From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
By definition a media server is a device that simply stores and shares media. This definition is vague, and can allow several different device to be called a Media Server. Whether it be a simple Network-attached storage, a media center PC running Windows XP Media Center Edition, MediaPortal or Mythtv, or a commercial web server that hosts media for a large web site. In a home setting, a media server acts as an aggregator of information: video, audio, photos, books, etc. These different types of media (whether they originated on DVD, CD, digital camera, or in physical form) are stored on the media server's hard drive. Access to these is then available from a central location. It may also be used to run special applications that allow the user(s) to access the media from a remote location via the internet.
The only requirement for a media server is a method of storing media and a network connection with enough speed to allow access to that media. Depending on the uses and applications that it runs, a media server may require large amounts of RAM, or a powerful, multicore CPU. A RAID may be used to create a large amount of storage, though it is generally not necessary in a home media server to use a RAID that gives a performance increase because current network transfer speeds are slower than that of most current hard drives.
 Links to possible Media Server applications and information
Central bittorrent client and easy music streaming
Jinzora Hak.5 How To
MediaPortal TV Server
Winamp Media Library Web plugin
Windows XP Software RAID How To