oh yeah...and I should mention all I'm doing is playing back an iPhone video (.mov file) with no effects or anything. just 1 layer with video/audio in it.
Sounds like you’re on CS5.5 but I can’t be sure because I know nothing about your system or your AE version. Ram preview playback sometimes is wonky right off the top as the file is rendered. Once the playback begins it may or may not playback at normal speed depending on your system resources and the size and resolution of the frame.
It sounds to me like you’re just not waiting for the ram preview to render.
IOW, you have to render the frames first. You can only render as many frames as will fit into memory. The procedure is to start the ram preview and then patiently wait for it to render then play. You’ll only get a smooth ram preview from the CTI’s position using the from current position option or the start of the work area after the render is complete.
BTW, hitting the space bar will render frames but it will not generate reliable playback because the space bar isn't for ram previews. Never has been.
Yes it is CS5.5, and I can get it to work much better now after that explanation. This book is quite vague about RAM previews other than just telling you to use it all the time instead of standard previews.
So what does the blue bar in the timeline mean? And is there a way to make the green ram preview areas save to disk so they stay green the way spacebar preview does? thanks