Marty:ITunes doesn't start a library in a store; it builds your library on your computer and you can have complete control of it. If you do command-comma when in itunes, you will find the preferences you can set; by using vokeys-space on different items in the toolbar in preferences you will find various preferences you can set. Btw the majority of Macosx applications have preferences which can be reached with command-comma.
ITunes doesn't pressure you to buy things; if you have it set up right, you'll only go to the store if you want to do so and once in the store, you can search and listen and explore all you want without being pressured to buy.
While you certainly can use various applications to play music, I strongly urge you to learn itunes. This program has changed from one that used to be almost totally inaccessible unless you knew certain workarounds to being extremely accessible. I can now find my albums, add to and delete from my library, make playlists, etc. etc. etc. Obviousloy you got into a situation with the store that you didn't know how to get out of but that shouldn't mean you never use iTunes again.
-- Cheryl "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
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