Convert the file to a WAV/ AIFF. AE is crap at dealing with MP3s.
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* * * We are Assuming that the File is working Fine outside After Effects
Sometimes This could be the File is corrupted or " the Name of the MP3 File "
Rename the file and Reload it or Re-import it again.
Purge your Memory : edit -> purge All memory
if that did not solve the problem, the file should be converted
USE ADOBE MEDIA ENCODER
Well, it has worked flawlessly the last 230-40 times
Did you ever get this working? Its been driving me crazy. meters show audio when file is played in after fx. audio hardware is correct and I get audio in audition, premiere etc. audio is in rendered file, but will not output during preview. audio is not muted, and is selected to be included in ram preview. again, the meters are showing audio playback
For me it works to just rename the souce file, and reload/re-add it to AE.
It doesn't feel like a good fix, but it's all I have. Even redownloading the file, it won't work with that exact name - Nonsense.