Don’t look now…

Posted: June 20th, 2011 | Author: Josh | Filed under: Blog

…but marketplace links are back.  Who knows what happy twists of fate have brought us this welcome change?  Not I (though a big shout out to Jared @ DLCQuickPlay for letting me know).

Since I don’t have a solid grasp of Harmonix’s agenda when it comes to being able to purchase songs online, I have no idea if they will work to prevent these links from working, or if they will try to shut down future links from showing up on the internet.

Only time will tell.  Enjoy your rock, internets.

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The state of RBN (and why you don’t see marketplace links)

Posted: April 8th, 2011 | Author: Josh | Filed under: Blog

So the big news, as many of you have probably noticed, is that there are no more marketplace links to download the full/trial versions of RBN songs.

This bothered a good number of people, and Harmonix employees have responded/explained in forum posts in the RockBand.com forum and Creators forum.

It seems that allowing people to download RBN songs through the XBox Live marketplace web site was never intended, and their agreement with Microsoft was that those marketplace pages would not exist.

According to Harmonix, only a very small percent of purchases were made through the online store.  Many users responded by saying “but I downloaded lots of trial versions online to try, and then made my purchases in-game after playing the demo!”  HMXMister_Game responded by saying that there aren’t actually that many demo downloads.

Based on the responses from Harmonix employees over the last week or so, it seems that they are unlikely to add this functionality back very soon.  I doubt any amount of complaining will change their minds – a noticeable drop in sales would probably be the only thing that would make them reconsider.

I hope that sales don’t suffer – I love RBN, and the charters and artists that make it rock.  However, given how annoying it can be to browse the in-game marketplace, I can only imagine that at least some sales will be lost.

The RBNReleases.com list of songs will continue updating, though songs will not show up until after they appear in the RockBand.com song list.  I will start pushing song announcements out via the Twitter account again shortly (sans the prices and demo links).

I hope to keep this site the best place to find out which RBN songs are worth buying.  I just fixed a bug that was keeping authors from adding YouTube links for their songs, so hopefully this will still be a handy place to find those video links.

I will leave you with this quote from HMXLachesis’ post on the subject of finding out about new songs, from the Creators forum thread:

There are many official places to learn about what songs have been released, including:

1) the creators.rockband.com store updates thread (http://creators.rockband.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2941)
2) the RockBand.com songs page (http://www.rockband.com/songs, Rock Band Network tab)
3) the Friday New to RBN posts in the Blog (http://www.rockband.com/blog/category/rbn)
4) the Newest Releases section in the in-game Music Store

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Why isn’t Anamanaguchi – Airbrushed showing up?

Posted: March 25th, 2011 | Author: Josh | Filed under: Blog

You may have noticed that even though Airbrushed is showing up in the in-game Rock Band Network store, it has not appeared in this list!  How is this possible?  Has my massive incompetence finally bit me in the ass?

Well, I don’t think so.  At least not yet.  Here’s the deal: even though this nifty-sounding song is available in the game, nobody can find it on the internet.  It’s not in the official Rock Band list.  It hasn’t turned up on the XBox Marketplace site yet, that anyone can see.

This is annoying, and disturbing!  I’m ready to adjust to any new wackiness, but I can’t link to anything I can’t find.  If any of you can find a marketplace link, let me know.

If, at some point in the future, you notice new songs showing up on rockband.com or the Merketplace web site, let me know, so I can change stuff if I need to.

Thanks!  Keep on rocking!

20 Comments »

Songs that have had their prices change

Posted: February 26th, 2011 | Author: Josh | Filed under: Blog

A couple people recently informed me that several songs have had their prices change recently, and this list has not been updating them!  That should be fixed now – I am now updating the prices from the XBox Marketplace nightly.

For those who might be curious, here are the songs that have had their prices change since they went live, listed with the track’s author:

Price changed from 80 to 160

  • Terrorhorse – Packet Flier (RhythmAuthors)
  • Heaven Ablaze – Parhelia (RhythmAuthors)
  • Lead The Dead – Rip’er (RhythmAuthors)
  • Quartered – Africa (RhythmAuthors)
  • Warpath – Life Unworthy of Life (RhythmAuthors)
  • The Word Alive – Battle Royale (RhythmAuthors)
  • Let’s Get It – Do Not Disturb (Tell Me How Bad) (RockGamer)
  • Excruciating Thoughts – In Memory (RhythmAuthors)
  • The Myriad Burial – Death Quota for Purification (RhythmAuthors)

Price changed from 160 to 80

  • Cetan Clawson and the Soul Side – White Heat (RockGamer)
  • Glass Hammer – Sleep On (Mickstafa)
  • Zack Wilson – Another California Song (TheFuture15)
  • Glass Hammer – Hyperbole (Mickstafa)
  • Zack Wilson – Ox (TheFuture15)
  • Surprise Me Mr. Davis – Sissyfuss (TheAuthority)
  • a t o m – You Take It All (Atomtroy)
  • a t o m – You’re Not Alone – Rock Mix (Atomtroy)
  • a t o m – Satellite (Live) (Atomtroy)
  • the Apples in Stereo – Dance Floor (GamerBeatsInc)
  • the Apples in Stereo – Dream About the Future (GamerBeatsInc)
  • the Apples in Stereo – Told You Once (GamerBeatsInc)
  • the Apples in Stereo – Hey Elevator (GamerBeatsInc)
  • the Apples in Stereo – No One In the World (GamerBeatsInc)
  • Buffalo Mad – Muéstrame un Poco (AGLSolutions)
  • Blackberry River Band – I’ve Got a Feeling (BBRiverBand)

Price changed from 240 to 160

  • Mayday Parade – When I Get Home You’re So Dead (NoisyPuppet)
1 Comment »

Why did I even make this site?

Posted: February 20th, 2011 | Author: Josh | 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 »