11.1 32-bit, Intel mobo with ICH8 sound controller, Mozilla 3.0.5 with
settings flipped back to defaults (mosty use VLC). Flash plays after
the 4th 5th time that Firefox is loaded. If I attempt to run the flash
audio test page
and observe the progress button zoom quickly from left to right without
playing a note, it is an indication that Firefox needs to be closed and
reloaded one more time.

After that flash audio seems to play correctly any time Firefox is
loaded. What kind of conflict, memory gremlin, or whatever might be the
reason for flash audio not playing the first time that Firefox is
loaded, and how would I go about pinpointing it?