Apple's claims that an iPod would play continuously for eight hours (or ten hours depending on the model) on a full charge could cost the company $100m.

A class-action lawsuit filed over a year ago by eight iPod owners claimed the iPod failed to deliver, as the promised rechargeable battery life didn't endure throughout the product's lifetime.

If a tentative settlement is approved, consumers who experienced battery problems with older versions of the iPod will get $50 vouchers – to spend with Apple - and extended service warranties.

The tentative settlement only applies to US consumers who bought iPods before the end of May 2004 but it could affect as many as 2 million American citizens, according to Forbes.

Consumers who file a claim must have a receipt. Apple will not extend vouchers or extra warranty protection to people who bought iPods third-party, such as from eBay's auction site.

Vouching for Apple

The $50 voucher is redeemable toward the purchase of any Apple-branded products or services – with the exception of iTunes downloads, iTunes Music Store Cards, iTunes Gift Certificates, or any other product redeemable for iTunes downloads.

The voucher cannot be redeemed for cash and is not valid for use in an Apple retail store – although customers can take advantage of computers linked to The Apple Store Online located in Apple retail store.

The credit can be used to purchase multiple products but must be spent in one transaction. The Store Credit voucher will expire after eighteen months. More information is available here.

Apple's newest iPod has an advertised battery life of up to 12 hours for its 20GB model.

A judge will hold another hearing August 25 to give final approval.