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[personal profile] elmegil
RawkSD is very cool. Basically it's a wii homebrew app that lets you import custom songs to be played with Rock Band 2. However, there's a side benefit--it also lets you import your old Rock Band 1 format songs (basically RB1 and its various expansions). This can be important, because the RB1 engine doesn't work with the wide array of instruments that RB2 does.

What's unfortunate about RawkSD is that its documentation seems to assume you are steeped in the world of "Customs" and understand how all the pieces are supposed to go together.

There are two parts to RawkSD: the wii app and a PC app. The wii app is what does the copy of your previous version songs, and what you use to be able to play any of your customs with RB2. The PC app does the conversion from original archive version to custom, and that's the part that the documentation falls down on--installation and use of both pieces is explained, but the relationship between them is not. I originally assumed that the copy function of the wii app did everything necessary to play the songs in RB2, and I was confused about why they didn't show up in the game. Asking newb questions in the IRC channel, even when a simple yes or no answer would have sent me in the right direction, apparently gets a chilly reception. So to help anyone else who might be facing the same kinds of questions and concerns, here is a (mostly) step-by-step HOWTO on how to get your RB1 tracks playable in RB2 with RawkSD.

NOTE: All of this assumes that you own LEGITIMATE copies of all the referenced games. No one in this community condones piracy, and neither do I...I'm just looking to make the process less painful for those who follow me.

Also, this likely will void your warranty. Standard disclaimers about taking responsibility for your own actions even if you brick your wii apply. I am giving information, not guarantees.

1) Install the Homebrew Channel
a) download the Hackmii installer
b) put it onto an SD (not SDHC) card, in the root
c) pick one of the listed means of getting it installed; I used Indiana Pwns and it worked like a charm
d) first time you run it, you won't have any other software available, so there's just a calm blue watery scene with bubbles you can pop. Use your B button to back out to the System Menu and shut down
2) Download RawkSD 3 beta 4 and install BOTH parts.
a) if you don't have a PC handy, download VirtualBox for free from Oracle and find someone who will let you borrow their Windows XP installation media
b) make sure you have Microsoft .NET 3.0 WITH PATCHES--the basic 3.0 installation will not work. I patched to 3.5 and it worked great.
3) The Wii part goes onto your SD card in the path indicated in the install guide. This does two things...
a) It gives you the ability to extract the songs out of your RB1 discs
b) It lets you run RB2 with some slight modifications that will let you read the customs and play them
c) THIS is where the documentation breaks down--the Wii part does NOT convert the extracted song archives into playable customs, that is handled by the PC software
4) Run RawkSD and extract your songs
5) Shut down and take your SD card back to your PC (or system with virtual windows).
a) note that they say that you can run RawkSD.exe with Mono on a Mac or Linux, but it did not work on my Mac. Since I had VirtualBox already there I didn't spend much time troubleshooting....
6) Run RawkSD.exe, mount up your SD card, point RawkSD at the extracted files...
a) at this point you'll have a list of songs in the archive
b) you can load multiple archives at the same time
c) pick and choose the songs you want to extract
d) I told it to Import to SD Card--this doesn't actually write them to the SD card if it's mounted into VirtualBox...perhaps it would if it was a "real" SD card on a real PC. For my installation it wrote them to a subdirectory of the RawkSD PC installation called "rawksd". I simply copied the files in there back to my SD card
7) SAFELY unmount your SD card and install it back in your Wii
8) put the Rock Band 2 disc into the drive
9) Run RawkSD from the Homebrew Channel and select "Play". This starts RB2 with the necessary mods to read the customs...which just happen in this case to be extracted versions of the RB1 tracks...

And now you can play RB1 songs under RB2, with all the benefits like being able to use Guitar Hero instruments, etc. If you're really interested, you can also extract from several other games, as documented in the RawkSD wiki. I'm seriously considering it for the Band Hero/Guitar Hero games we have simply because it would be convenient to have all the tracks available in one game instead of spread out over several different discs. One caveat, apparently the GH tracks take MUCH longer to import because there's a bigger conversion going on than RB1 -> RB2 formats.
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