The announcement of the Rock Band Network today was, of course, very important. Game changing to all Rock Band players. How much will it really change, though? It's certainly not meant to compete directly with the Guitar Hero track creator. The GH creator is more accessible to anyone, but gives a lower-quality product. It seems the RBN is really only to be used by musical artists. It's set up so that independent artists that want to make a name for themselves can.
Be honest, though. When you're downloading from GH Tunes, do you not just skip over the original tracks and jump straight to downloading the Legend of Zelda remixes? RBN has made it quite clear that it will not allow copyrighted music. That is with good reason, of course. They'd be up to their eyeballs in lawsuits if any Joe Schmoe could MIDI map his favorite Led Zeppelin song and throw it up onto the store. But that only leaves us to question, what is the point of the RBN?
While it is certainly fun discovering new songs on Rock Band, I usually reserve my paid downloads for songs that I already know. There's no way around it. It's the most fun to play along with your favorite bands and become a part of the experience that you've been enjoying for so long. I don't see a wave of independent no-name songs really making that big of a splash in the Rock Band world.
Of course, this does also open the door for professional artists to map out some of their songs and post them without waiting for Harmonix to approach them. That's to say that if "Weird Al" Yankovic had a free afternoon, he could choose to map Skipper Dan and distribute it that way. But surely it will still be an arse to squeeze through the copyright filters and the quality of the note placement will be less than we are used to (simply because it is their first time playing around with such complicated tools).
So what can we expect from RBN? You see "music creator" advertised and your first thought it, "oh cool. I finally get to play Never Gonna Give You Up on Rock Band". Where can we expect this to go and why should we care?
I want to like this idea, by the way