Why did I even make this site?

Posted: February 20th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Blog

So I’ve always loved Rock Band, right? As soon as RBN was announced, I knew that I needed to play one of my band’s songs in the game.

So I shoved my band’s song through the authoring process, with some help from talented people on the internet.  In March 2010, the song went through testing and approval, and was in the queue to be released.  I got an email saying my song would go live soon, and dude, I was STOKED.

I couldn’t even wait until the song hit the official Rock Band in-game store.  I had heard that people were able to find XBox Marketplace links to songs before they were released, so I asked in #rockband to see if anyone knew how that worked.

Apparently, all Rock Band Network songs show up in the XBL marketplace using sequential hexadecimal numbers as part of their URL – in other words, you could predict what the marketplace URL of the next song would be.

So, that morning, before I went in to work, I threw together a quick script that would check every few minutes to see if there was a new song in the marketplace.  Then I created a super-simple page that listed all the songs I’d found so far.

I kept refreshing that page all day while I was at work, and it totally worked!  When my song was live in the marketplace, I knew within a few minutes.  Of course, I spammed everyone I knew with links right away.

I left the scripts running, and let the page stay online.  I sent the URL to some other people in the RB community, and added a few small features to make it more useful.

In March, the page got 6000 visits.  In April it got 15,000.  In May it got 36,000.

Building a brand around the name “error420” was totally accidental.  I threw the site on that domain because I had it handy.  If I had been planning on turning it into a Rock Band Network hub, I would probably have expended a modicum of thought on that subject.

I haven’t done a lot of updates to the site before now – just small tweaks.  I have more ideas – most of them based around making it easier to discover new bands with songs in the Rock Band Network.

I would really appreciate any input you can offer – what do you think of the new site? What would make it more useful to you? What sucks?


21 Comments on “Why did I even make this site?”

  1. 1 Matt said at 12:45 on February 25th, 2011:

    This site has been invaluable to myself and anyone who enjoys the many bands offered by the RBN. It has become one of the few sites I check daily just to see what’s new.

    I think it would be great if there were more Youtube links to gameplay videos. I understand that the charting groups don’t always make official videos, so I don’t know if there would be any restrictions on linking to some of the regular RB gameplay videos.

  2. 2 Josh said at 13:24 on February 25th, 2011:

    I’m also a big fan of the gameplay videos – when it comes to finding ones that were posted by people other than the charters, the trick becomes just collecting them all.

    Also, I think the playtest auto-play videos are the best – you get to hear the whole song without people missing any notes and such.

  3. 3 DragoonXD said at 13:18 on February 25th, 2011:

    Glad to see the site get a facelift. But it will still always be known as error420 to me, haha.

  4. 4 Colin said at 15:08 on February 25th, 2011:

    It’s kinda a name that has grown on it though, I’d be happy if it stayed error420(albiet with these nice renevations)

  5. 5 Xenigma said at 18:05 on February 25th, 2011:

    So glad it’s here, every once in a while there’s a song I want to get as soon as I can, which is exactly what this site allows for. Thanks for keeping it up and maintaining it, it’s an awesome resource. :)

  6. 6 Joe Cam said at 04:43 on February 26th, 2011:

    I have this site bookmarked on pretty much every device I own that can get online. It is an invaluable resource that has made my life easier.
    Nice to see it have it’s own domain, but it’ll always be error420 to me.

    Only suggestion, maybe move that disclaimer from the about section back to the main page. I’m sure some newer visitors might not have a clue about how it all works and might get pissed if they end up buying something and it gets pulled and re-released. I’m sure we’ve all had that happen to us before!

  7. 7 Confury said at 10:45 on February 26th, 2011:

    I don’t even check the RBN Music Store in-game or on the RB site, only site I check for new RBN releases is this one. I’m very grateful that you made the site and it’s very helpful for quickly seeing new releases (and also the tiers of the instruments). The new look is fine, although I liked the last look too.

  8. 8 Blackbart said at 12:26 on February 26th, 2011:

    I love you is the only words I can think of saying.

  9. 9 RickC said at 14:41 on February 26th, 2011:

    Any chance you could encourage the authoring groups to come here and give the correct tiers for their songs? It would be nice to know what songs are devil-tiered. Authoring groups give *lots* of songs devil-tier ratings, and rightly so, but RB3 and the Rockband website do not acknowledge this. I feel for people who download Evile and Emperor songs that show as 5 dots, thinking, “Oh. This will be easier than ‘Walk Of Life’, which is devil tiered.”

  10. 10 jimbury said at 04:27 on February 27th, 2011:

    love the site, been using it for months as my main rbn resource, top work props to ya.

  11. 11 eyescovered said at 14:06 on March 2nd, 2011:

    first off, thank you for your continued work and dedication to this site!

    like others have said, i don’t even visit the in-game or web store thanks to this site! it’s easy to read, easy to navigate and gives you the info/links that you’re looking for.

    changing it to page view has dramatically decreased loading times. my only suggestion is to make the default 50 at a time (this may not be needed at first since new rbn tracks will be trickling in until everyone gets used to reviewing keys).

    thanks again!

  12. 12 Josh said at 14:52 on March 2nd, 2011:

    Yeah, I wasn’t sure what to set the default to – I think I have a good compromise though: I’ve added 50 as an option in the dropdown, and the table now uses a cookie to remember whatever your settings were the last time you viewed the page.

    The default is still 25, but if you change it to 50, it will be remembered the next time you visit the page.

  13. 13 Confury said at 15:05 on March 3rd, 2011:

    Maybe add the date the song came out also? Would be helpful in telling what’s new and what’s not.

  14. 14 Zenzuki said at 15:17 on March 10th, 2011:

    Love the new look & new additions! Great site gets even BETTER! :)

  15. 15 Machetemonkey said at 02:17 on March 15th, 2011:

    Perhaps a way of identifying if a song has “proper” pro drum authoring?

    I know dlcquickplay seems to have some sort of system for that. I don’t know how accurate/complete it is or how they handle it, but it’s a good thing to know. There are a lot of older RBN songs I’d like to buy but am unsure about the pro drum authoring (even more after you posted that list of songs that have dropped in price).

  16. 16 Madman said at 11:04 on March 22nd, 2011:

    Great site and I use it at least once a day. I do have to say that while the update looks nice i find it takes a lot more loading time for me to use the site as opposed to the old site. Im on an older computer that ran the original fine but usually stalls out if I try to run everysong on one page.

    Besides that, the site is a god send, thank you very much :)

  17. 17 Josh said at 11:13 on March 22nd, 2011:

    I do want the site to load quickly – in most browsers, the new site is a lot faster, *because* it doesn’t try to display all of the items at once.

    What browser are you using, Madman?

  18. 18 Madman said at 11:18 on March 22nd, 2011:

    Wow, very quick response :)


  19. 19 Josh said at 11:35 on March 22nd, 2011:

    It’s true, versions of Internet Explorer older than 9 are pretty slow – I noted that in this post: http://rbnreleases.com/55

    I can either throw in some hacks that load a simpler version for users of IE7 and IE8, or I can ignore the problem and hope that everyone who cares will upgrade to IE9 in the next few months :-x

  20. 20 Madman said at 11:44 on March 22nd, 2011:

    I just read though your problem with IE. I know my Laptop does not have the problem (IE9) but I dont have it at the moment. No worries though, I understand, blame it on IE!!!!!


  21. 21 Josh said at 12:13 on March 22nd, 2011:

    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/internet-explorer/downloads/ie :-)

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