It seems like you all know what you’re talking about, so I’m hoping you have some advice. I’m working on a project for which I’d like to provide a call-in service where people can opt either to leave a message or listen to an audio program when one is available. I would like to be able to download their messages to my computer and occasionally produce that audio program (in whatever audio format is appropriate, though all i’m familiar with is standard WAV or AIFF editing) and upload it to the service for them to listen to. I would also like to be able to upload the broadcast to a server for availability as podcast.
Currently, though, I have none of these components set, not even a phone line, and am not clear on how to proceed: do I need a phone line at all, and what kind of phone, and what sort of services are required, what is required to install and operate what software, etc. A friend whose base-level technology knowledge is much higher than my advanced level knowledge referred me to Asterisk, but I’m afraid I don’t even know what a PBX is. If the more patient and explicit of you were inclined to help me walk through the necessary steps in this process (keeping in mind that I’ve never done any of it before but am a quick study if things are made clear), I would be really grateful.