July 18, 2009

Rock Band Network: Don't wait for the third one

One of the major features people talk about when comparing the lasting value of Guitar Hero: World Tour and Rock Band 2 is the music creator (GHTunes) of the former. While it makes for a little bit of amusement, the amusement doesn't really last long what with the decidedly un-user-friendly creation interface. Now, the arguments can be put to rest, because Harmonix has announced something even better: the new Rock Band Network.

Aimed as both a promotional tool for independent labels/artists and a DIY DLC creator for established labels, the Rock Band Network is the place where the artists themselves can create both the song and the Rock Band chart, then upload them to the community for evaluation. They can set their price (.50c-$2) and they'll get a share of that profit.

Nobody said creating the crap was easy though, and that's because one will need an account before they gain access to the same tools Harmonix uses. So no, it's not the same consumer-oriented composer tools Guitar Hero offers, but the real deal. Now it won't have to sound like a ringtone (unless your song sounded like a ringtone intentionally).

Perhaps one deal-breaker to this new tool comes with the current incompatibility with other consoles-- namely the PS3 and the Wii-- but Harmonix says that they're "working on those versions" as well.

I envision Rock Band Network as one of the biggest promotional tools the music industry can exploit. I mean, since a creator can simply release the song/s on a date he chooses, labels could say, simultaneously put out Rock Band DLC and a new album.

For the interested musicians out there, you better have a 360 if you want to participate in the beta. You'll also have to get your e-mail address and type it in the site though.

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