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Napster befriends PayPal

Customers of the digital music company can now pay monthly subscriptions or buy single tracks and albums using eBay's service.

Digital music service Napster announced Monday that customers in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada can now pay for tunes using PayPal.

Napster users can choose to pay their monthly subscriptions or buy individual tracks and albums using the online payment service, the companies said. Subscribers can select the new payment option when they enter billing information. If they don't already have a PayPal account, they can set one up while registering for the service, Napster said.

PayPal, which is owned by eBay, allows consumers to pay for products online via multiple options including a bank account, a credit card or an existing PayPal account.

Other payment options on Napster, such as credit and debit cards as well as prepaid cards, will continue to be available, the company said.

Napster popularized free music swapping over the Internet, using the MP3 format, before turning into a legal music service. The popularity of legal downloading services like Napster and Apple Computer's iTunes, which charges 99 cents for each song, has revived interest in online transactions that use micropayments.

"It is very important that we continue to let our members choose the digital experience that works best for them--be that selecting from over 75 compatible MP3 players, opting for Napster's subscription service or purchasing music a la carte and now choosing to use PayPal, a secure and convenient way to pay online," Laura Goldberg, Napster's chief operating officer, said in a statement.