Help Me Understand Xbox 360 DLC DRM

So the incredible lameness of the PS2 port of Rock Band finally forced my hand and I upgraded to the Xbox 360. And as for Wii owners rejoicing about the newly announced Rock Band Wii port, as I’ve learned, you should be careful what you ask for. :(

I have over $100 worth of Rock Band, GH2, and GH3 DLC associated with a particular Xbox Live account at work. I’d prefer not to re-buy that content for the Xbox at home.

With the help of a friend at work, I figured out that storing your Xbox live profile on a memory card is the way to go if you have multiple Xbox 360s. It allows you to use the MC as a sort of “dongle”. If I take the memory card to work and plug it in, I can access the DLC, and ditto at home. This works, but it’s schleppy.

But it looks like I can’t make a copy of Xbox live profile on a second memory card. Is this true? If so, that means I have to schlep the damn memory card back and forth from home to work every day just to get access to the DLC I paid for. I was sort of hoping against hope I could copy the profile to a second memory card, but it looks like profiles are “Move” only; you can’t copy them.

Ideas? Solutions? Am I just screwed?

Also, while I’m asking. Is it possible to somehow use a third party 2.5" hard drive instead of the ridiculously tiny little 20 GB model they sell you? EDIT: found the answer; if you buy a particular brand of HDD and are willing to dick around with a DOS mode drive firmware modifier, it is possible.

You can’t make a copy of a profile. You can “recover” it on each box, but that will invalidate the recovered copy on the other box. Plus, any profile data changes on the other box would be lost.

Not sure if it’s the same way with the DLC, but Live Arcade games and other marketplace purchases tend to be usable on the box they were purchased on, regardless of the signed-in Gamertag. So it’s possible that you could finagle some kind of solution using that angle.

BTW, why buy content on a work box? That seems really odd – if I were forking out the money, I would always buy it on my personal machine…

Hmm. There is this “Xbox 360 Transfer Kit” from Datel. It allows you to create an image dump of the memory card.

Wouldn’t that also allow me to clone my profile to a 2nd memory card?

BTW, why buy content on a work box?

Seemed like an OK idea at the time… I had no plans to buy an Xbox 360 until November 2008. The PSP, sorry, PS2 version of Rock Band changed that for me…

Not sure if it’s the same way with the DLC, but Live Arcade games and other marketplace purchases tend to be usable on the box they were purchased on, regardless of the signed-in Gamertag.

Definitely NOT true in our testing. In GH3, unless you’re logged in as the account that bought the DLC, the DLC does not show up. And that’s the machine it was purchased on. DLC appears to be 100% tied to the Xbox Live profile you bought it with.

This is not universal. In fact, all content I’ve bought (XBLA games, videos, and Oblivion DLC) are accessible on all accounts on my machine at home. This is machine this content was bought on.

Maybe Guitar Hero III DLC is somehow different. Or maybe they’ve changed policies recently (but I doubt it.) I don’t know. I just know it works for me, and may very well work for the OP.

Yea, when I was at 'Spy, most stuff I bought for my work gamertag worked even when using my personal gamertag, but a coupla things (Rainbow Six Vegas, I think) were pretty strict about which GT is actively logged in.

You can move your gamer profile on to the memory card. This will allow you to take your profile with you when you go home. Since your profile is on the card you will have to keep it plugged in when you want to use it. I have not found that too much of a hassle.

I also copied my rockband save and song dl data to the card so I can play with my songs and profile at my friends house.

The way it should work is that any content you purchase is usable by all profiles on the purchasing Xbox 360. The profile that made the purchase can re-download the content on another Xbox, though then it will be usable only by that profile. GH3 may be more restrictive for some reason, I suppose.

I have content on a few consoles between work and home. I keep a copy of my profile on a mem card and just take it back and forth. I re-download the content as necessary.

Even if it worked that way, so that all profiles on the same box got access (which wouldn’t actually be a good idea for a variety of reasons, the biggest of which is that you can move profiles to other machines), it wouldn’t do him any good. He wants to move it to another machine.

I know it sucks, but what is MS supposed to do here? If they allowed you to copy your profile rather than moving it, people could all share profile names and DLC and they lose a ton of sales.

Just to clarify, even if GH3 is more restrictive, all the content I’ve downloaded for any other game works for all profiles on the box its downloaded on, as well as my own profile wherever I take my profile (by either recovering it or taking it on my memory card).

Just to be clear: Rock Band content works for all profiles on the 360 you downloaded it on. I’ve tested this at my friend’s place, where I try to download all my content. It also works on my home 360, where I have to log in and be online to access the content.

Also, for the songs that I downloaded on my home 360, they work on my friend’s box as long as I’m logged in on one of the controllers. I don’t have to be playing, just logged in, and it unlocks the content on that box for that time period.

I’m not surprised that Guitar Hero 3 is being a dick about downloaded content. I hate the fact that the game forces me to actually physically unattach my Rock Band guitar from the console before the game will even let me access the main menu in the game. “You have an unsupported guitar plugged in. Please remove it because I’m Activision and I suck and I’m really insecure that people are going to use other controllers to play my game”. Idiots.

Thanks, Rock8man. Does that mean you could move each of those profiles independently to other machines? If so, that’s an interesting setup. Why wouldn’t you move all your friends profiles to one machine, DL the content, and then move them all back?

Yeah, that pissed me the hell off too. You’d think they could have just done one like “You have an unsupported guitar, it’s not going to work” and then just not accept any input from it and chill the fuck out.

You could, but it wouldn’t do anything because the content isn’t tied to the other profiles on the machine, but to the hardware itself. DLC (Note: I mean in general, no idea if GH3 is different) is tied to 2 things: the purchasing profile, and the original machine it was purchased on. Either one of those is sufficient. For example, we have 2 360s, one in the living room and one in my home office. I can buy an Arcade game while logged into the living room 360 and then take my memory card with my profile to my office and redownload the game there. Meanwhile, while I’m in my office, my wife can still play the full game in the living room on her profile because that was the box it was purchased on, but she can’t take her profile somewhere else and still access the game.

Swap your 360 for the one at work. Nobody will ever know.

I have two xboxes in my house, due to getting a RROD. One in my bedroom, which is my primary gaming box, and one in the livingroom, used as a DVD player and rockband box.

I did they “recover account” thing for a while, so I could play my rockband DLC on both my main xbox and the livingroom one. I found that it just takes -way- too long. People would come over and want to play rockband, and we’d have to sit there for about 20 minutes as it “recovered” my account to the other box.

Now, I just swap the hard drive to the box I want to use… this is much faster and less of a hassle.

Xbox Live DLC is flagged two ways when you purchase it - to your specific Xbox and your Gamertag.

This breaks it down pretty well -,-Wheres-my-offline-Xbox-Live-Marketplace-Content.html

Well, I have a sniper bid in on one of those Xbox 360 memory card readers. We’ll see if I can clone my profile with that thing or not. Seems likely if it’s dumping all the bits to a file as an image, which all the reviews say it is doing…

but its still gotta authenticate to the live servers, which probably update the information. I’m not saying it won’t work, but its probably a good way to screw around and end up banned.

I suspect that even if you make a perfect copy of your profile, only the one you log in on next will be accepted as the ‘legit’ one and the other will become stale and have to be recovered to be updated anyway, much like if you were to recover your account to two different systems.

Having just swapped out for a new 360, this DRM crap is really annoying. Here I thought I was special that the XBL support guy said it would be fixed within 30 days, and I find out that everyone in the XBox thread linked above has said the same thing.

I really like my 360, but it’s like MS is trying to find ways to make me hate it. I fear it will try to kill my cat next.