First, be sure you have an U2start.com account, that's absolutely free and you can create a new one in 30 seconds. You can create an account with the link on our front page. After you've registered and logged in (also on the front page) you go (back) to the show page from the bootleg you want to download. Then you select the AUDIO tab and choose the source of your choice. Then you click on "Download this bootleg" (in most cases the bootleg is split to multiple files, then you click first "Download part I" and then "Download part II" etc.)
You'll be taken to an upload service website which hosts the bootleg for us, in most cases Rapidshare.com or Mediafire.com. If you have any problems downloading the file from one of those two sites, please go to their FAQ or support because we cannot help you with that. If the bootleg isn't available anymore on the download site, please report that in our forums so that we can take care of that. Our automated system will take care of broken links as well.
All the bootlegs (or at least the majority) are packed in zipped files with WinZIP or WinRAR to make the filesize smaller. You can unzip this package with WinRAR, a freeware tool which you can download for free at www.rarlabs.com (for Mac this is named Stuffit. Then you'll open this downloaded file and click on "Extract" in WinRAR and you can specify where you want to have all the files of your bootleg. So all the MP3's (or WMA's etc) are packed in one file called a RAR/ZIP file which you can extract to your PC after downloading.
Note: you should have all the files before you extract them, and you should only extract the first part!
The tool we recommend to do so is MediaHuman's Audio Converter which is completely freeware and available for both PC and Mac. Simply drag & drop (or add) your lossless files, select MP3 as the desired output format and click the button to start the conversion.
You can find an easy step-by-step guide on this page.
Generally you can just pick the first source, because we order them on sound quality. Other sources are often just downloaded by collectors or people who prefer a good audience recording rather than a good soundboard recording. Sometimes sources are equal in quality, then it's just for you to decide which one is better. Most of the times it's that personal that we can't make the decision for you.
With Windows you can use WinRAR to extract the files, for Mac it is called Stuffit (from stuffit.com).
First you have to make sure that you have downloaded all files for a recording, and that they're downloaded in the same folder. Then you need to be sure that you extract them with WinRAR (or Stuffit for Mac) and you extracted the first part only. You don't need to touch the other parts. Still getting an error? If the bootleg/source is available on multiple download services you can try to redownload the files from another service. Often the files apart from the last one need to be 100 MB in filesize, so if any file is below you can try redownloading that one because your internet connection might be interrupted before with the first download. Just keep trying, if the error keeps popping up our broken links topic in the place to be. Please be as specific as possible with your problem.
We don't offer password-protected files, so you probably use the wrong extraction tool. Make sure you use WinRAR for Windows and Stuffit for Mac. Just use Google to find free downloads.
That is often quite personal, we at U2start have great experiences with Mega.co.nz due to it's reliable and fast services. Although we have experienced that from the United States the service Mediafire often works best. Sometimes you can also download one part from service A, and the other from service B.