To the dismay of many parents, vlogging and live streaming are genuine career options in 2020, and while I'm not built for that sort of stress or public scrutiny, if you are, Roland's Go:Livecast could help make your life easier and your videos better. It's designed for use with a smartphone or tablet via the accompanying app (Android and iOS), and includes a built-in mic, so if you're really aiming for minimalism the only other piece of kit you'll need to start broadcasting is a pair of headphones.
The dedicated controller went on sale on Tuesday for $250 and is clearly designed to throw in a backpack, as it's lightweight and not much bigger than a compact camera. Annoyingly, it uses USB micro-B for power and connecting devices rather than USB-C, but the required cables are included, so that's some consolation.
Programmable buttons –– Though there are icons printed on the Go:Livecast's 10 physical buttons they can all be reprogrammed in the app, so if you'd rather use the applause button for an airhorn sample, you can go with your bad self and do so.
Plenty of ports –– The lefthand side of the unit includes two 3.5mm ports, a stereo line input for connecting an audio source and another for headphones, along with a pair of physical dials for volume adjustments to each. The back of the unit houses the device and power ports, while the righthand side has an XLR input in case you want to plug in a microphone.
As anyone who's ever bought a starter DSLR kit can attest, gear isn't going to make you successful, only great content will do that, but the right tools can help. If there's a slicker solution than Roland's out there for mobile streamers to up their content game, we haven't found it yet.