I've submitted this as a bug to Adobe already, but wondered if anyone here has experienced it?
In AE CS5 on OSX, if I set the Audio Hardware pref to System Default (so we just follow the OSX system audio output device), we'll often get a hang followed by an error - can't start audio playback.
I wind up having to set the audio output device directly in AE Prefs. That seems to work fine. So if I've got SPEAKER 1 selected in the system prefs, and I choose System Default in AE, it won't work. When I then select SPEAKER 1 directly in AE, it works.
Seems like a bug, but I reported in April and heard nothing from 'em.