EMI's Blue Note Records has become the latest label to experiment with selling tracks online in unprotected MP3 format. It has given Yahoo! Music permission to sell Norah Jones' new single "Thinking About You" in the unprotected format, which went on sale Tuesday (Dec. 5).

The single is from Jones' forthcoming album of the same name, due Jan. 30. On the same day Relient K, signed to EMI label Capital Records, did the same with two tracks.

Yahoo! Music's David Goldberg is a vocal proponent of selling a la carte downloads in MP3 format so they will be compatible with Apple's iPod. Yahoo! previously sold a single by Jessica Simpson and a full album by Jesse McCartney in the unprotected format as well.

Currently, the practice of releasing music in unprotected formats seems more of a marketing ploy than a fundamental shift in how labels approach the digital rights management issue. To date, what little major label fare made available to Yahoo! and other services in MP3 format have been driven at the individual label level at the behest of the promotions group.

However, industry sources say at least one major label group is considering revising its DRM policy across the board in response to relatively slow digital music sales.