The new service, available immediately, combines Napster's digital music service with Dell's PowerEdge 1855 blades by storing music from Napster's library on locally hosted servers.
"We hear from [universities] regularly that illegal music downloads put them, their students and their networks at risk," said John Mullen, vice president of Dell's higher education business.
The University of Washington will be the first institution to sign up to the offering starting this Autumn. Dell Services will install 10 PowerEdge 1855 blade servers on the university's Seattle campus loaded with Napster's SuperPeer cache application.
The application is designed to deliver legal music and other Napster content that is stored on a caching server located within the campus network.
"In this era of pervasive broadband networks and extraordinary new personal devices, it is important for universities to establish mechanisms that provide students with high quality, legal access to the growing body of content available in digital repositories worldwide," said Dr Mark Emmert, president of the University of Washington.
Dell is offering promotional prices on bundles that include one of its three digital music players - the Dell Pocket DJ, Dell Digital Jukebox DJ 20 and Dell DJ 30 - which are all compatible with the Napster To Go portable subscription service.
In addition to the technical collaboration, both companies are working on sales and marketing initiatives. Starting this Autumn, Dell will sell subscriptions to Napster's service to colleges and universities at a discounted academic rate.
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