Music Server Question:

I have a neighbor, not an audiophile, who is interested in building a Linux based Music server. He writes Linux programs.
He's in the planning stages of figuring out what he needs to set up a home theatre/entertainment system at his house. He'd like to incorporate the music server into the equation. He would probably never sit and listen to the music, but would have it on in the background as most non audiophiles would.
Any suggestions?
Also, do you think it's time they made a section of the forums just for music servers?
I do.

This is a pretty broad question. Are you looking for a broad answer?

He needs a computer with a soundcard, a large hard drive, and some software to access his music. The specs on each of these ingredients will be determined by his specific needs, which are not mentioned in this post.

Actually I was looking for a specific answer, which I thought was implied in my question with regards to this being a Linux based system. As he writes linux prgrams, it should also be implied that he would know he needs a hard drive, and soundcard. That you attempted to reply to the question at all, is at least more than anyone else did, which may speak to the nature of music servers being different than the usual audiphile gear/knowledge base.
Any specific software writen as a music server program for Linux?
Any specific soundcards certified to work with Linux based software?

Those are much better questions! Here are some answers:

Hardware support for Linux systems is patchy at best, and depends upon the particular piece of hardware. Here is a good article that will help with that --

Linux hardware compatibility:

As far as good software, I would recommend Mplayer which is open source and has a command-line layer as well as configurable GUIs if that's what he's looking for.

I actually just modified an original xbox to use as my music server. I stream content over my wireless network from my music server to my xbox, and my xbox has a digital line out that feeds my Integra pre/pro. Since my Integra is doing all of the processing, it sounds amazing. If anyone wants instructions on how to do this, I would be more than happy to write up a tutorial.

Thanks Heyitsmedusty,

I'll pass on the compatible pieces of the puzzle info to him.