For some time now, my laptop has had an odd problem with sound. The first time I attempt to play any kind of sound after booting the computer, there is a delay of approximately 30 seconds before the sound plays. It only happens once after boot. It happens regardless of how soon after boot I attempt to play sound (e.g., 2 minutes or 2 hours), or which application I attempt to use.
The behavior is different for different applications, however. In desktop applications like iTunes, clicking the "Play" button causes the application to block for ~30 seconds, then playback begins at the start of the stream. On the web (in Google Chrome), streaming audio and video plays silently for the first ~30 seconds, then suddenly starts having sound at the current position (not the beginning the stream).
To be clear, my audio/video is never out of sync -- either everything is delayed for 30 seconds and it fixes itself (e.g., imagine a very long I/O operation), or the video and computer run smoothly but are just silent for the first 30 seconds. In any case, after the initial delay, I don't experience any further problems until I reboot my computer.
Windows lists my sound card as "IDT High Definition Audio CODEC". I tried the IDT web site, but it does not offer drivers for end users and refers me to Dell's driver download site (I already have the latest driver from the Dell site installed). I ran Microsoft's FixIt program to troubleshoot audio and it didn't find any problems (e.g., the audio services are enabled, drivers are installed, etc.). I examined the Event Viewer and didn't see anything related to audio. What else should I check?