Microsoft Corp put its new Zune HD digital music and video player on sale on Thursday (Aug. 13), pricing it below comparable Apple Inc iPod devices, in an attempt to claw some market share away from the dominant leader.

The devices, which are available for pre-order but won't hit shelves until September 15, are priced at $219.99 for the 16 gigabyte version and $289.99 for the 32 gigabyte version. Comparable iPod Touch players are priced at $299 and $399 respectively.

A 16-gigabyte player typically holds about 4,000 songs.

Microsoft's new Zune HD is slimmer than previous version and has a touch screen for the first time. The range comes in five colors and has a built-in radio receiver, Wi-Fi, and can display high-definition video to a big screen.