When I press space bar to view it, it's taking forever for it to play back with RAM. Should I just go ahead and let the RAM playback play all the way through (it's like 20 seconds total) and then when that little line turns from red to green, should it then work like it should?
Ae exact version?
Os exact version?
Spacebar defaults to play instantly in all Ae versions, and this is useful in cases where you have already cached your frames to RAM (the bar is green) or you have a very light project.
in most project it is better to playback cached frames in Ae as it was designed to - Cache the frames first, then play them back.
prior to CC2015, Numpad 0 shortcut did that, and since CC2015 you can change its default behavior and some other preview shortcuts as well. you might want to make sure you cache the frames first with Numpad 0 (the "old" behavior) by checking "cache before playback" and leave Spacebar for playing instantly.
now click 0, and wait patiently until Ae loads all frames to the available RAM you have in your Computer. the bar will turn green (no red in Ae, red is in premiere). once it's green, you can click 0 again to stop caching or it will stop when it does not have any more room and it should give you a real-time playback.
if you are experiencing anything different, come back with some more information about your setup and system info
I did a very simple test and hit 0 and it turned it green, then used space bar to play and it works great. I checked that cache box too. this is very helpful - i appreciate very much your help. thanks.