Ever had the urge to crank out some nasty riffs in the kitchen, record them, and then watch as millions of Xbox 360 owners rush to download your jam(s)? Don't lie. In a move that marks the next logical step of the Rock Band journey, Harmonix has confirmed that an open beta registration of the Rock Band Network will open up later today for Xbox 360 users, enabling amateur (or professional... or novice!) musicians to record, convert and upload tracks to a network where gamers can judge how awesome / not awesome any given song is. Reportedly, those seen as "good enough" will be made available for sale (you can price each tune from $1 to $3), though we're hearing that the actual conversion process isn't a lesson in simplicity. In fact, some outfits are offering their services to take recordings from .wav files to ones that the game can understand, but with rates of $500 per minute (of music), we're guessing that only serious artists will apply. And if you've ever heard "that local band" willing to play shows for free, you'll agree with us when we say that this barrier to entry is probably a good thing.

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Rock Band Network beta opening to Xbox 360 users, garage bands see 'their chance'