Dell and Napster have teamed up to offer discounted computers, software and digital music for US college students.

The two companies are offering to put together packages that combine Napster's digital music service and software with Dell's hardware, namely blade servers, to "help colleges and universities offer students a legal way to download music files," Dell said.

The Dell-Napster deal offers discounts, lower rates for students and faculty at academic institutions, while ensuring there's enough bandwidth to handle thousands of downloads at a time.

Dell PowerEdge

The University of Washington will be the first school to try it out later this year, Dell said. The company will install ten Dell PowerEdge 1855 blade servers on the University of Washington's Seattle campus. The servers will hold Napster's songs and other content so students can download them faster.

Dell also plans to sell discounted subscriptions to Napster's digital music service and is offering discounts on computer systems, electronics and its DJ digital music players to faculty, staff and students of the university.

The company's statement does not give the size of the discounts, nor indicate prices for any of the services or hardware mentioned.

The companies plan to work with universities throughout the US to develop systems suited to each campus, Dell said.