The short version for those that don’t want to read all my ramblings. (click to enlarge)
As much as I love charts, there are many things that go into viewer choice that aren’t as easily quantifiable so I’ve written about each viewer individually. Warning, it’s long, longer than usual even, so I split it up into seperate posts but they are intended to be part of the same test.
Dolphin Viewer http://dolphinviewer.eregion.de/
Dolphin is relatively new to me, I first downloaded it about two months ago when I heard about the machinima toolbar and I do use it off and on but it didn’t bring anything overly new to my viewer buffet so it wasn’t a staple in the rotation. That all changed with this latest release.
Dolphin has now implemented a fix for what I have long considered to be broken inventory search functionality. I will never, ever, understand why the search term you enter in your inventory tab would also search your recent items. In the V1 days these tabs acted independently of each other but for some reason when we went to V2 it broke and it appeared that no one has been interested in fixing this.
Not sure what I mean? Well let’s say you type Truth in your inventory tab to look for a hair, then switched to your recent tab to look for a new shirt you bought. For some inexplicable reason your recent tab was also now filtered to just the Truth search term and you had to delete it in order to see all your recent items. This was never fixed in V3 nor in most of the TPVs that I’ve used. A year or more of working with what I considered to be broken inventory functionality has not improved my mood on this so when I read that Dolphin has implemented a fix here I was so excited it was an actual physical relief. I can’t imagine using Excel and having a filter term I used in one column applied to the others. It makes zero sense and finally I don’t have to deal with this anymore. This alone will significantly increase the amount of time I spend on Dolphin. No amount of shiny new toys will replace common sense functionality to me.
Separate search term functionality on inventory tabs! Finally someone fixed this.
Highest FPS of all the viewers I use, on every setting, in all circumstances.
Built in AO.
Very good graphics for day to day use and a machinima side bar with handy and easy to use graphic tweaking options if you do photography.
Now this con is going to seem strange, I don’t understand it myself to be honest with you. Dolphin consistently has the highest FPS for me, but the worst or slowest rez times. When I log in, or TP to a new sim, the amount of time I have to wait for everything and everyone to rez is noticeably slower on Dolphin than any of the viewers I use. At first I thought it was because I’m spoiled with Catznip and it’s lighting fast rez, but comparing Dolphin against the others this weekend I have to admit it is slowest. Once things are rezzed it’s wonderful, so if you don’t grid hop a lot this may be a non issue to you, but for me it makes Dolphin a frustrating viewer choice for doing hunts or going to big/busy events.
Dolphin, as with many viewers, also doesn’t provide the combined Chat and IM window I prefer. It also doesn’t allow buttons to be placed at the top, which is not a deal breaker, but certainly a nice to have.