updated 01:05 pm EDT, Fri September 30, 2011
iTunes 10.5 beta 9 live days before event
In very tight timing, Apple on Friday posted iTunes 10.5 beta 9 to its developer center. The update is the first since an iTunes Match reset and appears primarily focused on checking the environment. No matching iOS or Lion updates have arrived at the same time.
Betas are known to often come soon before major Apple events as the company works on polishing code, but they rarely seed to developers with less than a week before a possible release. It may be a final test run with other issues resolved or a sign that iTunes 10.5 might not be ready for the public until sometime after the October 4 iPhone unveiling.
iTunes 10.5 will be needed for iTunes Match and should also be integral for syncing iOS 5 devices, both through USB and over Wi-Fi. iCloud should also play a deeper role.