I am making a kinetic typography video on my mac using the latest (2017) version of after effects. I imported my audio file (which is 2mins long) and when i hit the spacebar to preview the sound this little green bar started loading across the top of my timeline then just stopped after about 5 seconds. Now, when i try to preview it it plays fine for the first five seconds and when it reaches the end of the green bar it just starts over? Now I can't listen to the rest of my audio to time out when my words should appear!
Read up on how Previews work in a quite general manner on AE based on available system resources, comp resolution, work area etc. and then check your settings on the preview panel, your audio device settings and so on. None of this is unusual and you should get used to the fact that you may never be able to preview an entire comp, especially if you don't have plenty of RAM and disk cache. This is basic AE stuff...
Press . on your number pad to preview just audio. You will get a much longer preview time.
As Mylenium says, AE's previewing system is very different from the kind of preview you would expect in editing software like Premiere because AE is not editing software!
When you want to match animation to audio, there are various things that may or may not be beneficial - it all depends on what you're doing and how you work.