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Cambridge SoundWorks gives digital music a spin

Home theater company to help users digitally convert audio CDs and store songs on a DVD or player.

Home theater company Cambridge SoundWorks is helping consumers tackle the time-consuming task of converting CDs into digital files.

The company announced Wednesday that it has teamed with Palo Alto, Calif.-based Ready To Play to offer customers a service that will let them bring in audio CDs and have them converted to digital files and stored on DVDs or digital audio players.

Ready To Play will take care of the conversion, while Cambridge SoundWorks will be the drop-off and pick-up point. Customers also will be able to have their digitized music collections shipped directly to them. Cambridge SoundWorks will offer the service in its New England and San Francisco Bay Area stores, as well as on its Web site.

While digital audio players are expected to be a popular item this holiday season, converting CD collections can be a hefty chore for even the most digitally savvy. The service takes up to two days for conversion, excluding shipping time, and costs $1.10 per CD. Ready To Play also offers the service on its site with slightly different pricing depending on the number of CDs being converted.

"You can change your own oil, but you don't want to do it because you want to do something else with your time," said Jeff Tedesco, founder and president of Ready To Play.

Tedesco said the company currently converts thousands of CDs per week. A typical order includes between 200 and 250 CDs. The company expects to announce similar deals with other retailers in the coming months, Tedesco added.

Cambridge SoundWorks is offering the service to cater to its 30- to 55-year-old demographic while also trying to attract a younger audience, according to a company spokeswoman.

Cambridge SoundWorks also is hoping to encourage sales of the digital audio players it carries, including those from parent company Creative.