what is the difference in the download packages, sound alerts and icons? Does the package include alerts & icons?
A "package" is a group of related POI files. An example would be the Wal-Mart package:
On that page, you will find 10 different, but WalMart related POI files.
The icon (4) and sound (2) files are listed separately. You pick the POI, icon and sound files you want and download them individually.
Gary has already explained how it works here on Poi-Factory but the definition of "package" may be a little different elsewhere. There is at least one site that "packages" the poi data, an icon and (usually) sound file all into one .zip file. All the files in the "package" are labeled exactly the same and ready to go when you unzip them to your poi directory. The downside of that method is you don't have options.
On this (superior) site there are frequently several icons and several sound files available that can describe the same poi so you can mix and match.
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