Microsoft announced today that the Zune HD, its long-awaited media player, is available now for pre-order and is set to hit store shelves on Sept. 15.

The black 16 GB version will sell for $219.99, and the 32 GB "platinum" device for $289.99. Both 16GB and 32GB capacities will be available in five different colors with the option to customize the player with one of 10 new engravings designed by guest artists.

Pre-order starting Thursday, Aug. 13 at and purchase in stores on Tuesday, Sept. 15.

Those who want a sneak peek, can visit select stores in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Miami, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C., areas on Aug. 22 and 23.

Zune HD features 3.3-inch glass screen and 16:9 widescreen format display (480 x 272 resolution) and have HD video output to allow video to be played on an HDTV.

It comes also with built-in HD Radio receiver, an OLED touch screen interface, wi-fi, a multi-touch UI for Internet Explorer and has access to TV, movies and games through the Xbox Live Video Marketplace.

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