My head of IT has money to spend and has asked me about getting a podcast server. I had to admit that 'round the back end' stuff about servers was out of my league (at the moment) so I don't know what the difference between a dedicated podcast server and any old bit of server space might be. I did a google search and I'm no wiser. Is it essential kit?

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linux - apache - php

wordpress with akismet and podpress plugins

unlimited bandwidth with fat pipes

podcast server is basically a webserver with an rss framework to deliver the mp3 files.
I'm not a hardware expert, but I'm a learner and I know this would be a great tool for your district. I would say Yes in a heartbeat and get educated about what to do with it! I know lots of teachers, myself included, that would fight to have one! Gives you the ability to do lots of great things for kids much more easily than what your usual channels would give you. I've been pushing for one for my organization for a while now; we have too much bureaucracy to move at much over a snail's pace when it comes to this type of thing. Sounds like most educational institutions, doesn't it?
Apple OSX server software can be run on any machine meeting the specifications. It is very user friendly and will accept podcasts from any platform (because it is a web server).
Apple OSX.5 Server(Leopard) actually has a feature built in just for podcasting. This server software is due out in the next couple of months.
If your IT department is familiar with Apple they would have no problem getting the server software to run well.

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