Making Ringtones/Alerts from iPhone Apps
I discovered an interesting thing today. I use MailTones to facilitate my using my iPhone as a pager for work. There are a couple of tones within the MailTones app that I wanted to use on my iPhone as other types of alerts... and I figured out how to do that today.
Whenever I update an app through iTunes on my MacBook Pro, I copy the old apps (appname.ipa) from the trash folder into an archive folder on my laptop. (Side note: I do this because I got hosed once on an app update that removed functionality - with a backup of the "old" version, I can always go back.)
It turns out that the .ipa files are actually stored in .zip format - only the file extension is changed. I simply renamed the file (mailtones.ipa) to the .zip file (mailtones.zip) and I could open it as a .zip file on my MBP. Within that compressed file is a folder named payload where the components (icons, graphics, sounds and other stuff) live.
In this case, the alerts were in .caf format, but a quick pass through an app like SmartConverter yielded an .m4a file that I simply renamed .m4r and loaded into iTunes.
The whole process took about 60 seconds. And now I have my alerts for use elsewhere in my iPhone.