, but it is simple and fast if the noise is about to make you scream. From your main menu in the Second Life Viewer select: Me/Preferences/Sound & Media. Now uncheck the box labeled “Allow Media to Auto-Play”. Auto-Play is what is allowing your neighbor’s media player to start up by itself and annoy you, even if your neighbor isn’t even online.
There is a downside to disabling Auto-Play, however. In some sims media is a major part of the experience. If you turn off auto-play you are going to need to activate any media players manually in those sims– or miss out on the full experience. This is likely the reason that the default for this setting is to allow auto-play. The good news is that you can leave auto-play on! There are other ways to block the unwanted sound of your neighbors media player. I just wanted to give you the super-simple and fast option first. Keep reading!
3. Block the Offensive Media Player. This is a good option, as it will allow the full experience on sims that use media. It does involve a bit more work, but it isn’t too much, and it can be a bit fun if you approach it like a hunt or detective mystery to solve.
Hover your mouse cursor over the Media Player Control Button and a small dialog box (“toast”) pops up below the button. Don’t click on the button or you will turn on (or off, it’s a toggle) all of the media players! Now click on “More”. This will open a larger dialog box that lists the media sources in the region.
If a list of media players isn’t already displayed, use the “Show” drop-down selector to choose “All” or “Outside this Parcel” to find the Media Players. A list of the media players found by the viewer will appear. One or more of these is the source of the noise. (Tip: the source player will say “Playing” next to it if you are still hearing the noise.) Click once on the name of a media player in the list to highlight it. Now you can control that player. In the bottom left corner of the dialog box is a play/stop button that you can use to turn each of these media players on or off. There is also a volume control slider if you just want to lower or raise the volume of any of the media players. At the right lower corner of the dialog box is a “search” button, we’ll use it later.
Highlight each of the players that says “playing” and click the play/stop button to stop it. Now you can click play to restart them one at a time and listen to find out what each one is playing. (When you click “Play”to restart, it may take a while for the media player to download the media and start playing.) This will allow you to find the media player(s) that is annoying you. Not all media players make sounds, so if you don’t hear anything that doesn’t mean there is a problem. Warning: just stopping the offensive media player is not a permanent solution. It doesn’t hurt to slide the volume slider all the way to the left, “off”, if you don’t want to hear the specific player. Consider it extra back-up insurance. If you have Auto-Play set to on (see the section above) the player will likely turn back on the next time you enter the region, but if the volume is off, at least you shouldn’t be able to hear it!
A better, more permanent, solution is to find out which media player is the source of the annoying noise and block it. Turn them on and off until you find the one making the annoying noise. The name of the media player may give you a hint which one it is. (A media player which is playing a You-Tube video is likely to have sound, for example.) Once you find the offender, highlight it and click the magnifying glass “Search” button in the lower right corner.
When you click the Search button, your viewer camera will start moving across the region toward the location of the media player. It will stop with the camera looking directly at the offending media player! In my case it turned out to be a “Monitor” in a neighbor’s house showing a You-Tube video of a heavy metal band playing over-and-over in a endless loop of ear pain. (Don’t get me wrong, a little metal is fine, I can head-bang. But the same song over, and over, and over? Aigggghhh!)
Be aware that the media player may not look like a TV or monitor. It could look like anything– or nothing! It could be inside a radio, chair, couch, a tiny box, or any furniture item. One of the media players in my neighborhood is in a bed. If it is meant for griefing (annoying others) it may be hidden inside or behind something else, possibly even underground. It may also be transparent. Press Ctrl + Alt + T to toggle on transparency highlighting and look for red highlighted items. Remember, the search feature should leave your camera looking straight at it, so look carefully in that direction.
Now to kill it. Right click on the media player to open the object’s menu, select “Manage”. If you are sure the purpose of the item is griefing, you may want click edit and get the object owner’s name, then come back and click “Report Abuse” and report them. If you are not sure, please give the owner the benefit of the doubt, the poor sap may have simply bought the object and be totally unaware that it can be heard on the neighbor’s property. Now select “Block”. This will block the media player so you won’t ever hear it again. Hopefully. Don’t worry, it doesn’t really kill it. The owner still sees and hears it just fine. But you don’t!
Press the Esc key to return the camera to your avatar.