Morissette's single won't be in MP3

The singer's label issues a statement saying Morissette will release a live version of a previously unreleased song on the Net, but it won't be on MP3.com or in MP3 audio compression format.

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MP3.com's sponsorship of rock star Alanis Morissette is less of a giant leap forward for the MP3 format than many had speculated.

Morissette's record label, Maverick Recording, issued a statement yesterday announcing the artist MP3: Sound and furywould release a live version of a previously unreleased song. But contrary to speculation in the media and within the industry, Maverick will not release the track on MP3.com's site, nor will it release the track in the MP3 (MPEG 1, Audio Layer 3) audio compression format.

Instead, Maverick plans to release the song as a live audio stream on a site that is still being developed. Maverick said the song will be compatible on most media players but will not be downloadable to a portable device.

"For quite some time, Maverick has been actively exploring new and unique ways to market our artists using online technologies in a manner that is not inconsistent with our strong commitment to maintaining the value of the intellectual property," Ronnie Dashev, chief operating officer of Maverick, said in a statement.

Last Friday, Morissette announced she would embark on a 26-city tour with singer Tori Amos and named MP3.com and Best Buy as the tour sponsors. Reports earlier this week speculated that Morissette was considering posting live audio from her performances on MP3.com. Some also speculated the audio could be served as a downloadable MP3 file. However, MP3.com's tour promotion is just that.

Recording companies are hesitant about MP3 audio download technology because they say it is the format of choice among music pirates. Record companies--under the leadership of industry trade group the Recording Industry Association of America--have banded together to endorse the Secure Digital Music Initiative, which aims to create specifications for secure online music downloads that ostensibly could be embedded in any delivery technology.

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