API Released for Second Life Plug-Ins

Step in the Right Direction for the Virtual World?

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You don’t hear as much about Second Life these days as you did several years ago. For a while, articles were being written left and right about how to leverage this virtual world from Linden Lab as a business tool. Lately, not so much.

It is possible that that will soon change, as the LLmedia API has been released to developers. This API lets developers create plug-ins for the Second Life viewer to bring more media-rendering capabilities to the virtual world. Linden explains on the Second Life Blog:

Second Life Currently, Residents who own land have the ability to specify a select set of media types to be used on their parcel through the Land Management settings.  This allows Residents to do interesting things like watch videos, show Web pages to visitors, or just add ambiance to inworld spaces with streaming music.  However, the types of media that could be used inworld has been limited to only those that could be rendered by the set of media rendering engines embedded in the Second Life Viewer, such as Apple QuickTime movies.

The LLMedia API will change this by enabling developers to create media rendering plug-ins for the Second Life Viewer. In the future, by installing these plug-ins, you’ll be able to enjoy a wider range of media inworld, without having to download new Viewers to do so. For example, when a plug-in is developed for rendering an additional video format, you’ll be able to view media in that format inworld after downloading and installing that plug-in, without having to wait for a new version of the Second Life Viewer that includes this rendering engine.

Is this going to create the buzz for Second Life that once existed in the days when it was even getting mentions on NBC’s The Office? I’m not sure I would go that far, but APIs tend to open up lots of room for improvement, and this one appears to be a step in the right direction for usability of the virtual world.

Linden says it’s going to take some time for Second Life to get to where it needs to be, but considers this an "important step" in the right direction.

API Released for Second Life Plug-Ins
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