The Web's Most Intriguing Music-Related Issues & Destinations. This Week: Berklee College of Music and XL Recordings.

PLUG INTO THE CLASSROOM: Boston's renowned Berklee College of Music, the world's largest independent music college, is now offering Web travelers the opportunity to share in its education programs at no cost. Berkleeshares.com houses the new initiative, which provides free music lessons and encourages musicians to distribute them across the Web.

The site hosts a library of MP3s, QuickTime movies and .pdf files representing portions of Berklee's regular music-education curriculum, and is working to build upon its offerings. The program's creators are encouraging people to not only teach themselves with the lessons, but to distribute them via E-mail and peer-to-peer file-sharing services to aspiring musicians around the world.

"Berklee Shares was born out of Berklee's commitment to furthering music education through innovative means," the school's associate vice president Dave Kusek says in a statement. "Offering free education on the Internet and through file-sharing networks underscores the college's core belief that these channels are an effective way to openly distribute meaningful educational content to a global audience. It also serves as a powerful promotional platform for artists to market, distribute and sell their music."

The site currently holds 80 lessons covering instrumental performance as well as production, songwriting, improvisation and other topics.


EXTRA LARGE VIDEOS: The XL Recordings label has converted its official Web site into a giant media player. The site boasts dozens of Real-format video and audio clips from artists such as the Electric Six, Peaches and Dizzee Rascal.

The site's featured videos for this month include the White Stripes' "The Hardest Button to Button," Mercury Music Prize winner Dizzee Rascal's "Jus' a Rascal," Basement Jaxx's "Good Luck" and Peaches' "Kick It" featuring Iggy Pop. Multiple clips from each artist populate the site, giving fans a chance to see some videos that probably won't crop up on "TRL."