Cover charge for Rock Band 2 song transfers

One-time fee to access original tracks in Harmonix's newest rhythm game will be "less than $5"; Rush's <i>Moving Pictures</i> coming next week.

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All signs point to another epic rock-off between Activision Blizzard's and MTV Games' rhythm games this holiday season, and one of the ways that Rock Band developer Harmonix hopes to rouse crowds in its favor is its vast library of downloadable songs. During this year's E3 Media & Business Summit, Harmonix CEO Alex Rigopulos promised that more than 500 songs will be available for play in Rock Band 2, thanks in part to the ability to transfer Rock Band tracks to its successor.

However, that much-touted song-transfer ability won't be free. Speaking with MTV's Multiplayer gaming blog, Harmonix public-relations coordinator John Drake said that players will be charged a one-time fee that "will not exceed $5." At cause for the cover charge? According to Drake, Harmonix can't simply export the tunes from one game to another without ponying up extra licensing fees to the songs' rights holders.

Laying out how the exact process will work, Drake said that a patch will be rolled out for the original Rock Band on the day that its sequel is released. The patch creates an Export menu in the original game, and players who select it will then be prompted to input a password provided with the Rock Band 2 disc. After paying the aforementioned fee, Rock Band songs will then be transferred to the player's hard drive, where they can then be accessed in Rock Band 2.

MTV notes that Drake's comments regarding the process and accompanying fee thus far hold true only for the Xbox 360 edition of the game, which sees a timed exclusivity when it launches on September 14.

In other Harmonix news, the developer announced that pioneering prog-rock act Rush will lend its celebrated 1981 album Moving Pictures to Rock Band. Pricing information was not revealed for the seven-song pack, but the full-album DLC will be available for the Xbox 360 on August 26 and the PlayStation 3 two days later.

Of the seven songs in the full-album pack, "Tom Sawyer" appeared in the original Rock Band, though the new release will be a master recording. Tracks appearing in Rush's Moving Pictures are listed below.

Moving Pictures
"Tom Sawyer"
"Red Barchetta"
"YYZ"
"Limelight"
"The Camera Eye"
"Witch Hunt (Part III of Fear)"
"Vital Signs"

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