Soundflower was uninstalled.
When I log in as my ghost user (a troubleshooting account) everything is fine. Same OS, same disk, different user.
I am running 10.6.8 on a 2ghz Intel Core Duo Imac. I am an old OS 9 technician... not quite as saavy with OS X and the kernal/terminal/console, etc.
Yesterday evening, I began to have an unusual problem during an attempt to record some audio (in audio hijack pro). Soundflower was installed as part of that package. When I tried to listen to the resulting AIFF files by opening them in Get Info and hitting the play button, there was no sound. I checked the settings, they were fine, and the output was working (i.e. clicking to speakers/headphones when volume is incremented).
At first I thought something obvious was amiss, so I reset my equipment (I had an Alesis USB mixer attached which I removed), I decided to update the USB mixer and downloaded a firmware update for it from Alesis. When I ran it, I had a kernal panic. I am fairly sure the problem existed prior to this. Also, earlier in the day, there was inexplicable echoing in skype (an abnormal sort which I thought was the other client).
I rebooted, checked my preferences, and tried again. Nothing. I opened Itunes, Mp3 files would appear to play but produce no sound. So, too with videos and recordings in Photo Booth. I rebooted. I re-installed Itunes. Same result.
As I have an older OS (10.4) on an external, I booted to that, and played MP3 files in itunes without trouble (i.e. this is not a hardware issue).
I rebooted from my internal, and the problem persists. It is not a simple matter to re-install the entire system (in fact, it could take days), so I am hoping for another solution, and, perhaps, some help with diagnostics (particularly things I can check in logs or terminal). Any non obvious advice appreciated.
It appears to be a system component corruption problem from what I can gather so far. I get sound on stuff in youtube videos and things like that, just not for local MP3 files, or videos. Other sound functions appear normal.
What I have done: complete re-install of OS X 10.6.2 + all updates.
I would greatly appreciate diagnostic help and suggestions other than wipe/blast/remake the system...