No, I didn't search to see if someone's already suggested this. No, I didn't post this in the existing thread for game bugs and feature requests. I'm a bad boy. But I did think it would make more sense to put this suggestion here, where more the more RBN-aware members of the forum hang out.
Back in the "Why don't YOU buy tracks from the Rock Band Network? thread, one of the reasons given for not buying RBN tracks is the lack of pro strings upgrades. Of course we all know and understand why RBN tracks don't get those upgrades, from the complexity of the charts to the almost nonexistent base of testers to review them. Still, it's a shame to think that there are some truly awesome songs in the game, now and in the future, that will never have the chance to be upgraded.
Harmonix is already more involved with user-generated content for their games than just about any other publisher, from advertising new tracks each week to porting select tracks to another console. What if Harmonix also committed to handling pro upgrades themselves of RBN tracks now and then? Of course no one should expect them to do very many; even one a week is probably asking for too much. But, perhaps one every other week, or one to three per month, based on criteria similar to what is used in deciding which songs to port to the PS3.
Depending on how this was arranged, maybe Harmonix wouldn't even have to handle the entire process themselves. They could release the tools, have the RBN authors chart the upgrades, and then periodically select a track for review and release. I readily acknowledge this could turn into a logistical nightmare when authors don't respond as quickly as they should, but it's still a possible way to spread responsibility and potentially get more pro upgrades out the door.
Obviously any arrangement would not see very many songs get upgraded, but at least it would give every track the possibility of seeing an upgrade at some point. That would make the RBN a lot more attractive to some players, and maybe even some artists.
Thanks for reading!