Apple last night released new iPod software bringing it to version 1.2.6.

The update delivers improved battery management and solves a problem that appears to shorten iPod battery life, Apple says. The iPod mistook temporary low-voltage as meaning the battery was dead, causing the iPod to shut down prematurely.

A note accompanying the update says: "Some customers have reported that over time their iPod’s battery life has declined. This update enables the iPod to more accurately monitor its battery charge, thus using the entire battery capacity and regaining long battery life. The result is longer playback time and extended standby time. After updating the iPod, customers can expect at least ten days of standby battery life on a full charge."

The update is available through Software Update and for direct download from Apple's Web site.