Earlier this month, the Rock Band Network was announced. This development will allow musicians and record labels to author their own original recordings into gameplay files and sell their music as playable Rock Band tracks through the newly created Rock Band Network Music Store beginning this fall.
The new platform offers unique opportunity; however, anyone wishing to take advantage of it will need to first gain the knowledge required to use the software that transfers songs onto the game. Towson-based programmer J.C. Cirri and his start-up, Rhythm Authors LLC, have stepped in to prevent this software knowledge from presenting any sort of obstacle for musicians looking to get their music on Rock Band.
Rhythm Authors can be hired to convert a band’s song into a game level. The professional authoring service, which does not consider itself to be a “talent spotter”, searches for songs that would make for fun Rock Band entertainment.
According to Cirri, each of these songs requires somewhere around 40 hours of programming preparation before it is suitable for the game.
As reported by the Washington Post, after a song passes a bit of beta testing, any Rock Band player with a Web-connected Xbox can download and play the new track, which will be priced at $1, $2 or $3. The musician will receive 30% of the sale each time their song is purchased (or less if they have chosen to pay Cirri with a cut of the sales).
Potential gains of revenue and/or exposure have musicians excited for the chance to find a place for their music in the Rock Band Network. Cirri elaborated on the possibility of increased exposure: "Album sales have gone through the roof for bands that have been featured in Rock Band and Guitar Hero," Cirri told the Washington Post. "I see it as a new distribution channel for the music industry."
Cirri’s experience as founder of ScoreHero.com, a successful Guitar Hero fan site established in 2006, offers him the advantage of understanding what it takes to create a thriving, game-focused Web site/following. This success seems to already be spreading to Rhythm Authors, which has had 16 bands sign up for its services, although it has only been open for less than one week.
Cirri's motivation for the future of this platform is illustrated clearly on Rhythm Authors' website , where he shares: “I believe this will be a success, but its fate lies in the hands of the community. Let's make the best of it!”