Media server processes all multimedia applications, such as call distribution, on-demand faxing, e-mail programs and others. In VoIP specific applications, the media server possesses and generates the media streams and handles all functions related to tasks such as decoding tones, bridging multiple streams, processing scripts, and recording audio. A media server refers either to a dedicated computer appliance or to a specialized application software, ranging from an enterprise class machine providing video on demand, to, more commonly, a small personal computer or NAS (Network Attached Storage) for the home, dedicated for storing various digital media. A media server is the computing component that processes the audio and/or video streams associated with telephone calls or connections. Conference services are a particular example of how media servers can be used, as a special ‘engine’ is needed to mix audio streams together so that conference participants can hear all of the other participants.

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