So yeah, when I try to play it in the editor, it does not play the audio associated with the clips, and I've checked the preview box in the Essentials Workspace and checked my preferences. thoughts?
It might be multiplexed, or muxed, audio -- the audio's encoded within the video track. AE needs a separate audio track. I recommend transcoding the clip to a good intermediate codec to separate the audio from the video and preserve image quality.
Oh boy. That is alot of clips to deal with unfortunately! Gotta be another way?
Do a short test clip -- if it works, you know the problem.
Take heart-- Adobe Media Encoder will do batch transcodes. You won't have to do each clip individually.